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Archdiocese kicks off biggest church fundraiser in U.S.

Francis Cardinal George Saint Stanislaus KostkSchool North Side after Archdiocese Chicago announced $350 millifundraising campaign Wednesday. | Stefano Esposito~Sun-Times

Francis Cardinal George at Saint Stanislaus Kostka School on the North Side, after the Archdiocese of Chicago announced a $350 million fundraising campaign Wednesday. | Stefano Esposito~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 7, 2013 12:37PM

The Archdiocese of Chicago announced plans Wednesday to raise $350 million in the next three years to help fund Catholic education — the biggest single fund-raiser in any diocese in the United States, church officials said.

The archdiocese has already raised $82.5 million of that goal through the “major gift” component of the drive, church officials said. The bulk of the money — $250 million — is expected to be raised in the parishes.

“This is a remarkable start,” said Cardinal Francis George, speaking to reporters at St. Stanislaus Kostka School on the North Side. “I’m also confident because of this that the parish campaign will be successful over the next three years.”

About 60 percent of the money raised in the parishes will stay in individual parishes, while the other 40 percent will go into a pool and distributed to the most needy parishes.

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