By Richard Meek

The Catholic Commentator

A $70,000 grant challenge issued by the widow of an active supporter of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul should help accelerate the process of building a new chapel on the organization’s sprawling north Baton Rouge Campus, according to executive director Michael Acaldo.

Acaldo said Baton Rouge resident Sue Broussard, whose husband, Don, passed away in May, said she will match donations dollar for dollar up to $70,000, which, if maxed out, would finalize the funds needed for the proposed $350,000 chapel. Currently, through large donations by Cathy Bishop and the Pennington Foundation, along with many smaller donations from local residents, St. Vincent de Paul has raised $210,000.

“Don was a tremendous community leader and a tremendous leader at St. Vincent de Paul,” Acaldo said. “Sue was aware of the chapel and came to visit to talk about it.

“She said ‘I want to see this happen, (The project) energized her, and we are so grateful to her and her family.”

Acaldo said once the fundraising goal is met, plans will be presented to the Liturgy, Art and Music Board of the Diocese of Baton Rouge for final approval. He had submitted preliminary plans several months ago and has made changes based on recommendations by the board.

Acaldo said recently in an interview with The Catholic Commentator he hoped ground would be able to be broken later this year or early 2020. But he is optimistic Broussard’s generosity might accelerate the process.

“It’s such a blessing, all of the people in our community that have donated. It makes me so happy.”