September 3, 2017

Friends,

As your pastor, one of my responsibilities is to be aware of our financial situation. Each of our parishes needs to be self-supporting. Canonically (Church law), one parish is not able to financially support another parish. That is why we have three distinct finance councils in the Collaborative.  This summer I have noticed a major decrease in our weekly offertory collection in all three parishes. Some will believe that it is because people are away on vacation. That may be true, but as you know, we ask people to support our churches even when they are not here. Each parish has a separate budget, which we determine mainly by our offertory collection. When the parish is not able to meet the budget by our weekly collection, major issues can develop. For example, because the Most Precious Blood School building is leased and we receive a monthly rent check, the parish is able to pay its bills. Without that rental income, the parish could never exist on its average $1,500 per week in the collection. Without that lease income, we would be borrowing from our savings every month without ever being able to replenish that account. In a short period of time we could deplete our savings.

All three of our parishes need to have a dependable, consistent weekly income. For example, if St. Anne is able to have $5,200 in one week’s offertory and the next week it is $3,700, there is no dependability. The budget can be thrown way off. Some people do make up for the weeks they don’t celebrate with us, others do not. The same is true at St. Pius X. If one week a collection is $2,700 and the next week is $2,100, there is a $600 loss of revenue. Multiply that loss by over 52 weeks and it can add up to $30,000 over time.

The commitment people make when they go into Online Giving is that whether they are here or not they have a certain amount deducted each week from their account for church offertory, and for the second collections as well.

I am fortunate because I am able to write out a check once a year for my offertory donation. That way, whatever I decide to donate to each parish is a given. It’s part of my personal budget.

I am not suggesting this method, but I am asking every single parishioner to decide what you believe is a just gift to your parish every year (whether cash, check, or online) and make yourself a promise and make your church a commitment to donate that amount, however you choose, and keep the promise. Someone who donates $5 a week to the offertory collection would give $260 over the year (whether they are present or not). Someone donating $20 per week would give $1,040 per year (whether they are in church every week or not).

We notice on the second weekend of the month (Energy Collection is that second collection), that many people divide their offertory amount between the two collections, which defeats the purpose of that collection.

I would not be fulfilling my role as pastor if I wasn’t acquainting you with the fiscal responsibility each of us has for our parish (including myself).

The number of $1 bills in all three parish collections is not a healthy sign for the future. I wish more people were joining us for our weekend Masses and supporting the church, but in their absence, it is our responsibility and privilege.

Enjoy life!
Fr. Ron Coyne

 

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