From the Parish Finance Council:
A few months back, we spoke to you about the role of the Finance Council and to go over some aspects of the newly released parish financial statement. During the brief presentation, we acknowledged the need to be transparent in how monies entrusted to the parish are handled. In light of the recent Gospel teachings on the wise use of money, I offer the following reflection. This parish has always found the support needed to maintain our property and accomplish a respectable level of ministry to many persons in our community. Most would agree that the finances of a parish should never become a preoccupation for either the priest or the parishioners. A healthy faith community gives a prayerfully considered amount regularly and this should allow for a reasonable budget with which parish staff can see that the work entrusted to it by God and the Church is accomplished. To be sure, at times, something extraordinary arises which necessitates going to the parish to ask for a specified amount of money for the purchase of a good or service which cannot be put off. To avoid the impression that the Church is “always asking for money”, two things are needed. First, a reliable steady revenue stream and second, sensible use of the money by the priest, assisted by the Finance Council. Through our financial support, we participate indirectly in the mission of the church by making it possible for our priests and staff to carry out the ministries and apostolates of the Church. But financial support of Church causes is also important to each of us individually because of what it enables us to do, because of what it enables us to be. Careful assessment of the financial situation of our parish, has revealed that the current level of giving would require bequests and special appeals to stay on top of all that is entailed in running a parish. Had it not been for special appeals and gratefully received bequests in the past, the building itself, specifically the roof, windows and mortar work, would have suffered more serious deterioration. Ongoing necessary maintenance and the everyday operation of the church property and its ministries requires a steady stream of income which keeps pace with the times. It is difficult for people to know just how far their money goes in the context of church ministry. They are surprised when they find out that the Paschal candle, for instance, costs nearly $500 (which is why we try to use it for two years instead of one). Elevator costs are fixed at an annual amount of several thousand dollars, landscaping, snow removal, fire detection (recently costing $8,000 for a necessary repair), and alarm monitoring and upkeep and the list goes on…
A fixed, prayerfully considered percentage of your income goes a long way to meet all of these needs, since it takes the guess work out of what to give. And, because it is entirely based upon personal income, one is in no danger of giving too much or too little for the work of the Church. As God blesses, so we give. He invites, we answer and many blessings follow….
Thank you for considering what has been said in this message and for all of your past giving. Please continue to take giving seriously, bearing in mind that if you have been giving the same amount over a number of years, your gift is not going nearly as far, therefore by keeping pace with changing times, our parish is always able to fulfill its mission with adequate resources. With all of us pulling together, the “Star” which has been shining for nearly 175 years, will never dim.
Sincerely in Christ, Star of the Sea Finance Council