Pastor’s Letter, December 3, Fr. Longenecker

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Every week in the bulletin we post simple financial statistics: How much we need to meet our budget and how much we have received in the past week.

From time to time, it is worth sharing more detailed information so you can know how your gifts to the parish are being handled. Father Ballard is better at details than I am, so over the years I have relied on him to draft the annual budget. Together we plan the operating needs of the parish. These include overheads like insurance premiums, utilities, maintenance of facilities, worship consumables and office supplies. We also budget for staff salaries, insurance, and benefits. In addition, we budget for ministry needs—charitable giving, diocesan contributions and various evangelization and ministry expenditures. Every Autumn we make available a summary of parish finances and detailed statistics are available from our parish finance director—Rachel Hutson at the parish office.

The budget reflects our operating expenses as a Catholic parish, and Father Ballard and I work with our parish finance committee to run a tight ship and be faithful and thrifty stewards of our financial resources. It is your duty as one of the precepts of the church to support the work of the parish with your giving.

Over the last five years we have had a stewardship campaign in October. For three weeks we draw attention to our financial obligations and ask parishioners to pledge a certain amount each week. These stewardship campaigns have always been successful, but this year we decided to give it a break. This is because we had extra expense in purchasing the five acre lot adjacent to our campus.

However, at the same time we have experienced a rise in our parish expenses. This is due to an increased demand from the diocese for additional funds, a dramatic increase in our insurance premiums, some small salary increases and the need to hire an additional staff member.

Consequently, for the first time we are currently running at a small deficit in our weekly giving. If all of our registered households were to boost their giving by just five dollars a week, we would easily meet this shortfall. I realize when I write this that some households cannot afford a penny more. I also realize that other folks could spare an extra $50.00 per week! I am suggesting the numbers not to mandate an amount everyone should give, but to help folks see how easily the problem can be solved if everyone does a little more.

I am also aware that in parish life there are some folks who are very generous while there are others who do nothing at all. The principle of Christian giving is that everyone should tithe as part of their commitment to Christ and his church. To tithe is to prayerfully decide what percentage of your income you can give to the Lord’s work, and be faithful and regular in that gift. The usual guideline is to tithe 5%-10% of your income. I hope this prompt will encourage you to do what you can. Remember also to use online giving as this saves us time, money, and manpower. If you need help with online giving contact Rachel Hutson at the parish office. 

Your pastor,

Fr. Longenecker