“Jesus Christ is the definitive answer to the question of the meaning of life, and to those fundamental questions which still trouble so many men and women on the American continent.” - St. John Paul II “The Church in America”
Our parish exists to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ and His Church – which is the salvation of souls.
I want to take this opportunity to share with you how our parish has been following this mission and giving an account of how we have spent our resources that you so generously trust us with. I also want to share a little about our vision for this coming year.
Since October 2020, we’ve had 24 baptisms, 28 confirmations, 32 funerals and 10 weddings. We had 1adult enter the Church through the RCIA. We have three men in seminary formation at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and three women in religious formation.
Our Financial picture
This past year Covid-19 presented some challenges for the whole church. One of the things that really kept us from going into a major deficit was the $163,600 PPP loan program which the government offered to parishes and businesses during Covid-19. With this loan, which was also forgiven, we were able to cover a large portion of our staff salaries. This enabled us not to have to let go of any parish or school staff.
At the end of the fiscal year, the parish ended up with $77,830, thanks to the forgiveness of the $166,000 PPP Loan. Our Sunday contributions were an all-time high of $725,367, over $40,000 higher than the prior year. Thanks to all our parishioners who have generously increased their giving.
However as we look ahead, health care costs are rising and expenses continue to go up. This goes hand in hand with running an institution and the upkeep of so many buildings. As the Finance Committee and I have worked out this coming year, we are showing a projected deficit of $80,019. We often show a high budget at the beginning of the year, and often by the end of the fiscal year we end up with a much lower number, sometimes because of contributions from the ETF and occasional gifts from parishioners.
I want to continue to appeal to those who have not contributed to the parish, to prayerfully consider giving something. I know that some of you are struggling financially, and I’m not speaking to you, but to those of us who are able to give a little bit more. One of the things that we have to do is keep our eyes looking toward the future. We want to have good programs, gifted staff and committed workers. This is essential if we are going to move into the future with its many challenges. Nothing really good happens without sacrifice.
I would also ask you to consider remembering the parish in your final wishes. Over the years we have been blessed by parishioners who have remembered the parish in their wills and final estates. These gifts have been a great blessing for us.
As well, every year we receive monies from generous people contributing to the Educational Trust Fund. This money helps us support the school, religious education programs and adult formation to provide catechesis and formation in the faith. Thanks to everyone who has given to the ETF this past year. I really want to encourage all of you to think about giving to the ETF in your long-term planning. This year we received $104,424.68 from our ETF disbursements resulting from you contributions. The Parish totally relies on the money we receive from the collection and donations. When you’re looking at your will, please pray and consider giving to the Parish and to the ETF.
Witness to Hope
At this time we have a balance of $124,071.25 from the pledges made. We still have one more year for parishioners to fulfill the rest of their pledges. Over the past two years, we have spent $72,800 for the resurfacing of the parking lot and $100,959.00 Parish Offices. I don’t know if anyone has said that our parking lot looks beautiful but although parking lots don’t tend to illicit comments, but it was something, humble as it might be that we needed to do. In regards to the new parish office building, I have received so many compliments about the new parish office space. The staff love it and it is so much more welcoming and efficient than the old space.
Our next project is going to be the Activity Center renovations.
We have already committed $5,030 toward the architect. It is quite likely that we will need to raise extra funds to complete the renovations that the Facility Committee is recommending. We will be sharing more of this in the coming months.
Lastly, I want to share with you my hopes for the future. We have been blessed to share a vibrant and very active parish. The many families, children, vocations to the priesthood, deaconate and consecrated life are not common in most parishes. We continue to evangelize and form disciples. There is so much to thank God for. But we cannot sit back and pat ourselves on the back. The work ahead of us will demand much of our community. I often say to the staff, that as long as we are doing what is right and obeying God’s call to build the Kingdom, God will provide for us. But of course, He is counting on all of us to do our part. If we do what God is calling us to do, then He will do what we cannot do.
I want to thank those who very generously and consistently support the Parish and speak to those who do not, to start showing solidarity with everyone. We know that everyone cannot contribute large amounts. We’re not asking that. We’re asking that everyone to be stewards of God’s gifts and give what they can regularly.