As your pastor and in solidarity with our finance and parish councils, who are your parish representatives that assist me in the financial, temporal and spiritual ministry of the church, I ask you to consider increasing your level of giving to St. John the Baptist Parish this new fiscal year by moving one step up.
The events of the last 2 ½ years have created new challenges to our financial viability that we did not have to face before. The Grand Jury investigation, the bankruptcy of the Diocese and the Covid 19 pandemic have caused a decrease in our parish income. The Sunday collections, which are the largest and most important source of our parish income, are down $ 6,000.00 - $ 7,000.00 per week. We have worked very hard to be financially responsible. In the last five years, seven positions of employment have been phased out, two consolidated and one changed from full-time to part-time. We have reduced our expenses and once again this year our total expenditures were under budget. We locked into contracts for natural gas and electricity at a reduced rate for the next 18 months. We are nearing the completion of the changeover to LED lights which has saved us a lot of money on our electricity bills. We eliminated Direct TV and bundled internet, television and telephone for a lower rate. We rebid contracts for lawn care, snow removal, school cleaning services, mechanical and maintenance services. We have worked hard to reduce expenditures in every department and we will continue to control expenses. Independent fundraising for the parish and school has increased because of all the great volunteers and the hard work to which they have committed themselves, however, the continuation of the Covid 19 restrictions will limit us in our fundraising efforts this year.
We have a magnificent campus and we want to be able to maintain it well. We have 2 churches, 2 social halls, 2 rectories (one now the convent), a school, a maintenance/ministry building, 2 playgrounds, a baseball field, 3 cemeteries and 30 acres of beautiful property. The growth of this parish is testimony to the faith and goodness of our parishioners.
Now we need to get our ordinary income back to previous levels. Our idea is to see if we can move one step up. The enclosed diagram shows the steps of current giving in our parish. The dollar values in each step represent the weekly average of a household and the other figure is the number of households in that category. Find your level of giving and see if you can move one step up to increase your weekly donation somewhere in the new range.
We realize that the Covid 19 pandemic has caused much economic instability. Businesses have closed, employees have been furloughed, work hours, pay and benefits have been reduced. We understand the hardships people face and do not expect anyone to add further burdens to an already stressed financial situation.
For those who have been blessed and have not experienced negative impacts from this pandemic or other life situations, we ask you to consider moving up one step in your contributions. You don’t need to commit to a certain level or sign a pledge card. You may just choose to advance where it is feasible for you.
I have thanked you before for your heroic faith and I will thank you again. The Lord has blessed our parish and you, the parishioners, are the greatest blessing. I pray each day for our protection from all danger and evil and for our increase in faith, hope and love. Thank you for your faith, your prayers and your generosity in supporting St. John the Baptist Parish.