You will see a copy of the parish financial report in this week’s bulletin. As you will notice, we are very blessed to be in a solid financial situation. I said in my homily last week that everything we have comes from God. This is true for us as a church, as a parish, and as individuals. God has abundantly blessed us with resources, and we praise Him for that. A few points to make that might address questions or concerns that you have:
1. Offertory collections were down about $7,000 from the year before. I’m not aware of a significant decline in Mass attendance, so this reduction is perplexing. All I can ask you to do is to contribute as generously as you can. If we continue to see a drop-off in weekly offertory, then we might have to go with a new program such as Faith Direct.
2. The huge difference in “other income” from the year prior is due to the large amount that Fr. Ivany raised for our facilities in 2015, especially the Pope Francis Outreach Center. On that note, it’s utterly amazing how much Fr. Ivany did to improve the physical and financial conditions of our parish. Again, praise God!
3. The increase in “rectory and parish clergy” expenses is not a result of extravagant parties at the rectory, I promise you! It’s because the parish is paying my salary and benefits in full, whereas the Archdiocese was paying half of Fr. Ivany’s salary and benefits because he was working part-time for them (in the seminary and vocations).
4. “Liabilities” might be decreasing soon as the Archdiocese is forgiving past debts to many parishes during the Year of Mercy. They have scheduled a meeting with Joseph Hughey (Chairman of our finance council) and me to discuss next week. It won’t be a full forgiveness, but could be a significant reduction of debt.
Over the next year, I will work to increase the contributions that come into the parish and Outreach Center. My hope is to add more parishes as “partners” with us, appealing to pastors I know to help us with contributions, food drives, and volunteers. I’ll also be on the lookout for organizations, foundations, businesses, and individuals who can serve as partners with Assumption going forward. Of course, I’m open to any suggestions that you have!
Today’s readings are good for us in light of this. We might see our bottom line on the financial report and think that we are doing comfortably as a parish. But, hear what the Lord says through the prophet Amos: “Woe to the complacent in Zion! …yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph!.” Let us not be complacent or comfortable to the point where we think that the parish is doing fine and doesn’t need our (individual) help. I fell into that trap at times in my first year here, and now realize that I can no longer be complacent. I need to be more proactive as a pastor and steward in the ways I mentioned in the paragraph above. I ask each and every one of you to be generous to the parish with your time, talent and treasure. It wasn’t until it was too late that the rich man in the Gospel parable realized he should have been more generous. I don’t anticipate anything catastrophic here like that or “the collapse of Joseph,” but the point is still made for us: God is calling us to be generous now.
May you know the peace of Christ,