Friday, October 14, 2016

To Whom Much Is Given

Dear Parishioners,

It’s that time of the year when we report our finances from the prior fiscal year. The school did well and the income exceeded the expenses by $46,000. The combination of expert financial management, excellent fund raising efforts, an improved luncheon program, and increased enrollment in day care led to this wonderful result. On the other hand, the parish didn’t so well. For the first time in the past six years, there was a loss (-$55,000). The parish still has ample funds in the bank, but a more positive result is needed to continue the mission of the parish in growing the faith of the people. While expenses have been growing, the offertory collections have been declining as parishioners have been dying, moving into retirement /nursing facilities, or moving to other states.

You, the parishioners, have been very generous, and I thank you. I remember six years ago asking you to make a pledge to increase your donations to the parish which you overwhelmingly did. In subsequent years, I felt no need to do so again. But now it’s time to take a look at our giving history. If you are like me, you may be still giving what you decided upon six years ago. So I encourage you to do two things. Take your gross income and divide it into your contributions to the church. That will show you what percentage you are returning to God the giver of all good gifts. Then take 1% or ½ % (.01 or .005) of your income and add it to your yearly contributions to see if you are able to help a little more than last year. I know some of you are on very tight budgets and I appreciate whatever you can do.

If you are wondering about my commitment to the parish, I try not to ask you anything that I’m not doing. So I put my envelope in the basket every weekend, because I am not just the pastor. I am a registered member of the parish. And while I am not the biggest contributor, I am in the top 10. For as Jesus said, “When much has been given a man much will be required.” (Lk 12:48) God has given me so much that I need to show my gratitude by giving back to him. Besides, St. Paul tells us, “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:7)

- Fr. Carl

“All difficulties, temptations, sickness and humiliations
become sweet and easy to endure, if one bears them in
union with our Lord.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars