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August 14/15: From the parish business manager's desk...

Dear Parishioners,

There will be a second collection next weekend, August 21-22, for the Diocese’s annual Seminarian Collection. A flyer and an envelope is enclosed for your convenience. This is a very important collection to help cover the costs of training our next generation of priests. Please be generous when you return the envelope next

As a follow-up to Fr. Tom’s comments about the financial status of the parish, I would like to provide you with some facts about the operations of the parish. While we are a non-profit organization, we are run like any other corporation. Our only source of revenue comes from the generous giving of our members. Our school and faith formation program generate tuition income and do a lot of fundraising, but that only covers about 68% of the cost of educating our children. A parish subsidy covers the remaining 32% (about $250,000 annually).

Our parish has 579 registered members. For various reasons, 346 do not contribute financially to the parish, even though our Diocesan assessments are based on our registered members or our “contributing units” (someone who gives $100 or more in a fiscal year). A number of families that do contribute do not even qualify as a contributing unit. We do have parishioners who struggle financially but still manage to contribute generously to the parish. We are blessed to have some parishioners who are able to contribute much more than the average. We offer monthly or bi-monthly payments via electronic funds transfers to help parishioners stay on track with their giving. If this option would suite your family’s financial situation, contact the parish office for the forms to get started!

For many years, Holy Cross has asked each registered family give $600 or more annually to help us meet our expenses. For the majority of our families, this is less than 1% of your annual income. Our actual need is closer to $725 per family per year. Our annual stewardship pledge campaign helps us to determine when and how much we can expect to receive in sacrificial giving, but to be honest, this year only 233 parishioners responded to the campaign, pledging a total of $257,000. We budgeted $418,600 in sacrificial giving and $54,000 in fundraising income to meet our expenses, but we are still short nearly $45,000 in projected income for the year. As Fr. Tom noted last week, if we have a shortfall, we must dip into our money market “cushion” to pay our bills. This cushion won’t last much longer.

Our typical monthly expenses for the church, rectory, school, and cemetery consist of employment expenses ($60,000); property insurance ($700); liturgical supplies (hosts, wine, candles, missalettes) ($350); utilities (gas, electricity, water, telephone, internet) ($4,226); janitorial services & supplies ($500); maintenance (lawn care, snow removal, repairs, etc.) ($1,870); office supplies, equipment maintenance ($1,250); Notre Dame and GRACE assessments ($8,533). Some months these costs are much higher. We are hoping that one way you can help support the parish at absolutely no cost to you is to purchase scrip gift cards for your purchases of gas, groceries, and other household needs. There is even a tax benefit for you if you do this (more on this later). Fr. Tom is fond of the expression “Deus providebit” or “God will provide.” I believe that God, working through you, will help the parish to continue to operate “in the black.” Please pray and then listen to God’s response about how YOU can help our parish financially.

Lori Flanagan, Business Manager

Related link: 8.15.10 Church Bulletin

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