Dear parishioners, may I speak to you?
Stewardship is a part of our Catholic spirituality. It requires prayerful reflection, an acceptance of responsibilities and generous hearts. True stewardship also involves sacrifice.
Our parish provides Catholic education because of the sacrifice of parish members to donate funds for a new school building (and leave the parish debt free). Our accredited faith-based academic program averages about 128 children, and includes a 4K program. We provide teacher supervision for children during after-school hours in our “Aftercare” program. Adult parishioners gather for prayer, Bible studies, social action, book clubs, faith sharing, and dinners. From our youngest to most senior we strengthen our bonds and our sense of mission at Eucharist.
We accept responsibility for maintaining what we have, for building on what was given to us to carry on the faith at St. Patrick’s parish and school. Prices increase and, as employers, we look to pay our teachers what is just, but see that we fall short. Our teachers offer their service as a true sacrifice on behalf of our students. Our concentration on finishing a new school project during the past decade put upkeep and maintenance of our other parish facilities and grounds on hold, so their condition is escalating to becoming a larger project.
The vision work group places great importance on the need to engage the young families and parish youth, our next generation of Catholics, and initiate new programs in the parish involving evangelization, fellowship and social justice. They openly consider the possibility of increasing parish staff to accomplish these initiatives.
I can assure you that the leadership is exploring every possibility of prudence in what we spend; I ask that each and every one of you examine your practice of sacrificial giving. Our regular “offertory” contributions remain steady over the past few years. We have had deficit spending the past three years and that cannot continue. Operating expenses of our parish (salaries, insurance, operating expenses, building upkeep, etc.) are stretching our regular income and spending down our reserves.
With that I am asking that each of your take the time to prayerfully reconsider your level of giving to the parish and respond with some commitment for the next year and the years beyond.
The parish looks at income, budgets, and plans. This “What Faith Can Do” Sustainable Offertory Campaign will give parish leadership a clearer idea of what the future holds. There are always many needs. As a parish family we can answer those needs by praising together, planning together and pulling together. Again, I thank you all for your continued support.