15th Sunday of the Year

Dear Friends in Christ,

Our new fiscal year began on 1 July, and I want to give you a quick overview of our financial situation, with a look back and a look ahead.

We finished the old fiscal year on 30 June with a surplus of $126 on a budget of just over $1.6 million, and that money was raised in our primary offertory collections, for which we needed an average of $31,500 each week. From these funds we pay all operating costs which keep the parish open and running, and I am deeply grateful to everyone who contributed in the past fiscal year. It is from the church operating budget that we pay for everything except capital
projects and school operations, and we work very hard to keep our costs under control so that your gifts are used to maximum effect. Even with careful controls, though, our costs do increase slightly over time, and so for the new fiscal year, I need to raise our weekly offertory target $500, going from $31,500 to $32,000. To help us maintain our good financial health, I have three requests for every household in the parish:

1. I ask each household to increase your regular offertory gifts 2% over last year. For example, if you were giving $35 each week until now, your new gift would be $35.70. Such a minimal increase, if embraced consistently by all active parishioners, will allow us to finish another year in the black.

2. I ask each household to use Electronic Fund Transfer to make your offertory gifts. Setting up EFT is easy and quick, and you have complete control over the amount and timing of your gifts. Making your offertory gifts through EFTlowers our costs, simplifies record keeping, and reduces the labor of counting and recording the collection. You can stop EFT at any time, but once you set it up, you never need to write another check, and to set up EFT for your family, please contact Jennifer Doiron, Director of Finance, at jennifer.doiron@stmarysgvl.org.

3. I ask every household in the parish to make regular offertory gifts, not for the sake of our bottom line but for the sake of your spiritual life. Being a disciple of the Lord Jesus requires, among other things, an accounting of our stewardship of the goods entrusted to our care, and there is no possibility of being a mature disciple without also being a responsible steward. No matter how much you can give, you do need to give and you need to give each week. Otherwise, you will remain a spectator rather than a participant in the life of grace, and there are no spectators in the Kingdom of God.

Father Newman