35 Dartmouth Street, Garden City, New York 11530 - (516) 352-5904
How Do I?

Fr. Tom’s Letters

 

Each week Fr. Tom writes a letter to parishioners in our bulletin.  Every letter is comprehensive, including current information about the Parish, an explanation of Scripture for that Sunday, and an invitation to become more engaged in the life of the parish.

 

 

 

 

November 17, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

Beginning tomorrow night, Monday, November 18, we will be hosting three consecutive Monday evening autumn chats on three important topics related to our parish. The three scheduled evenings are:

Monday, November 18 7:30 PM: PARISH FINANCES

Monday, November 25 7:30 PM: NEW PARISH BUILDING: ST. FRANCIS MINISTRY CENTER

Monday, December 2 7:30 PM: CLERGY ABUSE SCANDAL

Each of these topics have importance to our parishioners. I hope that this model of taking Monday evenings as an opportunity for conversation about pertinent issues of all kinds may serve as a model for dialogue for the parish as we move forward. I think that parish conversation is important and that it is vital for a healthy parish to communicate regularly.

So we begin this Monday night sharing information about parish finances. We will be using the financial statements for the fiscal year end report of 2018-2019 as a framework for the evening. These are our most recent financial reports. Questions will be welcome.

Our capital campaign this past year skews the numbers in a favorable way for the end of fiscal year final report. The parishioner generosity that has grown to nearly $3.8 million dollars in pledges significantly increased our revenue this last fiscal year. Those pledges of $1,474,215 have already been paid and appears as revenue, making our total revenue for the year $3,741,111. Our total expenditures for the year were $2,684,517, leaving us with a surplus of $1,056,594.

To get a more real understanding of the revenue and expenditures of the past year, we can subtract the campaign dollars from the revenue side and $574,600 of capital expenses from the expenditure side. Our more real operating surplus for 2018-2019 is $85,178. If you are confused by this logic, it will be more clearly explained on Monday evening.

The majority of parish revenue comes from the Sunday, Christmas, and Easter collections. All three declined from the previous year. Sunday and holyday collections were $1,233,602, down 2% from the previous year. The Christmas collection, $229,941, was down 5% from the previous year. The Easter collection, $120,653, was down 11% from the previous year. Reason for the decline is mostly a continued decline in Mass attendance. We do believe more parishioners using the electronic giving of WeSHARE would help us stem the pattern of reduced Sunday collection revenue. WE ASK ALL PARISHIONERS TO CONSIDER USING WeSHARE.

Other significant revenue includes our Catholic Ministries Appeal rebate of $46,603 and fundraisers (mostly Spirit Day) netting $85,105. Revenue from parish programs including Religious Education, Parish Social Ministry, and other programs is spent on those programs, $294,508. Other revenues include sacramental offerings, poor boxes, votive shrines, interest income, all second collections, donations and bequests, all of which add up to approximately $260,000. Exact numbers for all these revenues and explanation of their use can be provided on Monday evening.

I will now offer information on our expenditures. Our expenditures increased by $314,484 over the previous year. This increase is largely because of the capital expenses of the past year that included church painting, pew refurbishing, floor refinishing, sound system update, boiler installation, and security camera installation. Please note that these projects were completed with no additional parish fundraising. Parishioner generosity through the years with Sunday collections and Spirit Day fundraising met all the costs associated with these projects. Thank you for all your past support for these projects.

As we did in our presentation for the parish revenue and backed out the capital campaign revenue, if we back out the capital expenses for the past two years ($574,600 for 2018-2019, $223,257 for 2017-2018), our ordinary operating expenditures declined by $8,098 from the prior year to this year. Salaries and fringe benefits both declined by 6% because of retirements and reduced staff. Both remain our highest expenditures, added together about $1,050,000. The school subsidy, $250,000 and parish programs, $246,370 add up to about $500,000. Parish office operations, $90,316 and rectory household, $24,446, along with liturgical, $60,000, diocesan assessments, $135,500 and buildings and maintenance, $187,000 and second collections, $66,573, all add up to $2,043,344 of our ordinary operating expenses compared to $2,051,442 for the previous year.

Again, it’s hard to convey all this information in a clear and coherent way. In a later bulletin, numbers will be offered in a column form. Questions can be asked about our finances on Monday evening.

Our parish school operated with a revenue of $2,754,288 and expenses totaled $2,799,478 for a deficit of $45,190. The revenue includes the parish subsidy of $250,000. The deficit is an improvement of $64,450 over the previous year. Our aim is to have a balanced year in terms of revenue and expenses that includes a parish subsidy. Again, specific questions about the school financials can be asked on Monday evening.

I hope this information is helpful and I would be happy to respond to questions.

I am very grateful to Mrs. Mary Lou Engrassia, our Director of Parish Operations, our very capable and helpful staff, and our Finance Committee and Parish Trustees who meet quarterly to monitor our finances and make recommendations. I am very grateful to the parish for its continued generosity and support.

Peace be with you.

Fr. Tom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The letters are available in PDF and require Adobe Reader to view.  If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download it for FREE by clicking the graphic to the right.