Finances & Stewardship

This week Mr. Tom Swim (our interim administator) gave me the good news that, in terms of ordinary income, we are ahead of our 1999-2000 budget! Our collection last weekend totalled $10,135 which put us $277 ahead. That is certainly good news and I am grateful to all of you who are rallying behind the parish. At the same time we continue to face a tight cash flow situation which largely came about because of the need to replace two boilers last winter and spring. Also in recent years we have made many repairs to our buildings. Maintaining our parish facilities has required making some sacrifices in other areas. Two paid positions on our parish staff have been eliminated and that area of programming is carried out by volunteers. I am most grateful for the work of Eleanor Cummings and others in our RCIA, baptism preparation, and other programs.

While our economic situation is challenging, there are many positive signs here at Holy Family. For example we have grown greatly in both registered parishioners and in Sunday Mass attendance. When we did our Mass count four years ago, 1700 people were attending. In our most recent count, there have been over 2400! Registered parishioners have gone from around 1200 to about 1900.

At our last Building Discernment Committee meeting we talked about the needs of our parish. What faces us most immediately is making the seismic upgrade to our school building, but beyond that the need for a new multi-purpose facility which could serve as a gym, social hall, classrooms, etc. It was asked how we could possibly raise the money to build such a facility. One way of looking at it is to calculate what would happen if each registered household gave just one dollar a day over three years. We would have close to two million dollars!

The immediate challenge before us is Sacrificial Giving. You will be hearing more about it during the coming weeks. I am sending a letter to all our households and in November there will be some presentations on this vital topic. On Nov. 6-7 Tom Swim will be giving a more detailed financial report and a young couple will be speaking at our Masses on the weekend of November 13-14. I will be back from Peru that weekend and will be asking you to consider the gifts of time, talent and treasure which you have received from God and how to make a return to him for his great goodness.

Fr. Phil Bloom
October 17, 1999