About Parish Finances

(September 19, 1999)

A pastor in some ways is like any father of a large family. From time to time we worry about how to make ends meet, how to pay all the bills. This is particularly the case at the beginning of the fiscal year which for us starts on July 1. As a parish with a school some of our major expenses arrive "up front." And the summer months are when some of our parishioners are away so the collections tend to be somewhat smaller. Still, God is good and two parishioners were inspired to give donations of $4000 and $2500. These were a tremendous help, although even so our cash flow is nevertheless rather restricted.

Thanks be to God, now that the school year has begun our collections have improved somewhat. We are closer to being on target in terms of our parish budget. I have to say that Mr. Tom Swim has been a tremendous help in getting on top of all this and giving a truer of picture of our parish finances. He brings a wonderful expertise to this aspect of parish administration.

The addition of a sixth weekend Mass has been a help in terms of the overall giving in our Sunday collections. It also gives us a broader base for the Sacrificial Giving presentation in November. It is really Sacrificial Giving, the Sunday envelope, which maintains our parish. The concept behind Sacrificial Giving is not just that the parish needs your support, but that you need to give back to God some of what he has blessed you with. Sacrificial Giving is right at the heart of the Gospel message. When you think about, everything we have - our health, our family, our intelligence and skills, the energy to work hard, the opportunity to live in the abundant nation - all is from God himself. Sacrificial Giving thankfully recognizes God's free gift and as an act of worship returns a portion to Him.

At Holy Family Parish we have before us great challenges, but also wonderful opportunities. In a few months we will enter the new millenium. I am convinced that the words God spoke a long while ago apply very much to us: "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Building Discernment