Pastor Finance Letter
October 10, 2012
As you read this letter, please keep in mind the question, "What does my faith mean to me?"
Pope Benedict XVI declared a "Year of Faith" to begin on October 11, 2012 and conclude on the Feast of the Christ the King, November 24, 2013. The "door of faith" was opened at one's baptism, but during this year of faith Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.
Sacred Heart Parish continues to be blessed with many parishioners who enable us to be a vibrant faith family. As with all families, this relationship brings privilege and responsibilities. The support of our parish is one of the ways in which we express our gratitude to God for all that God has given to us. I am grateful to our parishioners who have answered the call to serve in our parish's ministries, to the parish staff for their commitment to work for the Church, and for the financial support received from many of our parishioners.
It is important that we maintain and improve our parish's life and property. Recently, new hymnals were purchased; the second season of "Why Catholic" commenced; the exterior of our Church was painted; the new parking lot was paved and parking stripes applied; and landscaping was added around the rectory and new parking lot. New windows were installed on the first floor of the rectory with monies received from a parishioner who remembered Sacred Heart Parish in his estate planning. All of these improvements were accomplished through the generosity of parishioners who cherish our church.
In the role of pastor, one of my responsibilities is to provide an annual financial report to you. I have enclosed the "Statement of Income and Expenses" for the fiscal year end of June 30, 2012 for your review. Disappointingly, donations in comparison to the previous year show a significant shortfall in our weekly offertory of 5.4%, as well as a 9.3% decrease to our Grand Annual Collection. Decreasing income is a challenge when expenses are increasing. To uphold our tradition, we will begin our 2012 Grand Annual Collection on the weekend of October 13th/14th. The Annual Collection is an opportunity for all who care about Sacred Heart Parish to support our parish by doing their "fair share" - especially those who cannot or do not give on a regular basis through the weekly offertory. Regrettably, a number of our parish's families fall into this category. Although Sacred Heart Parish has 2,126 registered households for a total of 5,412 parishioners, approximately 962 attend weekly Sunday Mass.
Our Grand Annual Goal is $125,000.00. In this effort I ask every household to donate a minimum of $250.00. I understand that some may find this difficult, while others may be in a position to give more in a grateful spirit of stewardship. I have enclosed a commitment card with suggested amounts along with an envelope that may be returned in the collection basket or by mail. You may choose to fulfill your gift over a period of two months. I hope this will enable more families to participate in this very important appeal.
In closing, it is my privilege to serve as your pastor and I prayerfully ask that each one of us just "do the best we can with what God gave us."
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. John W. O'Brien, pastor