As I mention each year, it is a requirement of church law that every pastor makes an annual report to the parishioners, giving an accounting of the Stewardship of their contributions in the Sunday Offertory as well as other donations.
This year, I would like to share two reports. The first is the usual Annual Financial Report from the Fiscal Year 2019-2020. I apologize that it is so late this year. I held off on publishing the report for the year that ended on June 30, 2020, because I wanted to see if there were trends that could be identified since the pandemic began.
Therefore, this week we are publishing the Annual Financial Report. Next week, we will publish a comparison of the actual income and expenses from the start of the initial pandemic shutdown (March 13) through December 31, 2020, and the figures from the same time period in 2019. That gives us a more realistic look at how we are doing financially.
A few comments on the 2019-2020 Annual Financial Report:
Next week, we will publish the year-to-year comparison within the framework of the actual time since the pandemic started in March through the end of the year, as compared to the same dates from the previous year.
Thank you to everyone who has continued their weekly contributions to St. Gertrude Parish! It is amazing how many parishioners have maintained their Sunday offertory contributions regardless of whether they feel safe coming to church every Sunday or watch Mass live-streamed.
I want to repeat that no one should come to church if they feel their health is threatened in any way. This is especially true of people over 65, and anyone with any pre-existing conditions that might make you more susceptible to getting sick. Hopefully, the vaccines will soon be readily available and we can put this pandemic behind us. In the meantime, please be careful.
As always, if you have any questions about the Annual Financial Report, please feel free to contact me, or our Business Manager, Art Blumberg. We are happy to answer any questions.
Fr. Rich Prendergast
Dear St. Gertrude Parishioners,
Compassion/mercy. Faith. Gratitude. These themes have been the focus of the Gospel passages we have listened to these three weeks. We have been invited to consider Stewardship here at St. Gertrude Parish: putting our faith into action through the use of our time, our talents, and our treasure. If I were to sum up the difference in attitude stewardship brings to our hearts and souls, I would say we are being good stewards when instead of asking, “What can you do for me today?”, we ask, “What can I do to make God’s love more present in my family, my community, and my world?”
That change in attitude changes everything! It takes the focus off of me and places it where it belongs—on all my sisters and brothers, especially the least among us. And it moves us out of a feeling of helplessness and powerlessness to being engaged disciples, doing the best we can with the gifts we have while leaving the rest up to God.
A few weeks ago, members of the Refugee Ministry spoke at all the Masses reporting on their wonderful work. Then the second collection was taken up to fund welcoming another refugee family to our community. That collection raised over $6,000—more than $1,000 over the amount needed to sponsor a family! But here was the next amazing thing—about five days later, I received a very warm note in the mail from some out-of-state folks who come here for Mass now and again because of relatives in the parish. The note explained how glad they were to be in Church when the Refugee Ministry representatives were speaking. They felt certain the
collection would be adequate to sponsor another family. And they were enclosing a check for $5,000—enough to sponsor another family—because no such ministry existed in their own home parish! Gratitude begot gratitude.
God indeed does work in mysterious and wonderful ways! As we spend some time reflecting on the stewardship of our “treasure” this month, let us each ask ourselves the simple questions: how well am I putting my faith into action? Is my compassion and mercy demonstrable in the way I treat others—especially those who are the least, the lost, the broken and suffering? Do I realize that faith pervades my entire life—my faith in my partner/spouse, my faith in my family members, my faith in my friends, my faith in my community? And finally, how well do I make gratitude for all I have an essential part of my every day life? Do I regularly thank God for my gifts? Do I regularly acknowledge the people who are part of my life and express my gratitude to each of them? Do I share my blessings with my community and parish, with those in need, with those who are today suffering?
Last year at this time, every parishioner was asked to consider what they were contributing weekly in the Sunday Offertory collection. Many thanks to all those who responded and increased their weekly offering! I encourage you again this year to consider how you use your treasure to put your faith into action. As you can tell from the financial report, although we are doing a little better, the Sunday offertory is still not meeting regular expenses. We will still end the year in a deficit. Recently, in an attempt to bring us closer to budget and out of deficit, some expenses have been cut. Because there is really no “fat” to cut, we did not replace the administrative assistant at Heart to Heart, and some of the pastoral staff are having their hours reduced by 20%. These moves will help us get closer to a balanced budget, but they will not be enough. Please spend some time in prayer and thoughtful reflection on your own weekly gift to the parish. And thank you for all you do for St. Gertrude Parish!
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
Rev. Richard J. Prendergast
Please click on the image above or the link below for a PDF of the Annual Report for fiscal year 2019.