As you may remember, every year each pastor in the Catholic Church is required to make an annual report to his parishioners about the stewardship of the parish finances. This weekend, I am presenting our Annual Report for the Fiscal Year of July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.
Most of all, thank you! We were still going through the effects of Covid throughout most of that year. Attendance in church had slipped, but many were using the opportunity of our live-streamed Masses at 10:30 am on Sunday. (Which we will continue indefinitely, as long as parishioners are using the service.)
Throughout the pandemic, most parishioners continued their weekly contributions, making it possible to pay our bills. Thank you!
The Annual Report has three columns to give everyone a means of comparison. The first column is the previous (2020-2021) year’s report of Actual dollars, which was also during the pandemic. The middle column is the most recent year’s (2021-2022) Actual dollars. And the third column is the Budget numbers for the year we are currently in.
Mostly we are okay. That is because of some budget tightening I have already reported on in previous bulletins: when Kevin Chears retired, we did not fill her position; when Jane Callahan-More retired, we filled her position with a half-time person; and some cutbacks in other areas.
What is most striking about this year’s report can be found on lines 14 (Utilities), 16 (Archdiocesan Assessments), and 17 (Insurance). These three categories on the report show a substantial increase in the previously completed Fiscal Year (2021). The increase in these numbers is because the campus of the now-closed St. Ignatius Parish is now in our parish boundaries and we are responsible for its upkeep, etc. Until some or all of the St. Ignatius property is sold, the expenses are in our budget.
So, for right now, we are in a deficit position because of those extra expenses. However, as soon as any part of the campus is sold, the proceeds first go to pay off any bills that have accumulated since the closing. So, we would be paid back in that first step. Then, after the bills have been paid, the remainder of the proceeds will be divided between St. Jerome and St. Gertrude. (As I have mentioned earlier, as far as I know, there is a potential buyer for the school portion of the campus, but so far, no serious inquiries for the church part of the campus.)
Aside from that temporary unique situation, everything else is pretty normal. But we now have to consider raising funds so additional cuts will not be necessary. That will likely lead us to an Offertory Increase program. This is not a surprise, and it is something we have considered for the past few years. It just didn’t seem prudent in the midst of the pandemic to be launching a financial campaign. But it can’t be put off much longer.
Part of what the report isn’t able to relay is the generosity of so many parishioners to those “on the peripheries.” Your contributions to the Refugee Ministry, to the many special collections which benefit those in need in the broader church and world, the Giving Tree and many other worthy activities is most appreciated.
Each year, every pastor is required to share the state of the parish finances with parishioners. On the other side of this letter is the Financial Report for the fiscal year that ended June 30. As we discussed at the recent Finance Council meeting reviewing this year’s report, it is nothing less than amazing that in the midst of the COVID pandemic we have done so well. This is all due to your generosity and I want to thank you for remembering St. Gertrude Parish -- even when you were not able to be here in person because of the virus.
As you can see in the report, in spite of the pandemic, our Ordinary Income (your contributions) remained pretty much unchanged from the previous year. Thank you! The second factor, reflected in the “Other Extraordinary Income” line of the report is the deposit of PPP funds provided by the federal government which allowed us to keep all our employees during those most difficult days. The third item was a slight reduction in staff hours by re-arranging some responsibilities and not filling a position immediately. Together, these produced the first positive Annual Report in many, many years! Thank you!
Unrelated to the Annual Report, but appropriate to this communication, is an equally large expression of gratitude for the success of our recent campaign to tend to some repairs and improvements. The fund-raising campaign was initiated in response to an unexpected grant from the Polk Bros. Foundation through the generous suggestion of our former parishioner, Ray Simon. That gift of $100,000 became the instigator of the campaign to allow us to make these necessary repairs and improvements. Our goal was an additional $100,000. Because of the amazing response of so many parishioners, we actually received slightly over $175,000! The first of the projects -- additional handrails to assist people navigating between different levels in the church have now been installed. And we are beginning the process of narrowing the possible bids for new carpeting in the church. Because of winter, we won’t be able to start the exterior maintenance projects until the weather is kinder.
The stewardship of our campus is an important responsibility. Just as we have been recipients of this beautiful set of buildings which glorifies God and provides us beauty and reverence, so also must we care well for the campus that future generations may also benefit.
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Rev. Rich Prendergast
In recent weeks, we shared two different financial reports regarding the parish's finances - the Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year that ended on June 30, 2020 and a report that compares the financial picture during the pandemic (from March 13, 2020 through December 31, 2020) with the same period from the year earlier. Both reports are linked below.
There are three line items I would like to direct your attention to in this comparison report. The first is Income. Our Sunday/Holy Day income from March 13 through December 31, 2019 was $476,982.23. In 2020, during the pandemic, our income was $413,512.40. The difference was $63,469.83, or a decrease of 13.31%.
The second is our Expenses. From March 13 through December 31, 2019, our expenses were $788,273.47. In 2020, during the pandemic, our expenses were $691,391.20. The difference was $96,882.27, a decrease of $12.29%.
The third item in this comparison is the accounting of the PPP funds we received from the government for some of our payroll expenses. We received a total of $111,600.00. This unexpected source of revenue greatly lessened our losses in this time period, although we won’t know the full picture until we reach both the end of the fiscal year and the end of the pandemic. As the numbers indicate right now, we expect to have another deficit by the time we get to the end of this fiscal year on June 30, 2021.
Please feel free to contact me or our Business Manager, Art Blumberg, if you have any questions.
Thank you for all you do to continue to make St. Gertrude Parish healthy, vital, and viable!
~ Fr. Rich Prendergast
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.