I hope this letter finds you safe and well. The last four months have proven to be some of the most challenging times we could imagine. Together we have faced issues of health, unemployment, isolation, and the suspension of all public Masses for 11 weeks.
I am grateful for your continuous prayers, understanding, and support during these past unprecedented 4 months. No one could have anticipated the events that have transpired in the last few months and the future is still unpredictable.
One of the most difficult decisions I have had to make as your pastor was furloughing a group of employees last April. I am happy to report that all furloughed staff have returned to us and are actively planning First Communions, Confirmations, and other services and bringing the joy of music back to our liturgies. Our School has operated very efficiently during the past 4 months thanks to the efforts of Kevin Varner, our principal, and his tremendous staff. Online education and countless Zoom calls were utilized extensively to continue the school year from home. On June 8th we celebrated graduation for the 8th-grade class. OLC School is scheduled to resume on August 19, 2020, and faith formation programs are being planned to begin in late September or early October.
For the past 12 weeks, the Finance Council and I have met on Thursdays via Zoom examining the financial status of the parish. Again, we are extremely grateful for your generosity and sacrificial contributions to OLC throughout the pandemic. While many of our parishioners were fortunate enough to continue with their generous giving, many were unable to do so.
As our parish fiscal year comes to a close on June 30, 2020, the Diocese has requested a parish budget for our new fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. Unfortunately, we do not know what the next 6-12 months will look like given the past four months. However, we have great faith that Christ will be with us and guiding us as we travel through uncharted territory in 2020-2021.
Regarding our current financial position. The primary numbers which drive our Parish budget are:
(1) Offertory contributions
(2) Donations to the OLC Education Foundation.
For the past 15 weeks,
-Offertory collections are down approximately $40,000 (12%) compared to the same 15 weeks a year ago.
-OLC Educational Foundation contributions are down approximately $84,000 (33%) over the past 15 weeks compared to last year.
The current draft of our budget projects that expenses will exceed income by approximately $200,000 for our fiscal year ended June 30, 2021. This budget includes no compensation increases for our staff. We are in the process of making significant cuts to a variety of expense categories and brainstorming ideas for enhancing income. Our current savings are minimal. Your ideas are welcome!
We did receive a stimulus check (loan) from the Government in early May for $298,000 which has greatly assisted our cash flow. It is yet to be determined how much and when it will be required to be paid back.
We continue to struggle with the Diocesan Catholic Services Appeal 2020. As of June 25, 2020, pledges have totaled $185,000 or 77% of our Diocesan assessment of $238,000. Please keep in mind that any shortfall on this goal must be made up by the parish and any overage is returned to the parish. You can easily update your CSA pledge online at the Diocese website.
Our capital building campaign, Rooted in Christ, Growing to Serve, is coming to a close in January 2021. As of May 31, 2020; total pledges received were approximately $3,600,000; total paid to date was approximately $2,800,000. We have secured a loan from the Diocese of $1,400,000, to finance the remainder. This loan requires principal and interest payments of approximately $100,000 for the fiscal year 2021.
We are definitely feeling the challenges of our budget and cash flow requirements. Future cuts in expenditures may be required. We promise to do our best within our budget constraints. We ask that you pray about and continue to challenge your financial contributions to the Parish.
Thank you very much for your dedication and commitment to our parish family.
Our Lady of Consolation, pray for us!
Sincerely Yours in Christ,