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October 24, 2021: Financial Summary for Fiscal Year 2021
This week I take the opportunity to publish the Financial Summary of Operations for Fiscal Year 2021 here at St. Cassian Parish. This year, while there was tremendous difficulty because of the pandemic, there is good news and bad news. I would like to use this bulletin message to highlight both and to make a few points about the Parish’s finances. The bottom line is that we operated at a nearly $68,000 deficit. I believe that it could have been much worse, and I expect it to get much better for next year.
The good news from this summary is that our Expenses have remained nearly identical to last year, and substantially lower than the fiscal year two years ago. This is a great achievement, especially since no individual expense is less costly now than two years ago, as you all know. Salaries, supplies, utilities, employee benefits, etc., are all more expensive than ever. For the most part, these are all necessary expenses, as opposed to discretionary ones. However, our staff, Financial and Parish Councils, accountant, and Trustees have all been very helpful in advising as to how we can reduce costs and I believe that we will continue to lower many of the expenses that we can, and next year we will reduce them even further.
The pandemic was obviously difficult for everyone as well as the Parish, as for much of the year we did not have many attendees at Mass. I am very grateful for those of you who did attend frequently and continued to make your contributions to the Parish in person or from home. While the numbers of parishioners at Mass was much lower, our heating, maintaining, and providing for the church, rectory, and entire campus did not reduce. Thank you for recognizing this and continuing to support the needs of the Parish.
For the past few weeks, especially since the middle of September, we have seen a great increase in people coming to church, but it is still a far cry from the years prior to Covid. While I look forward to an increase in Mass attendance and the usual “bump” in collections, I am happier because people are returning to church more regularly, and that is important for the spiritual growth of our Parish which is our most important work and goal.
There is more good news, too. This past year, not only did we reach our Annual Appeal goal, we exceeded it, and are even continuing to see contributions trickle in. This is important because we receive a rebate for what we achieve over our goal. And, again, and more importantly, by donating to the Annual Appeal, we are able to help those who are most in need, as well as those most affected by the devastation of the pandemic.
While the pandemic meant a great decrease in the number of event and services of the Parish, all the Sacraments continued to be celebrated and we had some wonderful celebrations. During this past fiscal year (July 2020 to June 2021), our Parish celebrated 35 Baptisms, 123 First Holy Communions, 153 Confirmations, one Marriage (as several were changed to different dates), and 25 Funerals/Memorial Masses. Confessions were heard throughout the year as they usually are, except they were celebrated in the open church building. Obviously, these most sacred moments, the Sacraments were uninterrupted.
I am excited how we are returning to Mass and the Parish events are returning as well: there are Bible studies, an upcoming Advent Lecture series, and various other social and spiritual events occurring and being planned, especially as they are part of our Vine and Branches initiative. All these are signs of our Parish’s vitality.
As we continue to plan for the next year and future years, it is important that everyone realizes, that, identical to the way everyone’s expenses at home increase, the Parish is no different. I do not want to continue to use Parish savings to fund our regular operations which is what occurred the last couple of years. You can all relate to this, as you certainly try to maintain your household the same way. It is obviously more financially “healthy” for our Revenues to take care of our Expenses, and this is my goal each year.
There are a few ways that I believe we as a Parish can make this happen: we plan on a 5 to 7% increase in Expenses each year, so I ask everyone to prayerfully discern if you are able to increase your giving by that same 5 to 7% just to cover increases. Also, so many of you have been giving to the Building and Maintenance Fund, which is very helpful, as this giving is “assessment-free” and is used for the B+M needs at St. Cassian Parish. Finally, each week I have “wish list” items listed in the bulletin as the Legacy Fund. This fund is used for immediate or future needs of the Parish, as well as some pastoral projects or events. This fund is also assessment-free.
While these past few years have been financially difficult ones, we have not missed out on the most important moments of our Parishioners’ lives, especially sacramentally and pastorally. We will continue these. At the same time, I ask for your help and consideration in helping our Revenues cover our Expenses in order to maintain the financial health of St. Cassian Parish.
I am, as always, very grateful for your choice in being Parishioners and I assure you of my continued prayers, especially that the Lord will continue to bless you and keep you safe.
Rev. Marc A. Vicari,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
— John 3:16