Several weeks ago we had another finance council meeting. Here are some highlights:
- We looked at the most recent finance reports: the balance sheet, the income and expense report, the aging report.
- Deb Brickner is working with past years' records, and working with each person on staff to put together the next fiscal year's budget. We also received guidance from the Diocese on certain cost increases next year (e.g., insurance). The fiscal year for the Diocese runs from July 1st – June 30th . There are so many variables with our recent parish history, including the closing of the schools and the COVID-19 phenomenon. It might be a little difficult to forecast figures. My experience coming into parishes is that it usually takes three years to perfect the budget, making it a pretty accurate instrument. But, we will do our very best to put together a useful tool even in this first budget that we create!
- I've spoken to all the pastors/school leaders in Fremont and Tiffin about our desire to support those schools a bit from the parish finances. We are sending a check this spring to each school for $5,000. Then we will budget in $10,000 per school per year. Some of the support will contain leftover funds from our own school. That will be a great way to make sure that the funds still go towards the support of our youth in Catholic education, as they were intended. That will help (a bit) to offset the parishioner status that our families get at both of those schools. Of course, the St. Wendelin Education Foundation will continue to give generous support to those schools, as it has in the past couple years.
- Please remember to continue to support TRIP funding, by tying your grocery shopping (Kroger) and other shopping to our Parish TRIP program. Tami Honse has a list of businesses that support TRIP. Please stop by to get the list and see how you can tie your normal shopping routines into TRIP support. This is a super easy way to continue to support the Catholic education of our youth. The TRIP funding can be part of the parish subsidy to Fremont and Tiffin.
- As of the writing this letter, the pink house and garage project is almost completed. There were many delays, but it finally seems to be reaching completion.
- As of the writing of this letter, the Bishop completed the last canonical step required to sign the contract for the school property; and then Renee Smith of FEDC signed it on their behalf. All that remains is a meeting to work out closing details. Soon, FEDC and St. Wendelin Parish will publish a joint press release about the sale.
- As of the writing of this letter, the new live streaming camera has been installed and wired. But, the company still has to provide a CPU for us, as well as a dedicated laptop with all of the necessary software. Needless to say, any company installing computer equipment in these COVID-19 days will be overwhelmed with their clients' urgent needs; so we have had some delays. A donation was made to cover the total amount of this project. We were told that any leftover money from this project could be used towards the touchless faucets and toilets.
- We are collecting final bids to replace the rubber roof of the mausoleum in the cemetery. Leaky roofs are almost always first priority. We are going to fix the mortar cornice around the outside top of that roof as well, because deterioration soon could lead to small pieces falling off. These two parts of the mausoleum restoration together will cost about $40,000. We have $20,000 already committed. This money came from a past capital campaign at the parish. The donor was happy to recommit it to the mausoleum. We also have $10,000 left over from the renovation of the third floor of the offices. We have to put windows into the classroom doors on the third floor, however, before we can use left over towards the mausoleum repair. Those windows were to be the last step in the renovation. These mausoleum repairs – because they amount to more than $30,000 – will require us to go to the Diocese for permission. Other mausoleum repairs and improvements will happen step by step.
- People have been very, very generous with the Bishop's ACA campaign so far! At the time of the writing of this letter, we are at 71% of our goal! That's pretty good! As I explained at the beginning of the Bishop's campaign, meeting this goal is a great way to express to the Bishop that we understand how the Diocesan mission and our parish mission are interwoven and inter-dependent. I hope you can go back to that bulletin letter to see how the Diocese uses money from the ACA. If you haven't given any money yet, please consider even a small gift. Every little bit helps! Thanks again to those who have given!
- All of the bathroom faucets and toilet flushers have now been made touchless. The cost was about $6,759. We hope people appreciate the expense, given the times we are in. We are still awaiting permanent, touchless hand sanitizer dispensers for the gathering space. Those have been paid for by a donation. They are backordered.
- The PPP loan has now been officially forgiven. This is a relief!
So, there are the highlights from the meeting. Many thanks to all of you who have been so generous in so many ways – especially keeping the parish afloat throughout this year when COVID-19 presented such a financial threat to us! May the Lord bless all of your holy endeavors, and reward you in your generosity!
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae et Iosephus,