Last evening in the rectory, almost twenty dedicated parishioners gathered for one of several meetings in preparation for our upcoming Pan American Festival on Sunday, October 7. This is one of our main parish gatherings celebrating the colorful diversity of our parish, but event also generates much needed funds for our general parish operations. Please show your support for the parish and the many volunteers who have worked so hard to put together this special event.
I recently met with our parish Finance Council. At this point in time we are keenly aware of the ongoing financial strain caused by the lack of adequate rent of the school and convent. Over these past years, the Finance Council and I have met with multiple organizations, schools and agencies in the hope of renting the spaces to generate income for the parish. We have had some limited success and are grateful to the few tenants we do have. However, the rental income we receive at this point is far less than what we were receiving when the school and convent were fully occupied with tenants some years ago. Even with some higher weekly collections, we still carry a substantial debt resulting from our ordinary expenses exceeding our income. That current debt is $316,331. There are very clear reasons for this debt. We are discussing ways of reducing expenses which are primarily in the area of salary. For instance, our maintenance staff has been significantly reduced over the years as we rely far more on volunteers. We are most grateful for these volunteers. We are also looking at reducing some of the hours the rectory is open. In the near future, we will provide further detail regarding our financial situation. However, at this point in time I wish to convey a very simple message that comes from our discussions with the Finance Council. We have studied the numbers of people who are actually donating to the parish in the weekly collection at the weekend masses or using online giving.
We have calculated that if each person or family who is donating were to contribute around $20 every week, then we will stop the growth of the debt that we currently have.
The Finance Council suggests that we continue focusing on the weekly collection in order to avoid any further increases to this debt. I am aware that some of our parishioners are giving far more than $20 per week, and I feel grateful knowing that people are doing the very best they can in these difficult and economically challenging times, so can you please consider a $20 each week for yourself, or for your family?
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish has thrived by the generosity of time, talent and treasure for years. Let’s continue together in prayer as a community united in faith.