I invite you to take note of the 2019 Annual Report published in this week’s bulletin. The report includes the “highlights” at the bottom of the sheet to gain an overall sense of our financial picture. The report shows two main sources of income: ordinary and extraordinary. Our total ordinary income was down by 7% compared to 2018, while our total extra-ordinary was up by 12% compared to 2018. This is due to the increased success in fundraising from our Dinner Dance, Summer Festival, Pan American Festival and Our Lady’s Garden brick project.
Expenses are also reported in two categories: ordinary and extraordinary. The main category in ordinary expenses is wages. Our wage expenses are down by 5% from 2018 due to reductions in staff. Overall, our ordinary expenses rose by 2% compared to 2018, largely due to increases in maintenance/repair, archdiocesan assessments and unemployment insurance.
Our debt has been increasing over the past years, and last year it grew by $152,183 mainly to the Archdiocese of Chicago. Every parish cooperates with the Archdiocese in providing ministry and services in our parishes. There are many services we receive from the Archdiocese Pastoral Center every year, with almost 100 offices and ministries listed on the website at archchicago.org. Our pastoral, administrative staff and I depend on the support of several of these offices and ministries every year, yet we have not been paying the normal assessment to the Archdiocese and now owe more than $409,633 over the past seven years. To be clear, we do not have any outstanding debts with any of the many vendors and service providers for the parish. The greatest debt challenge today resulted from the loss of rental income from the school and convent over several years, about 40%. Therefore, I and the Parish Finance Council have decided upon the following steps to be taken:
- Increase fundraising through our Dinner Dance, Summerfest, PanAmerican Fest events.
- Enroll in the archdiocesan “Turn-Around” Program, which will include an in-debt analysis our expenses and income.
- Rely on the cost-saving changes already made: reduced hours of operations, maintenance, staffing and religious education. Generous volunteers for maintenance and our own priests assuming religious education for children further decrease expenses.
- Collaborate with the Archdiocese Office of Real Estate to assess the value of the convent to prepare for its sale.
- Participate in a Commonwealth Edison energy-saving program to install LED fixtures.
There is always more to say, especially regarding stewardship of our finances in the parish. For those who are interested, there are more financial details available in the parish office at any time.
Let us continue to pray for one another and all those whose lives are blessed by the wonderful ministries happening here everyday.