I want to thank once again, Tim Throndson who spoke two weeks ago about our parish finances. And here, I’d like to re-state what I wrote in our annual report which was distributed after all Masses a couple of weeks ago: In our 2018-2019 annual report, you will find information on our parish finances. Last year at this time we told you that our parish offertory had risen 6% from the previous year; this year our parish offertory was down 1% from the past year. A possible factor for this is the news last year of the clerical abuse scandal from Pennsylvania; it was about that time that we noticed our offertory begin to decline. We also know that, every year, many people move away from the area, and many people move into the area; we are a parish that is characterized by constant movement. Whatever the reasons may be, our parish depends on our offertory for the ongoing operations of parish ministries such as faith formation, justice and peace, pastoral care, liturgy; for the care and upkeep of our buildings; for our parish staff – for everything that allows St. Francis to be the vibrant parish we are within the diocese. And so we encourage ou to prayerfully reflect on the ways God is at work within our parish –
through liturgy, outreach to the marginalized, pastoral care of the sick, formation of our youth, schools, and countless other ways, and consider your own financial commitment to St. Francis. And thank you!
Thank you as well to David Nerz, outgoing chair of our Finance Council, for his service the past two years and to Tim Throndson, new chair of our Finance Council, for his willingness to serve. We have a very good and committed Finance Council – I have great confidence in the way our financial resources are handled both by our staff and our Council.
Next weekend, our new parish council will gather with staff and other parish leaders for two days of reflection on our parish: where have we been, who are we now, and where is God calling us? This will be a time for us to reflect on what it means to be a parish that goes by the name of St. Francis – who was this 13th century Umbrian saint and what does
he mean for us today? Also a time for us to reflect on our parish mission statement; also a time for us to reflect on, in the words of a document from the Second Vatican Council, “the signs of the times,” i.e. what’s the world like today, what’s the environment we inhabit in these times, and how does the gospel speak to that? Many thanks to all who have helped organize these sessions and we will have news to report.
Blessings on your week!