REPORT ON THE PARISH
Over the next few weeks, I would like to communicate a number of recent developments to the parish at large. some of these are pastoral in nature, some are spiritual. This week the items are more temporal in nature.
The parcel of land immediately next to the rectory was recently sold. The amount provided to the parish was approximately $70,000 and was earmarked to reduce the amount of parish debt. I would personally like to commend and thank Dave Gratz on this endeavor. The parcel required the careful, and very time-consuming, negotiation of numerous, detailed variances over many months. The Parish of St. Monica is grateful for his selfless and professional service in completing this contract.
With this influx of cash, The Parish Finance Committee performed an analysis of:
- The current parish finances,
- The amount of liquidity in our accounts,
- The amount of any significant projected short-term maintenance and repairs
- The amount of reserves that the parish should keep on-hand to cover any unforeseen financial challenges (6-months of parish operating expenses if typically recommended for non-profit organizations).
After this analysis, the Parish Finance Council recommended to me that we take sufficient funds from our reserves and pay off the remainder of the parish debt, to which I agreed. Thus, after only 2 years, the parishioners of St. Monica have provided the means to fully pay off the parish debt to the archdiocese. This is an occasion for which the parish can be proud and thankful and I thank the current, and previous, Parish Finance Councils for their work in accomplishing this very important goal.
The Parish of St. Monica was recently named the partial beneficiary of a generous bequest from the estate of Bill Ward. The documents for the receipt of this gift are currently being processed. Bill’s generosity sparked two conversations within the parish leadership.
The first conversation involved one of the aspects of our Parish Vision (give 1% more this year than last year to charity/the church) and our biblical call for stewardship. My personal feeling is that this unexpected and generous gift from Bill Ward is ultimately from the Lord and is provided for us for use to build up the Kingdom. Certainly some of this will go to directly to benefit our parish as he had wished. I also think that, according to biblical principles, a portion should go to benefit others. Thus, after consultation, and upon the recommendation of the Parish Finance Council, I will be apportioning 10% of the bequest and giving this to the various parish ministries/organizations. This will be done with the proviso that they pray and discern how they can use these fund to “sow some good seed” by offering aid and assistance to a charity or need, OUTSIDE of the parish of St. Monica. My hope is that this will bear “good fruit,” and will provide our various parish ministries/organizations an opportunity to model what generous stewardship “looks like.” Hopefully it will also provide us an opportunity for the Lord to show us how He will work in mysterious ways when we give back. I can’t wait to hear the stories!
The second conversation involved bequests. If you are a parishioner, visitor or benefactor of St. Monica, and like what you see going on here, consider leaving a legacy to future Catholics at St. Monica. A planned gift drawn into your will can help ensure that there is a Catholic presence in Berwyn for generations to come.