Bulletin Letter – 10/7/18

Dear Parishioners,                                                                                                                                  +JMJ

We had a finance council committee meeting a couple weeks ago. Here are the highlights:

  • First we introduced new members and reviewed the purpose of the finance council, since we have three new members who will join us this year, with three former members finishing their three-year term limits. So the current finance council is comprised of Karen Burnett, Bill Graham, Jim Reinhart, Mike Brady, Beth Coughlin, and Jonathan Knepper.
  • We reviewed the balance sheet, the profit and loss statement, the payables report, comparing everything to budget, and explaining significant differences.
  • The current progress on the Annual Catholic Appeal for this year: our parish pledged $36,994, well beyond our goal of $29,000. All the money beyond our goal will be refunded back to us. (Thanks so much to our generous parishioners! Reaching this goal sends such a strong message to our Bishop that we understand our connection to the oveall diocese and its pastoral endeavors.) Overall, the diocese is initially looking at how they might increase the ACA giving, because the overall goal of our diocese is still much less than that of other dioceses our size in the United States. I mentioned that in a recent Presbyteral Council meeting with the Bishop, it was made clear that the ACA campaign each year funds the pastoral initiatives of the Diocese. The yearly assessment we pay (sort of like a yearly tax on each parish) funds the operating costs of the Pastoral Center.
  • The savings we have experienced with lawn care this summer has been significant. Compared to a monthly average mowing cost of $1,363 last summer, this summer our average has been $380.
  • We hired Jessica Schuster as our adult choir director for a very reasonable stipend per practice and per Mass.
  • We noted the annual financial disclosure to the parish, published in our bulletin, which happened in August, and that is required by Canon Law.
  • The wine tasting event this past month netted $7322. This money will go towards rectory repair projects. What a fun evening!
  • The Divine Mercy School Alumni Association mailing has yielded $24,012 so far. For the fiscal year 2018-2019, we budgeted $25,000. In this fiscal year we receive $7562 so far. I hope we exceed our budget by far!
  • In our school we have enrolled 74 students in kindergarten through grade 6. We have 13 pre-K students – 10 enrolled for the whole-day program, 3 enrolled for  the half-day program.
  • 13 students have been approved for the state’s need-based Ed Choice (full) Scholarship this year.
  • 3 students have been approved for full tuition from the Jon Peterson scholarship (for families that need some special intervention in education), and 5 were approved for speech-only funding.
  • We now have a full-time intervention specialist working for us. She is our parishioner, Michelle Reinhart (from Antwerp). State funds cover all of her salary.
  • Because of the size of our Pre-K class, we hired a Pre-K aide, Priscilla Warnimont .
  • The Divine Mercy Golf Scramble in September raised $4,673.50, all of which goes to help us help families who need tuition assistance.
  • We purchased “The Body Matters” program, which is sort of pre-Theology of the Body for elementary level. We don’t teach the “birds and bees” at this level, but we teach some foundation principles, such as the awesomeness of the human person made in God’s image, as well as the importance of the human body, which deserves always great reverence. This is a program that will supplement the ordinary religion curriculum this year. “The Body Matters Curriculum” cost $5,000, but half of this amount was donated by an anonymous donor. It is quite a gift to be able to have this as part of our elementary school’s curriculum.
  • We will soon have volunteer/ministry booklets printed, followed by a volunteer/ministry fair following each of the Masses one weekend this month. Also, we will have a volunteer/ministry thanksgiving appreciation luncheon one Sunday afternoon in Payne this November, to thank all the parishioners who put so much work into making this parish run. We had a similar luncheon three years ago.
  • Because we are planning to lock the doors after the beginning of our Masses on weekends in the near future, we have to transform 2-3 of our doors, so that they have panic bars on them, and can always be opened from the inside, even if they have to be locked, yet people have to rush out. We don’t have a cost yet on this project. (Although I personally am estimating about $1,000 per door.)
  • For Antwerp projects: We are still awaiting an update on the belltower moisture problem progress.  We are still trying to figure out a solution for the speakers up in the choir loft, since the current ones are too strong, and poorly positioned for those sitting up in the loft. In the hall, we hope to use the classroom doors taken from our school in Payne. We replaced flooring in the dining room, kitchen and back entry and half-bath in the rectory at Antwerp (home of Theresa Conley and family). All of this cost $3000, a good deal!
  • For Payne projects: We’re still waiting for the exterminator to help us take the next step to eliminate the rest of the bats above the ceiling in the church. A dead bat was found by schoolchildren and one of our teachers this past month. I also still hope to put in a concrete pad for parking in the grass slot that remains between the north side of the Morton building, and the sidewalk on the same side. This will help immensely with clergy parking during school days, and even on weekends.
  • For Paulding projects: I’m wondering what step next to take to stop the deterioration of the basement walls in the rectory. I think we have stopped all water leakage, but there continues to be slow crumbling of the walls. The front porch was begun this past week, but the company ran out of decking boards, so I am not sure when they will return to finish the project. Hopefully by the time you read this letter? We are close to deciding on a contractor for the rectory siding project. There are many holes in the siding, and that means ongoing weather damage. We already have a significant amount raised towards the rectory siding, but we still are certainly welcoming any donations! 🙂 The whole project (which includes some necessary tuck-pointing of the brick below the siding) will cost about $60,000-$65,000.
  • For School projects:  We replaced all the classroom doors in the school, especially to add a security measure that the old doors did not have, but also to make them look nicer. Now all the doors have a quick-blocking mechanism that teachers can immediately employ, in the case of a lockdown because of an intruder. The doors cost $3885. We also added a security window at the secretary’s office, costing about $1000. Finally, we remodeled the front office, making the workspace much more efficient with two secretaries, with a cost of $7500. The school office is so much improved for efficiency and even beauty. I’m very grateful that our wonderful PTA was willing to contribute $6,000 towards this project!
  • On our wish list: we applied for the Reverend Auguste Schaefer endowment fund grant, based out of St. Joseph’s Marblehead Parish. We asked for $20,000 towards the repair of the bells at each of our campuses. Although we are having the Verdin Company (Cincinnati) revise estimates on each belltower, the entire project for all three campuses together in their last estimate was about $48,590. Hopefully we will be given some money from this grant, and then we can look at our fundraising possibilities for the rest, and perhaps a very small amount from our savings. It would be great to get all of our bell towers functioning again for all of our Masses, and then for our funeral liturgies and weddings. People have asked me about this since I arrived here.

Those are the highlights from our finance committee meeting. Have a blessed week!

In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,

Father Poggemeyer