Bulletin Letter – 5/14/23

Dear parishioners,

As usual, I would like to provide the highlights of our most recent finance council meeting, which reviewed our finances through the end of February.

At the end of February, our savings account held a little over $26,000. 

Second collection accounts.  At the end of February, our Mission account contained $5,643.  As you recall, one of our second collections went toward Catholic Charities’ relief efforts for the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria, and I promised that the parish would match what was donated from the Mission fund.  That second collection totaled $1,786.25.  So, we added the matching $1,786.25 on March 1st, making the total donated to Catholic Charities $3,572.50.  That brought our Mission account to $3,857.  Our Maintenance Fund contained $59,915.

Our school endowment contained $130,542, and our vocation endowment contained $111,404.  Please note that the principal balance for both of these accounts is $100,000 each.  Because I have had a few parishioners approach me with confusion as to what an endowment is, please permit me a moment to clarify.  Endowments are meant to contain a large principal balance which generates income to be used for a restricted purpose or to be reinvested into the same endowment.  A handful of parishioners have asked why I am simply “sitting” on this money and not spending it on capital maintenance needs.  However, these endowments cannot be used for capital maintenance needs.

Our investments in the Catholic Investment Trust showed $432,423 at the end of February.  Please note here that the principal balance of these investments is $400,000; so, we are still showing a little profit from them.  Similar to endowments, parish investments are meant to generate funds over a long-term stretch of time.

As of the end of February, we were $10,586 over budget on our utility expenses.  This is an item about which I have updated you throughout this fiscal year.  As I explained in previous bulletin articles, we budgeted 10% more than last year’s utility expenses based on continually increasing rates.  However, these increases surpassed expectations.  We will be mindful to budget higher as we finalize next year’s budget.

During the final portion of the meeting, I presented the council with important information regarding why our school’s ordinary operating expenses will be increasing with the start of the 2023-2024 academic year, and will likely continue to increase in the years to come.  Multiple factors play into this reality.  To start, a couple years ago, especially as we came out of the Covid restrictions, it became clear that we needed to upgrade the pay scale for our teachers in order to be able to hire anyone, so we made this adjustment to the extent that we were able.  Next, the Diocese of Toledo informed all parishes that it will no longer be able to cover as much of healthcare premiums as they have in the past for employees of parishes and schools.  This being the case, all parishes will experience an 8% increase in healthcare premiums for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, and an additional 8% increase for the 2024-2025 fiscal year.  Relatedly, parishes will experience a 6% increase in dental and vision rates for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

The parish cost to educate per student (ordinary school expenses divided by number of students) fluctuates each year depending on enrollment.  However, it is still a good metric for creating the next year’s budget.  This year’s cost to educate was $5,925 per student.  Given the information above, and based on this year’s enrollment, the projected cost to educate per student for next school year will be $7,670.  Of course, tuition recuperates a portion of this cost, but certainly not all of it.  Additionally, government-provided Covid relief funds will continue to help cover some ordinary expenses through the 2023-2024 school year, after which, those Covid relief funds will expire.

Have a blessed week!

Fr. Ammanniti