Bulletin Letter January 25

Dear Parishioners,

On Thursday, January 16th we had another finance council meeting. The following is a brief summary of what was covered:

-We looked over the profit-and-loss statement and balance sheet for the current year-to-date, actual vs. budget.

-We reviewed the last school endowment statement with its reallocation of funds (Now at a balance of about $111,000) to spread them equally across four levels of risk/interest.

-The audit revealed that the charter for the school endowment was never switched over to the name “Divine Mercy” with the merger of the parishes. When we sent a change-of-name form to the Diocese with the charter, we were told the charter does not conform to the standard template now used by the Diocese for such endowments. The current charter has to be edited to match the template.

-We found a “school discretionary” bank account of about $15,000, which nobody knew about. It was opened in 2006, but it seems not to have been used. We will close this account and put the money into operating funds for the school.

-One outstanding tuition bill from a family no longer attending the school was handed over to the collection agency Returned-to-You, and an agreement has been reached for monthly payment until the debt is cleared. There is one other outstanding tuition debt that still has to be given to the collections agency for resolution.

-Ms. Amy Wannemacher, who currently helps at Divine Mercy school with classroom intervention, remedial tutoring, and reading has become integral to our school operation. The school PTA is going to help the parish cover Amy’s salary and benefits for the coming year, with the expectation that the parish will budget for her fully in the following fiscal year.

-There is a 12 month certificate worth about $29,000, which will mature in mid-February. It is only earning .25% interest. This investment does not make sense, since we can put the money into the diocesan Savings and Loan and make at least 2%; and the money will be liquid, readily accessible, rather than being tied up in a 12-month certificate.

-The fall bazaar netted $4848, and it was also a great community event shared by all three campuses. The money will go towards liturgy needs, since the bazaar grew out of the altar Rosary Society which is no longer.

-The Diocese accepted our initial responses to the various issues raised in the financial audit done this summer. The audit report, in other words, is now considered final by the Diocese. Now we have to continue to implement our responses.

-The new bulletin is being done by a company called Diocesan Publications. In addition to the bulletin, this company will also help us redesign/update our website, which is very outdated. There is also a smart phone app they developed, so people can have the daily readings, Mass times, the bulletin, etc. predator fingertips. You can even program the app to turn off your phone ringer during Mass times. The bulletin is free, providing that we fill the back page with advertising. Diocesan Publications will be here in the next couple of weeks to make phone calls to prospective businesses for advertising. We are saving money each week, since we do not have to pay for xeroxing or paper or all the labor that went into assembling the bulletin.

-The confessionals at Paulding were completed for only about $600, thanks to the generous donation of labor, and the fact that we were able to obtain the beautiful doors for free. Confessional plans for Payne and Antwerp are being discussed.

-The Diocese approved our plan to replace the air-conditioning at the Paulding campus, providing we can raise the money, which was not budgeted. We have raised just over $51,000, thanks to the generosity of parishioners who responded quickly after the approval was received. Although I wrote earlier that the project would cost $58,000, it turns out it will actually be $61,000. We decided that since we are putting in air-conditioning, we ought to the basement activity area as well. This raised the original estimate. So we have to raise another $10,000 soon, so that I can get a final-final approval from the Diocese.

-Energy regulations in the future will require us to replace all of our current fluorescent lightbulb ballasts with electronic ones. We don’t know exactly when we will be required to do this, but it makes sense to be proactive and begin the project now. We are getting estimates to do this for each campus; and we are checking into the possibility of an AEP discount, since we are a non-profit organization.

-Regarding the water damage to plaster in the stairwell leading up to the choir loft at our Antwerp campus, we are in contact with two companies. One company is suggesting a type of fiberglass barrier to keep the water from coming through the inside plaster. Another company is suggesting some exterior vent-holes to allow moisture to escape. Both companies will be invited to come, look at the damage and make more concrete proposals.

-This week we should begin the remodeling of the Paulding Ed Center room where now we have the Finance Office and the Religious Ed office. To better secure the financial files, and to provide more privacy for financial discussions; and also to provide more shelving for the Religious Education storage, we’re going to build some walls, shelves, and then an office for the Finance Manager. We think this will cost about $1,500.

-We received an anonymous donation of $8000 for “youth work”. We are thinking of using this to begin to pay somebody for some part-time high school youth work. At this initial stage of discussion, we are imagining that a high school youth worker – providing a youth event every Wednesday evening – would put in about six hours per week. I am talking about our need with various people (e.g., the diocesan youth office, the diocesan personnel office, etc.) to see what doors open up. I am eager for any suggestions of people who might be willing and able to do high school youth work part-time. The parish and the Diocese can provide some training.

-In about another month we think we will be ready enough with our monthly financial reporting to start performing our own internal audits. There is a former diocesan auditor who chaired my finance committee at St. Joseph’s, who is willing to train our finance committee members to do an internal audit. Two finance committee members should be able to do the audit paperwork in a one-hour per month.

Have a blessed week!

In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,

Fr. Poggemeyer