First of all, I have a very significant announcement to make regarding our school. Cathy Schoenauer, after some 40 years of educational experience, and nine years as our principal, has decided to retire. We wish her the very best in her next endeavors, especially the richest of blessings in the extra time she will have to spend with her mother. We are very grateful for all that she has given to Divine Mercy School!
Next, we had another finance council meeting a couple weeks ago. The following are key points from that meeting:
-As usual, we looked at the monthly reports: balance sheet, profit and loss statement, payables statement. A couple finance council members also reported on their monthly internal audit, as well as the more extensive annual internal audit we are required to do, since we are closing in on the end of the fiscal year. Everything was in order.
-We confirmed that we will be using our Monsanto Grant monies ($2,500) for the school to finish the project that Schweller Electric had already begun there, i.e., installing an electronic lock mechanism on the front door of the school that can be unlocked from the office, which includes a camera that office workers can monitor, and a physical release bar inside, near the door, that can easily be released in the case of an emergency evacuation.
-We reviewed the way we hope that Ed Choice scholarships will dramatically reduce the parish subsidy of the school, possibly by tens of thousands of dollars. This is all part of the restructuring of our approach to school tuition. We will also be using the FACTS company not only to determine family need-based scholarships, but also even to manage tuition payment overall. This will save time and money in the finance office of the parish.
-The parish reached the goal set by the diocese for the Annual Catholic Appeal. This is so impressive, given that our parishioners are asked at the same time to help out with the various major repair projects around the parish, and they are still asked to give weekly to support our parish life. And then there are some required diocesan collections included as well. We simply could not survive without such generous parishioners, and they always seem to come through for the parish!
-The Divine Mercy Vocations Endowment to be set up with an initial donation by Doris Phlipot is now in the hands of the Diocesan finance office. The Endowment Committee met and decided to spread the original $100,000 donation across three of the five possible risk levels included in the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese. The charter has been finalized, and all the paperwork for the investment has been completed. Now the Diocese has to clear everything with the bank that handles investments for the Catholic Foundation, i.e., Key Bank.
-After presenting the same to the Pastoral Council, we presented to the Finance Council a suggested rental increase for the various parish halls’ rates. Each rate will be increased $25-$50. The rates have not changed for quite a number of years.
-The Payne rectory has now been razed. The cost was $9500. This cost was offset by the auction of all the internal items, selling for about $4500. Grass has been planted, and now we can consider what to do with the space. Thus far, It seems we should add a couple parking spaces for clergy, and then entertain the idea some parishioners brought forward of a prayer grotto.
-We took what we hope will be the last step fixing the sound problem at Payne. We replaced the ancient amplifier. So far, it seems to have worked. Nothing seems to have frozen up since the installation of the new amp. This was about a $350 repair.
-The Antwerp belltower moisture repair project will be given to the Strebig Company. Final pre-contractual documents and a final contract are being worked out through Martin-Riley Company, our architect for the project – all with the help of Diocesan Legal Counsel for any of the legal documents. As of the writing of this letter, the project should begin about June 21, and continue through the end of July. We will have to keep everybody updated, if there is ever need to move a Mass into the Antwerp Hall or to another campus.
-The choir loft at our Antwerp campus now has new risers, so that people sitting in the loft can see down into the sanctuary. We will wait to install the carpet, until after the moisture repair project is completed (so as not to risk ruining the new carpet with excessive dirt/debris). It was also recommended that we purchase new chairs for the choir loft, rather than trying to use the chairs stored out of the garage, which are not in very good shape. The new chairs would cost about $2,500… Although they are not deluxe, they are for the liturgy. Best to have chairs that are in good shape.
-We discussed the Paulding moisture repair needs: The two side windows in the main nave area have already been repaired, at a cost of $3500. The leak in the narthex right outside the entrance to the sacristy has been repaired, costing $1500. We still have to repair weatherproofing up in the belltower, which has deteriorated to allow leakage into the choir loft for a number of years now (usually when there is a heavy rain). Repairing the weatherproofing, and the wood and plaster that were damaged from water, as well as replacing the totally broken down rope netting around the belltower with metal screen will cost just over $5000. Finally, cleaning out the (extra-wide) gutters around the whole church, and installing gutter guards, so that we do not have any more water overflow (which led to the damage under the windows in the first place) will cost $9800.
-We found a bunch of extra flooring from the time when the choir loft was first rejuvenated that will help us repair the floor where the old air handlers were removed from the loft. Then we have to come up with shelving/cabinetss adequate to hold the many music files and books. So far we have $600 donated for this purpose.
-I am wondering if we will be able to repair the parking lot at Payne this summer. We have $6381 left for parking lot repair, out of the $100,000 given by a generous donor a couple of years ago for various projects on all of our campuses. I am certain that, even without digging up and replacing all the asphalt, we will still have to do enough total replacement of some sections, and patching of others to bring the bill closer to $25,000. We have already received a quote indicating this.
-The rectory at Paulding has a number of significant holes in the siding. This can only lead to more damage eventually. But we also have to do some repair on the eaves troughs, because water is pouring over and down the sides of the house. We got permission from the same donor mentioned in the last paragraph to use towards gutter repair some of the $10,225 originally set aside for siding. The gutters seem to be the higher priority. We suspect that some of the active water seepage into the basement is connected to the gutters overflowing. The lowest bid we got for replacing the rectory siding is $25,000.
So there are some highlights from the finance meeting. Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,