This weekend we celebrate the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We welcome Father Eddie Dwyer who will be celebrating the 4:00 PM Mass on Saturday. And we welcome Father Bill Taylor who will be celebrating the 9:30 AM Mass on Sunday. I am confident that you will show them a warm spirit of hospitality as you greet them this weekend.
The Gospel passage assigned for this Sunday causes us to reflect upon a familiar and basic question. Whom do we serve? Jesus tells us we cannot serve two masters. Only in serving God alone do we attain true wealth and gain everything. This week, let us reflect upon the ways in which the society we live in pulls us in many directions. How do we keep our balance and keep our focus on Christ?
Today is also Catechetical Sunday. On this day, our catechists receive a special blessing upon them and their ministry. We thank them for sharing themselves and their stewardship of time and talent: passing on the faith to our children, our youth, those involved in the RCIA process, those preparing for sacraments, those involved in Liturgy of the Word with Children, and those involved in Marriage Preparation.
Please note the Annual Financial Report (2015-2016) in today’s bulletin. You may recall that the2014-2015 report was included in 3 separate weeks of the parish bulletin last year along with a narrative explaining income, expenses, Saginaw Area Catholic Schools, CSA shortfall, unexpected expenses, Faith Formation enrollment, those who participated in RCIA, and other sacramental statistics. This year I asked Natalie to include in the Saint John Paul II annual Parish Financial Report, both last year’s summary and this year’s summary. I thought you might like to see the comparison of both years.
Part of the Annual Parish Report that is turned into the Diocese in August includes information in addition to the financial report. I would like to summarize that part of the report for you today. In 2015-2016 there were: 423 registered Parish Households. Following are some statistics:
Infant Baptisms: 14 First Communions: 5
Confirmations: 4 (7)* RCIA Process: 5
Marriages: 1 Funerals: 29
Faith Formation (Pre-school – grade 5): 16
Youth Ministry (Middle School): 6
Youth Ministry (High School): 5
*Bishop Cistone confirmed two adults at our Parish this past January and Father Jim received delegation from the Bishop to confirm two children in our parish at the Easter Vigil. Besides those individuals, Bishop Cistone confirmed 3 parish children at the Cathedral last April.
In the August 21, bulletin I announced that with the Closing of Saint John the Baptist Church the Parish received a check for $5,000 when, in reality, we only received a check for $2,581.95. I was under the impression that with the Closing we would receive the total amount of $5,000.00. When we received the check I asked the Diocese to provide us with a breakdown of expenses that we incurred. From the $5,000, they kept money for the following expenses:
Title Charges * Escrow/Settlement Charges
Title – Owner’s Title Insurance. Owner’s Premium to First American Title Insurance Company
Title – Settlement Fee
Settlement/Closing Fee to First American
Title Insurance Company $150.00
Government Recording and Transfer Charges
County Documentary Transfer Tax –
County Transfer Tax to Saginaw County
Register of Deeds $154.00
State Documentary Transfer Tax
State Transfer Tax to Saginaw County
Register of Deeds $1.050.00
Pending Legal Fees
Approximate Legal Fees $200.00
This past week we made a payment in the amount of $2,500.00 toward the deficit of our Saginaw Area Catholic Schools assessment. I will let you know when the monthly checks of $1,500.00 from the sale of Saint John the Baptist Church (which will also be applied to the SACS deficit) begin coming to us.
Please note, lest you think we have sufficient money because we sold a church for $140,000.00, I want you to know that we are in a financial bind and will not be able to pay as much as was budgeted to the SACS deficit this year as we originally thought. It is very important that all of us keep up with our Sunday envelopes. Please note today’s Stewardship Report. If you do the subtraction, at this point in time, you can see that we are $8,035.00 below in budgeted income for Sundays and Holydays (based on $6,700.00 a Sunday). We really cannot do with less than $6,700.00 a week. In order to keep up with our 2016 SACS assessment (not the deficit), we need to send in a check for $7,025.00 each month, which leaves nothing else to cover any expenses that given week. So, please do your fair share in supporting the parish financially.
Don’t forget the Parish Picnic this Sunday – it begins at 12:00 Noon in the Meeting Room of the Education Center. Both the inside and outside of the parish grounds will be used for the picnic. We will aim to eat by 12:30 (with snacks available before then). Don’t worry if you missed the sign-up sheet. Just bring a dish to pass. There will be plenty of food, some games, and a 50/50 Raffle.
This Friday, Evensong will be celebrated at 7:00 PM at Holy Spirit Church in Shields. It is part of the series of events and prayer experiences that have taken place in the diocese during this Jubilee Year of Mercy. Several of the priests of the diocese, including Father Jim Bessert, will be part of the priest’s choir. Since Evensong is prayer, there are no tickets or cost to attend, but freewill offerings will be accepted.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ