Letter From the Pastor – November 18

Dear Friends,

I want to thank the many of you who responded to my financial report last Sunday. As I said at each of the Masses, I really hate to use liturgical time for that kind of a report, but the reality is that the Sunday Liturgy is our primary gathering as a community and the best time to get an important message out to the entire community.

The actual Sunday collection represented that you heard me loud and clear. It was at least $1000 more than we had been seeing on average Sundays. The actual count was a little more than $4800. With our monthly electronic donations the actual Sunday collection needs to be between $4500 and $5000 to keep the average weekly collection above $6000. So, $4800 was great. The average weekly collection (what is actually collected at Sunday Masses) has been fluctuating between $3000 and $4000. Thank you for your response at the offertory. Your comments and encouragement were also much appreciated. I literally had only one negative response all day Sunday. Most of the people who spoke to me about the “homily” expressed gratitude for the report and understanding that “it needed to be done.” The best response I had all day (from several people) was appreciation for the image that I used to express what I was doing: When the family gathers around the dinner table we discuss issues that are important to us as family.

For those of you who were not here last week, here is the basic report. Our collections have not recovered from the downturn that they took since the 2008 economic downturn. Prior to that, our average weekly collection was $6500+ At this time our average weekly collection has been around $5000. The cost of doing business has risen during that time. This year’s budget includes, for the 2nd year in a row, no salary increase for our lay employees (3rd year for the Dominicans), and yet we are still struggling to meet our payroll. If we do not see an increase in our collections, I will have to begin the new year by laying off some of our employees. We do not want to do this, because it will also mean a cut in programming. But payroll is the one place that a significant cut can be made.

In the end, I asked 4 things of the community:
1. If you can, please consider an increase in your weekly or
monthly contribution to the Newman Center. If you use Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), thank you, please consider an increase in the amount.
2. If you DO NOT make your donations by electronic means, please consider doing so. This is helpful to us because of its regularity.
3. Please consider making an extraordinary gift between now and the end of the calendar year. PERHAPS YOU HAVE A STOCK WINDFALL AND ARE LOOKING TO AVOID TAXATION ON IT – contribution to a tax exempt charity can help with that.
4. Please pray. We trust in God’s Providence and know that this challenge is an opportunity to turn to God in prayer.

Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for your consideration of my request and thank you for your ongoing support of the Center.