Consider living more simply—We cannot find fulfillment in
possessions. They add nothing to our self-worth. Jesus blessed the “poor
in spirit” in his Sermon on the Mount; and Saint Francis of Assisi
urged us to live with only what was necessary, for that is how we begin
to find God.
Please consider enrolling in our Electronic Fund Transfer option. This will enable you to stay current on your Sunday offerings any time you are away. Learn more...
Beginning this weekend we begin our new fiscal year. In planning for 2016-2017, our budget calls for our offertory collection to increase to an average of $13,625 per week. With the addition of Father Jorge to our Pastoral Staff, our shortfall from 2015-16, and the fact that our income from collections has not risen in the past 3 years, we are seeking a 6% increase which would equal 2% each year for the past three years. If you are giving $10 a week, we are asking that you to raise your contribution to $10.60 a week.
Our budgeted needs include:
• Pastoral & Parish Staff Salaries and School Salaries
• Health Insurance
• FICA/Medicare/Disability/Workman’s Comp
• Parish Programs
• Religious Ed/Sacraments/Youth Activities
• Property Insurance/Property Taxes
• Diocesan Newspaper
We will soon be providing a more detailed breakdown of
costs and what we are doing to contain costs.
Some may not be able to make this increase, but we do ask you to prayerfully consider doing so. If we are to continue the quality of service in the parish that we have had, we must increase our Sunday offerings. Your generosity will help. If we are not able to raise the collections we will have to look at cutting staff and programs. I don’t think we will have to do that because I think there is enough support out there for us to have the additional money that we need. I will be sending you a letter outlining this in the next week but I wanted to let you know as we begin this new fiscal year what we need to do for our Parish.
Check the budget section to monitor the progress of our weekly collections.
First, know that there are 14 second collections mandated by the Diocese and the National Conference of Bishops. These have to be taken up as second collections throughout the year and we have no options in this regard. Even with these mandated collections, many choose to give to the Propagation of the Faith with many less choosing to give to the Catholic University Collections. These Diocesan Collections collect about $25,000 in total for all their collections which help the Missionary Activities of the Church, reach out to the poor, and support the universal Church. So I believe this is a great way for people to fund the outreach of the church beyond our boundaries.
The remaining Second Collections here at Holy Cross include a monthly Debt Reduction/Capital Improvement collection, a monthly Holy Cross School collection, a quarterly collection for the Catholic Courier, and an Energy Collection taken in January, February, and March. There are also flower collections before Christmas and Easter.
Second collections are not bad. They actually give the donor the ability to direct his or her gift. With our own collections, some like to support the school, others like to donate to the decorations at Christmas and Easter, those who read the Catholic Courier like to help us cover the annual cost to our parish, and others desire the church to be warm in the winter months. These collections bring in about $60,000 to fund these projects, all supported by the individual choices of our parishioners.
We will also keep the School and Catholic Courier collections as Second Collections. The Energy and Flower collections will become second envelopes, but not a second collection. Parishioners can put these envelopes in with the first collection. We will eliminate a number of second collections, still give the parishioner an opportunity to direct his/her gift, and maintain a revenue of about $60,000 a year.
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?...Seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
Matthew 6:25-26, 33
If we truly believe that God gives us all that we have, trust is
our response. When we recognize that our real security lies in God,
we can then decide what we will return to the Lord. Our God, who has
given us all, will take care of our future.
We at Holy Cross believe in the theology of Stewardship through Sacrificial Giving or Tithing. Our Parish Offertory Program is the primary means of support for the parish and its programs. We
recommend that each parish family work toward the biblical standard of
returning the first fruits of our labor (10% of total income) to the
Lord. Consider giving 5% to the parish and the other half to the
world's poor-diocesan collections, the missions, private charities,
Catholic school tuition, local appeals for the needy, and other
organizations that do God's work on earth.
Time and Talent
God has equipped each of us with specific gifts, strengths, and talents. We must identify these and find ways to develop them. We must get comfortable with who God made us to be; it is our divine destiny.
The concept of Stewardship does not just refer to money but also to talent and time. So we ask each Parishioner to consider giving of their time and their talents as volunteers in the Parish. We have need for all types of talents in the Parish. We need people to take part in our Liturgies, Music Ministry, Religious Education Programs, Social Ministry, Parish Life, Spiritual Life, Fund Raising and Grounds and Maintenance Programs. There are many ways that you can help. If you wish to volunteer, click on any of the menu items above and take a few minutes to review the many ministries at work in our parish. Or go directly to our Volunteer Opportunities page. You can then contact the parish office and offer your help. If you are not sure how your talents can be used, a staff member can help you discern.
Each year in the fall we send out a letter asking people to give a projection of what financial support they will give in our Parish Offertory Program for that year. We also give people an opportunity at that time to select how they want to give their gift; whether they wish to give weekly, monthly, or by some other arrangement. Envelopes are then provided to assist you in making your Sacrificial Giving offering. If no selection is made, each parish family automatically receives a packet of envelopes once a month.
We give from the blessings that God brings to us through your generosity.
A number of years ago, we as a Parish, chose to become a Tithing Parish. That means that we set aside a percentage of the parish offertory income to help those in need. At present we give $200 a month to the Woman’s Care Center, located on Lake Ave. This organization helps women to be able to chose life. We give $100 a month to The Churches of the America’s (formerly Corpus Christi) that runs a number of outreach programs, such as Matthew’s Closet which provides clothing for the needy. We also support Catholic Family Services with $100 a month. Our donation goes toward their shelters for the homeless. In addition, we use a portion of our tithing money for food vouchers to help the hungry of our area through our Holy Cross Emergency Food Shelf.
Seeing that our offertory income has increased, we will look at other ways to share our gifts.
Thank you for your generosity!