Dear Friends in Christ,
Time for a few updates on our finances and coming projects.
If our collections in June remain as they have been during recent months, we will finish the fiscal year with a budget surplus of about 1%. In other words, we are right on target, and that is thanks to your generosity. The new fiscal year begins on 1 July 2018, and to account for inflation we have planned for an increase of 2% in our costs, which means that we need an increase of 2% in our income. So starting in July our target for the weekly offertory will be $34,500, and we ask every household in the parish to increase their support by 2%. This means, for example, that if you were giving $75 per week until now, then starting in July that would go up to $76.50. An increase of that small size, if everyone makes and sustains it, will allow us to pay all our bills and remain financially healthy.
In the near future, in addition to the modest increase in offertory giving, we will be asking every household in the parish to join us in a multi-year capital campaign for both the diocese and our parish. In 2020 the Diocese of Charleston will be two hundred years old, and the diocesan capital campaign is part of our bi-centennial celebration. The parish portion of the campaign is designed to accomplish several major projects that will continue the excellent progress of the past two decades on the expansion and improvement of our campus, and details about those projects will be coming soon.
Even before we begin the capital campaign, however, we have identified a project that cannot wait until the work we plan for a few years from now. The pews and kneelers in the church are now 63 years old and are beginning to fall apart from normal wear and tear, and so the time has come to replace them with new pews and kneelers that will look just like the old ones. We are working with three companies to find the right solution, but even now we anticipate that the total cost of the project will be approximately $175,000, and any gifts you make now to our regular building fund will go towards the new pews.
Finally, this summer we are making some major improvements to two buildings. Pazdan Hall is receiving a new HVAC system and a new roof – not the visible mansard roof, but the flat roof which keeps the water out, and the three small classrooms on the second floor of Sacred Heart Hall are being reconfigured into two larger rooms to be the permanent home of our school’s French and Spanish classes.
Everything we do here to provide a beautiful and inviting space for our parish family and for all of our visitors is made possible only by your continuing generosity, and I am deeply grateful for your commitment to St Mary’s.