Dear Beloved at St. Vincent de Paul Parish,
As you may remember from an announcement at Mass last December, one of our goals was to limit the number of times we ask for extra giving contributions to 1 time a year. To do this, we announced our second Annual Parish Appeal. Within this Annual Parish Appeal, we planned to use the money towards our parish assessment for the Annual Catholic Appeal (for the diocese...which is $31,000 this year), towards the extra expenses we had this year due to the ever changing covid restrictions / regulations. Some of these extra expenses include; extra cleaning days from our professional cleaning company, hand sanitizer for those attending indoor and outdoor mass or worship services, about 20 canopies for the parking lot (many had to be replaced after being destroyed by some of the strong winds and rains we had over the winter), outdoor music setup for speakers and microphones, extra Mass stipends for visiting priests and musicians when adding extra Masses to accommodate people's preferences, as well as putting some money aside for our future maintenance reserve fund which we have begun saving towards.
Unfortunately, we did not receive a lot of participation in our Annual Parish Appeal this year to support these extra expenses nor to pay off our annual diocese appeal assessment of $31,000.
In years past, when asking for extra donations throughout the year as needs arise, and then making a big ask each February for the Annual Catholic Appeal for the Diocese, we were getting between 100 -115 people participating in the ACA. This year when we tried to combine the Annual Catholic Appeal with our Annual Parish appeal, we only had 39 people participate by giving a monetary donation (as of 3/31/2021). This is very low for us as a parish -- our giving participation dropped to one-third of the normal participation.
We raised a total of $27,644 dollars so far, but that is only because 1 family gave a large donation of $15,000, and a second family gave a $5,000 donation. Without those extra ordinarily large donations, as a parish we only raised $7,000 out of the $46,000 needed.
After speaking with our parish finance council about the results, we concluded that it was a good try, to combine everything into one annual appeal, but it doesn't seem to be something most people want/support. Therefore, we are going to go back to the way it was in the past. If extra expenses arise that are outside of our annual budget, we will let the parish know at that time and invite people to support the need. Each year in February, we will announce the Annual Catholic Appeal for the diocese, and strive to meet our assessment from the Diocese. If we fall short of the assessment the Diocese aportions to us, then the Diocese bills the parish and we have to take money out of the ordinary operating funds in order to pay off this annual assessment. This usually hurts the parish.
To everyone who has supported the Annual Parish Appeal this year, I am extremely grateful for your generosity, your donations, your prayers, and support! Thank you so much!
If you have not yet given to the annual parish appeal or to the annual diocesan appeal, I ask you to please sincerely pray about giving an extra amount to the Parish, with a note or line item that designates the donation to the Annual Catholic Appeal 2021, so that we have enough to pay off our annual assessment from the Diocese of $31,000. If each family gives $50-$75, or more, we can easily reach our monetary goal as a parish. Also very important, is to be able to match or increase our parish participation in giving, and bring the current number of 39 participants, back up to 100+.
More information about the ministries which the ACA supports can be found in the letter linked below.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Alex De Paulis