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Looking Ahead to the Archdiocesan Financial Report

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

June 28, 2013

The wife of a friend once quipped that there’s not much sizzle or romance in balancing a check book – but try feeding the kids if you can’t. I’ve never forgotten her words. No sensible adult goes very long without paying close attention to the finances of his or her own family. And for good reason: Without the necessary resources, no family survives. If a family has financial problems, it needs to know why. That requires accurate information, no matter how complex and sobering, so the problems can be fixed.

So it is with the Church. As I’ve said many times over the past 22 months, the resources of the Church don’t belong to the bishops or the clergy or some remote institution. They belong to her people. The Church is a steward. She holds her resources in trust for her people, to carry out their apostolic work as a community in furthering the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That means she has an obligation to use her resources well. She also has a duty to make an accurate yearly accounting to her people of how she manages those resources, whether the news is happy or not.

One of the many urgencies facing the Church when I arrived here in September 2011 was the need to understand and start fixing our financial problems. We’ve made progress. Over the past year, we’ve benefitted from strong, new financial leadership from our CFO, Timothy O’Shaughnessy; our controller, Peter Yecco; and a reinvigorated Archdiocesan Finance Council with talent from across the Catholic business community.

Despite every difficulty we have faced, our people have increased their giving to the annual Catholic Charities Appeal as well as the annual Seminary Appeal. And along with monies raised from the sale of the archbishop’s residence and a home on the New Jersey shore – beautiful properties, but unsuited to the needs of the Church today – we’ve taken big steps toward raising new resources and eventually eliminating our annual budget deficit.

This good news, however, will need to wait until later when we’ll publish the results of Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 – i.e., the year beginning July 1, 2012, and ending this weekend, on June 30, 2013. In other words, the fiscal report we plan to publish next week will reflect almost none of the progress I just described. Why? Because it will show our financial results from July 1, 2011 – two months before I arrived in Philadelphia – through June 30, 2012, barely two months after our new financial team began their work. I’ve asked our staff to make the report on FY 2012 as thorough and clear as possible. The audited financial statements for every major archdiocesan entity will appear on our website for public review. I’ve also directed that in the future, as we continue to improve our operations, our annual financial reports will appear for our people’s scrutiny far more promptly and with proper standards of transparency.

I’ve reviewed the FY 2012 audited financial statements for our central operations run through the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center; or more technically, the “Office for Financial Services.” While the results are serious – and that’s an understatement – they have the virtue of being honest and accurate. The statements also include several major adjustments to reporting made in previous years. Most of the financial pain we now face as a local Church is inherited and due to chronic patterns of behavior. It has nothing to do with fraud or the abuse crisis. Instead it flows out of well-intentioned but poor management decisions made over a period of nearly two decades at every level of archdiocesan and parish leadership – a crippling habit of trying to hang on to the past and keep unsustainable ministries, schools and parishes afloat, despite great changes in our demographic and financial realities.

We have too many good people in the Archdiocese to let these problems continue to hobble our discipleship in the years ahead. We owe too much to the believers who came before us to fail in renewing the health of our Church. And we owe even more to the young people who will follow us. They need to encounter Jesus Christ through our witness. That’s why our financial problems matter so seriously. And that’s why, with honesty and hard work and the grace of God, we’ll resolve them.

We will post the audited financial statements for the Office for Financial Services on www.CatholicPhilly.com on Wednesday, July 3 at 10:00 a.m. Please note that these statements only relate to operations and ministries stemming from Archdiocesan headquarters. They do not include financials for the Office of Catholic Education, Catholic Healthcare Services, Catholic Social Services, Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Catholic Charities Appeal or the Heritage of Faith—Vision of Hope Capital Campaign. Audited reports for those entities will be posted in the coming weeks.

Also note that none of these reports will include financial statements for parishes — and for good reason: All parishes are autonomous entities. The Archdiocese has no authority over their assets.

 

Sunday and LFA

 

  • This Sunday, June 23rd, there will be  Donuts and Coffee after Mass. We will also have a member of our Website Committee there with a scanner. Please bring any pictures you may have of Saint Bridget’s events in the past. We want to add the rich history of Saint Bridget’s Parish to our website and social media. Some ideas of pictures that will be nice to have: Sacraments, May Processions, Weddings, Christmas, Easter. Please email stbridgetmedia@gmail.com if you have pictures to bring.

 

 

 

 

Thank You Very Much!

Thank you one and all for the beautiful chalices given in memory of my father, James Devlin.  These new chalices will be used by the parish when we have Holy Communion under both species at Sunday Masses.

New chalices for those time is sorely needed by St. Bridget’s.  The finishing inside the chalices we’ve used until now has started to flake and wear away.  The new chalices purchased with your donations are of a finer quality, more worthy to be used at Mass and should last for generations.

I know my father would be so very pleased to know that these chalices have been purchased  and donated to St. Bridget’s parish in his memory.  He was a life long, devoted catholic who participated in the Sunday offering of the Mass faithfully.  And before his health problems prevented him from being able to do so, my Dad always enjoyed visiting St. Bridget’s parish.

I’m going to take one of the chalices home this afternoon, to show my mother.  I know she’s going to be so touched by such a generous, thoughtful gift to St. Bridget’s in memory my Dad, and her husband of 52 years.

My Mom was discharged from Jefferson Hospital yesterday after having undergone her third back surgery since Monday, March 25.  It has been a long haul for her health-wise, let alone emotionally in the recent past.  Thank you for your prayers for her too.  We’re hoping “#3 is the charm, ” and now my Mom will begin to travel the road back to full health.

It is only through our faith in God, our trust in Jesus and his promises, and thanks to the prayers, love and support of so many people – people like the wonderful parishioners of St. Bridget’s – that me and my family have found the strength to live through such a painful, difficult time.

I was also given an ipad mini from the parish today – in honor of Fathers Day.  Thank You very much!  That’s a perfect gift!  I love it already and I haven’t even taken it out of the box yet!  Again, I am so very touched by your generosity.

As I said at the end of the 9 AM Mass today, I am the luckiest priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to be assigned to serve this wonderful parish of St. Bridget.  I am blessed!

Gratefully,

Father Devlin

June Newsletter

Monthly updates on the happenings at Saint Bridget Parish

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
                    – Jim Valvano

 UPCOMING DATES

 SAINT BRIDGET PARISH NIGHT @ The Camden Riversharks Game

THIS WEEKEND JUNE 15/16th is the FINAL WEEKEND TO ORDER TICKETS

June 28, 2013 @7:05 pm, gates open @6:05 pm

Tickets are $25 each and include:

Admission to the game

Picnic Area with BBQ Buffet
Admission to Kid Zone and Carousel
Fireworks after the game
Tickets will then be available for pick-up at Masses 6/22 and 6/23, or at the Rectory during business hours 6/24-6/27.
PAYMENT MUST ACCOMPANY ORDER FORMS, MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO:

Saint Bridget Parish

 

DONUTS, COFFEE, AND PARISH HISTORY

Sunday, June 23rd, will be the next time for Donuts and Coffee after the 11 AM Mass. At this event, a member of our Website Committee will be there with a scanner. We would love to see your pictures of Saint Bridget Parish. Please spread the word to the historian and photo keeper in your family, we will be scanning pictures and giving them right back. Please join us to share pictures or to learn more about St. Bridget’s storied history.

CATHOLIC STORY HOUR AND CRAFT NIGHTS

Children, entering Kindergarten thru 4th grade in September, are invited to join us in Saint Brendan’s gathering space Tuesday nights in July from 6:30-8:00 PM. Children will be read a story and relate it to Scripture,  complete a craft, and sing a song complimenting the story. The story nights will be July 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th. It will be a great time to meet other children in the Parish. Look for more details in the Parish Bulletin and our facebook page and website.

RECENT EVENTS

NEW ROSARY GARDEN

Mr. Bob Dagney with help from Mr. Dave Kearns has installed a Rosary Garden between the Church and the Rectory in honor of the Blessed Mother and in memory of his dear, recently deceased, Mother, Margaret.  This one decade rosary made of stone is reminiscent of the one decade rosary used by the Irish during penal day when the practice of the catholic faith was outlawed by the British.  Thank you Bob and Dave for your good work, the Rosary Garden enhances that space outside the Rectory and the Church.
Just looking at these pictures exudes peace:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.531560490237606.1073741843.382755715118085&type=3

 

MAY PROCESSION

Although the rain kept our devotions to Mary inside, we still had a joyous tribute to our Mother. The Confirmation class stood so reverently to honor Mary, and the choir praised her in song. Mia was very serious in her role, carrying the crown of Mary, what an honor for her family.

Here are some pictures of the event:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.521559471237708.1073741841.382755715118085&type=3

MOTHER’S DAY PRAYER SERVICE

After the 11 Am Mass on Mother’s Day, people gathered in front of Mary to pray for those suffering from or affected by cancer. It was very moving to pray the Rosary as a group with one united voice of prayer.

 

 FOOD FOR THOUGHT

 This  month the Food for Thought section of the website contain reflections on the Eucharist, the culture of waste in society, a reflection about an NFL player, and the feast of Corpus Christi.

http://www.stbridgeteastfalls.org/food-for-thought-2/

 PREP AND SACRAMENT NEWS

Important Information for PREP Program
Any family who is anticipating a first grade or a new student entering the Religious Education program for the coming year, please contact Sister Margaret Jude as soon as possible.
215-844-4126 ext. 103 or smargaret@stbridgeteastfalls.org

PARISH ANNOUNCEMENTS

CASSEROLES

Casserole pans for St. John’s Hospice will be available on June 22-23.
Pans can be delivered to the Rectory on Sunday, June 30, from 9 am to noon.
Thank you for your support.

FOUNDATION FOR BABIES

Foundation for Babies, a nonprofit organization, is asking St. Bridget Parishioners for assistance with their second annual Diapers Drive from June 1 to June 30, 2013.  All disposable diapers collected will be distributed to diaper banks and social service groups in southeastern Pennsylvania.  Collection boxes will be in the back of church.  Thank you for your support.

LIVING FAITH AWARDS

NEW: Nomination forms are also available to download and send via email to the committee chairperson. Here is the link to the form:
http://www.stbridgeteastfalls.org/living-faith-award-nominations/
The 11th Annual “Friends of St. Bridget Social and Living Faith Awards” will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2013 immediately following the 4 PM Mass at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. As in past years, the Friends of St. Bridget Committee is asking you to nominate individuals -both young and old- for consideration for the Living Faith Awards. If there is an individual that you think should be recognized for their service and/or contributions to our parish.  Please submit a nomination for consideration by the committee. Nomination forms are available in the rear of the Church. Completed forms may be placed in the NOMINATION COLLECTION BOXES in the gathering space, or may be sent directly to the Rectory Office.

All nominations are due no later than Friday, June 21, 2013.

MANNA FOOD DRIVE

The following letter was received from Ms. Denise Hopkins, Administrator Community Food Program, Nutritional Development Services, Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Dear Father:
Thank you for your response to our annual Manna food drive.  We know that any demands are made on our parishes, so we are especially grateful to you and your parishioners for your continued support of the food cupboards throughout the Archdiocese.
During the month of May, over 100 parishes all across the five counties participated in Manna. Our parish volunteers collected over 150,000 pounds of canned goods for use in emergency food cupboards. These donations are especially helpful during the summer months, when food donations traditionally decline.
We know that the success of the Manna food drive depends upon the many volunteers who help us behind the scenes.  We would never be able to help as many people as we do without the support and generosity of people like you and your parish community.
All of us at Nutritional Development Services are grateful for your support.
Sincerely,
//s//Denise Hopkins
Administrator
Community Food Program

ALTAR SERVERS

NEW SERVER TRAINING

 It is time to start training new altar servers, if your child is entering 5th grade and would like to become an altar server please contact Sister Margaret @ 215-844-4126 ext. 103 or smargaret@stbridgeteastfalls.org. All children are welcome to serve our parish as altar servers if entering 5th grade or older.

For more Parish information, our weekly parish bulletin can be found on the website under Parish Life News drop down menu or by clicking here:
http://www.jppc.net/onlinebulletins/176template.pdf

Tickets for Camden Riversharks June 28th

This weekend June 8/9  and next June 15/16, will be the final 2 weekends to order tickets for Saint Bridget Parish Night @ the Camden Riversharks.

The game is on Friday June 28th @7:05pm.
Each $25 ticket includes game ticket, picnic area with bbq buffet included, carousel and game zone for children. Fireworks will follow the game.
Pre-ordered tickets will be available for pick-up at all Masses the weekend of June 22/23.
Note: Parking fee is $5.