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Financial Report Explanation

Good afternoon. It’s time for my annual report to you on our parish finances. My name is Phil Hughes, I am a parishioner and have been for over 42 years. I would like to speak to you for just a few minutes on behalf of the finance council of the parish concerning the financial report of our parish for our most recent fiscal year ended June 30th, 2016.

 

Enclosed with the bulletin this week is a financial report of the income and expenses of the parish for the last two fiscal years – for comparison purposes. 6/30/15 and 6/31/16. The report is double sided. Side one contains a narrative of some of the highlights of the finances and Side two contains the actual amounts of the income and expenses. Don’t worry – I am not going to bore you by going over every line item. As an accountant, every time I start to talk about financial statements with people, I notice their eyes start to glaze over and then they start to doze off. I actually have started to get a complex about it – I am beginning to think my subject matter is not very exciting to people. Imagine that. So I am just going to summarize and point out some of the more significant issues.

But – I would urge you to take it home and review it when you have some time.

 

The big picture is this. When you look at the total income of the parish compared to the prior year, you can see that our total revenue is much lower, about 10% lower in fact. In the prior year our revenue was $550,000 whereas for the most recent year it was only $500,000. Unfortunately, our revenue has been declining for a few years now. For the 2013 fiscal year, our total revenue was almost $600,000.

However, we did pick up some savings in our total expenses – Last year we spent $617,000 compared to only $549,000 this year.

 

As you can see, we have now run at a deficit for two years in a row. A deficit of $67,000 for 2015 and a deficit of $48,000 for 2016 – a total of $115,000 in just two years.

The drop in revenue over the last few years has come primarily from the reduction in our regular Sunday and Holy Day collections. They went down by $51,000 from the prior year. That is actually the scary thing because that is our bread and butter revenue, the regular, recurring income we need to pay our bills. That item accounts for about 84% of our total income.

 

On the expense side of things, we were able to reduce the total outlay by about $68,000. This reduction was primarily in the maintenance of the parish facilities category. However, as you can imagine, that is an ongoing battle. Our parish buildings are very old and it costs a lot to keep them maintained. We don’t want to fall behind, because then we would have even more costs in the future in deferred maintenance costs.

 

You will notice that there is a line item for Parish Scholarship Payments of $24,000. We partner with 22 school families that are registered and contribute to St. Bridget parish by paying a portion of the tuition they have to pay to attend other Archdiocesan elementary schools since we do not have a school here.

The rest of the expenses are pretty much consistent with prior years.

 

There is some good news. The parish has no debt. You may recall that a number of years ago, we owed the archdiocese several hundred thousand dollars for unpaid insurance premiums, assessments, teachers benefits, etc. That was all paid back with the proceeds of the sale of the school building.

 

Another item that is mentioned in the report is the status of the Heritage of Faith campaign that was conducted some years ago. You will recall that we raised a lot of money several years ago for this. The money that we received from the campaign this past year is NOT shown in our income. That money is paid directly to vendors for large unusual items. For this past year, we received the final balance of those funds, $25,000, and that money went directly to the person who has restored and repaired our stained glass window. So there is no more money in that fund for us.

Lastly, I just want to address the properties we own and maintain. The old convent is leased to a group of people who train as rowers on the river. They live here so they can live close to the river. We receive rent on the building and the rent covers all of our expenses of maintaining the building and even gives us a little extra for our treasury.

And of course we still own the former Dr. Marani house next door which is used as the convent by our sisters.

We have been able to fund these annual deficits from the proceeds of the sale of the school building. However, those funds are dwindling fast. Remember that we owed the archdiocese over $500,000 right off the bat. But funding these deficits has eaten away at that reserve.

 

So the bottom line is that we, as a parish, have to find ways to increase our revenue so that we can remain solvent into the future. I don’t want to have Fr. Feeney losing sleep at night wondering how we will continue to keep the parish afloat.

The challenge for the future is to make sure that we are able to cover all of our expenses from our current revenue. Our costs increase all of the time just like everyone elses. So we on the finance council urge you all to continue your generous support of the parish – both in terms of the upkeep of our physical structure as well as that of our catholic mission.

 

And, where possible, consider increasing your support for the parish both in the weekly collection as well as in our special fund raising events. As I mentioned, the regular collection basket is the backbone of our income.

 

The finance council together with Fr. Feeney is trying to come up with other fund raising ideas – the one that seems to be a very viable idea at this time would be to institute a parish lottery. Other parishes have one and they have been very successful. So stay tuned and, please, continue to support St. Bridget.

 

As we have come to know all too well over the last few years. This is our parish. With all due respect to Fr. Feeney, we have had many pastors over the years, but we, the parishioners have all lived here for decades. So this is our church, our responsibility, our job.

 

Thanks for your support and your attention.