Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Each year, the Archdiocese of Boston requires pastors to provide all parishioners with a report of the finan- cial health of their parish. This report covers fiscal year 2020, which began on July 1, 2019, and ended on June 30, 2020. [These reports will also be available on our website.] For four months of the past fiscal year, our families were going through a difficult time with the COVID crisis. The same is true of our parish family. I am very grateful for the generous support of IC parishioners. Although IC Parish struggled financially at the beginning of the COVID crisis, our financial condition would have been much worse without the support of the IC community.
In addition to the generous support of our parishioners, we were also proactive in pursuing assistance. We were awarded a Paycheck Protection Program loan from the SBA. We expect this loan to be forgiven be- cause 100% of this loan was used to satisfy our payroll obligations in keeping with the loan program require- ments.
In addition to seeking assistance when necessary and prudent, we also did on a parish level what many families had to do in their own homes. We cut expenses where we could. This process started two years ago, but increased in urgency due to the COVID crisis. We are continually looking for ways to decrease spending so we can focus our resources on the central mission of our parish.
During this past fiscal year, we hired a new business manager who worked diligently on the expense side of our finances, and she will continue to do so in the coming months. This position was vacant for many months and her assistance was greatly needed. The end result of the review of the expense side of our an- nual report is that our parish operating expenses were reduced by 11% in fiscal year 2020 (exclusive of nec- essary capital improvements and expenditures related to the fire and support provided to the school).
I would like to share a few more financial highlights and concerns as we turn our attention to fiscal year 2021. First, the COVID crisis continues in fiscal year 2021 and with that comes a reduction in our offertory. Signing up for on-line giving helps us a great deal as it makes our offertory more predictable. As is the case any time I speak of parish finances, please know that I am truly grateful for the generosity of our parishion- ers and I am also mindful of the struggles that so many of our families are experiencing due to the COVID crisis.
Second, one of the reasons IC Parish was able to maintain relative financial health this past fiscal year, was due to the generous donations from parishioners, over and above their weekly offerings, which totaled $53,000. With countless numbers of our parishioners struggling financially, those that were able to do so provided much needed financial assistance to the parish.
Third, as we conclude the main work of the post-fire restoration, we will now turn our attention to the finan- cial health of the parish. Although the bulk of the restoration work is behind us, we will need to raise funds at some point in the future to pay for some of the work that has already been completed that was not covered by insurance. This initiative will be introduced to the parish as a formal fundraising program once the COVID crisis is behind us.
Although the main focus of your priests is always the spiritual care of souls, we also continue to work dili- gently to be good stewards of the temporal goods entrusted to us.
God bless, Fr. Steven
Father Steven Clemence