I’d like to begin this year’s State of the Parish message with a resounding THANK YOU! Thank you for your generous response to the appeals and the initiatives over this past year. As you can see in the report, we are making great strides as a parish community. The underlying message that I hope you take away from this year’s report is this – while our individual steps as parishioners may seem small, together those steps amount to significant leaps forward towards our successful future state. Let’s keep the momentum going!
It is enormously encouraging for us to pause for a moment and consider the many steps each of you, the wonderful parishioners of St. James the Apostle Church, have taken that has enabled our beloved parish to positively leap forward.
Here are a few examples:
- Increase in parishioner involvement in outreach opportunities
- Increase in parishioner participation in community building events led by the Parish Life committee
- Whole family participation in our revamped Religious Education program
- Increased giving to the Sunday Collections
- Exceeding the parish goal for the 2022 Archdiocesan Annual Appeal
- Support for new fundraising initiatives
The Finance Council and I are conscious of the fact that we still have work to do. While you can see in the report an increase in expenses, largely related to physical infrastructure repairs and the maintenance of the church, rectory, and school buildings, we are determined to continue to be good stewards of the parish’s resources.
We are also very conscious of the fact that an important barometer of a parish’s health and longevity is the active and generous participation of ALL its parishioners, both in the pastoral ministry of the church and in the generous financial support of the church’s operations. It is clear to see from the State of the Parish report that your continued generous response to the parish’s financial need and the Finance Council’s work
has brought the parish to an almost breakeven from a deficit of $185,000. It is safe to say that this is a praiseworthy accomplishment and a bright testament to our partnership.
Integral to our responsibility as stewards has been the highly engaging and thorough Request for Proposal process for the redevelopment of the school and convent properties, as well as the feasibility study for a potential Centennial Capital Campaign to build a new parish center. It is our hope that once the proposals have been submitted and reviewed later this month, we will have a clearer picture of what’s possible with regards to both the redevelopment of the school and convent properties and the construction of a new parish center vis-à-vis a Centennial Capital Campaign. I’d like to reiterate the 3-fold goals that have been determined by the Finance Council and validated by the St. James Campus Redevelopment Committee:
- Tackle the legacy debt (approximately $800,000)
- Generate an ongoing revenue stream
- Address current and future building needs
(school, convent, rectory, new parish center)
Friends, with our Centennial celebration well underway, I’d like to quote the beautiful last line from our parish’s Centennial Prayer: “Good and gracious God, may your goodness and love, which has guided us these one hundred years, continue to sustain us in the present and lead us into the future.” As we continue to make important strides towards a successful future state, let us be mindful of the source from which all good things come and to whom all thanks and praise is due – our good and gracious God!
Thank you, God, for this wonderful community of faith. Thank you, God, for giving us the wisdom to take small steps individually and the courage to take positive leaps collectively. Thank you for walking with us each step of the way,
every single day.
I remain sincerely yours in Christ,