Pastoral Letter

My Dear Parishioners,

I hope that all of you had a peaceful and enjoyable summer.  We can all look forward to an eventful fall here at O.L.G.C.  Our parish school is off and running with great enthusiasm under the direction of our new principal Mrs. Barbara Riley, our PREP is back in session, and our many parish organizations are meeting and active once again.  The OLGC School Alumni Association is holding its homecoming weekend, and our annual 40 Hours Devotions will be held from October 22 to October 24.  I encourage everyone to spend some time with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

Although we Christians are not called to be “of” the world, we are required to live and function within the world.  As a large and active parish, this means that we incur many ongoing expenses, and our facilities require constant maintenance.  Repairs were recently needed for the roofs of both the church and the school.  Expenses were also incurred from a termite problem in the church and Trinity Center.  The largest recent expense was the resurfacing and repainting of the parking lot which cost $30,365.  The above is all in addition to our regular operating expenses.

Many of you have been very generous to OLGC for many years.  I am truly grateful, and I do not take your generosity for granted.  I appreciate that you have been very generous to recent special collections for the victims of hurricanes and other needs of the Universal Church.  However, it is essential that we all be aware of the financial challenges that face our parish and do our best to assist according our means.

This past summer, we have been taking steps to address our serious needs.  In July, we instituted a new monthly envelope for the assistance of our parish school.  In August, our new parish finance manager Stephen Lewis began to serve at OLGC.  Steve comes to us with years of experience in financial work and a great desire to help us address our present needs to move into the future on a secure financial footing. He will introduce himself at all the Masses on the weekend of October 28 – 29.  On that weekend, we will have envelopes in the pews for a special collection to defray the recent maintenance costs mentioned above (especially the parking lot expenses).  Please take home an envelope, pray about your donation, and return it in the collection on November 4 – 5.

Moreover, we now have a new Weekly Financial Update on page 3 of the parish bulletin.  This update will show the amount received in the collection from a recent weekend as well as the average weekly income from special collections (holy days, “block collection,” memorial donations, etc.) and other sources of income.  From the weekly income will be subtracted the average weekly expenses of the parish, the average weekly expenses of the parish school that are not covered by tuition or other sources of school income, and the average weekly expense from Archdiocesan assessments.  Currently, this results in a weekly negative number that is significant.  I ask you to please review these numbers, pray for guidance, and be as generous as possible to help our great parish.  I know that some of you are on fixed incomes with many expenses of your own each month.  You may already be doing everything you can.  However, some of us may be able to do more.  If those who are able would increase their weekly offering by as little as five dollars, we would be well on our way to a balanced budget.

Please be assured that all of us at OLGC are committed to using the resources of the parish wisely and responsibly for your good, for the service of our brothers and sisters in need, and for the glory of God.  As always, be assured of my prayers for your health, well being, and growth in love for our Lord.  May Our Lady of Good Counsel intercede for us now and always.

Yours in Christ,

Reverend Robert G. Suskey