Greetings in Christ. I pray this letter finds you well. I want to thank you for your continuous support of St. Francis, its mission, and me. Thanks to you, our parish is a strong presence of Christ in Cartersville.
In Romans 8:31-39, Saint Paul tells us that “nothing can separate us from the love of God.” Nothing, not even this pandemic which has created uncertainties can take away the precious gift of love which God freely gives us. It is because of this gift that we find peace and are assured that God will provide for our every need. I also believe that the gift of God’s love challenges us to remain united in our Catholic faith, and strive to love and serve God as Jesus did.
I am aware that many of you cannot attend Mass for various reasons and I understand and respect your decision. Know that you are missed, and your presence is felt both in the prayers and the economic support you provide. It is in this regard that I am writing to request your help.
Our Church requires $12,600 per week to cover all Church liturgies, education, and outreach programs, building maintenance, and administrative staff. Since March 15, 2020, our weekly offertory has declined nearly 20%. To compound the financial shortfall, several large unexpected expenses have occurred.
- Due to the COVID-19 virus, a new cleaning company has been hired to sanitize the entire church. This is crucial to protect our parishioners and staff.
- One air conditioning unit was repaired, and another unit had to be replaced. The A/C is essential to creating comfortable spaces with improved air quality throughout the parish.
- The old piano could not be repaired, and a new piano was purchased. The piano is important to the Music Ministry. Psalm 98:4 tells us “Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth; break into song, sing praise.”
These expenses are in addition to the regular monthly bills including utilities, building maintenance, and salaries to name a few. In short, many expenses large and small, the length of the pandemic, plus the reduction in our offertory have begun to directly affect the parish finances. The parish utilities and salaries of our dedicated staff are at the top of the payment list. Fortunately, some Archdiocesan payments e.g. school and Parish assessment are being deferred until a future date, but eventually they will need to be paid. To cover expenses from now through December 31, 2020, our Church total financial shortfall is $105,000. If the pandemic should continue beyond December, we will need to re- evaluate the shortfall amount.
For this, I am asking for your financial support to cover our expenses and to assure a strong savings account in case this crisis continues, and for necessary future expenses. I hope that you will pray to God and ask for his wisdom and guidance to help you decide how much you are able to contribute to our Parish. Please consider increasing your weekly offertory and/or make a special donation to help cover the costs of some of the expenses to guarantee that St. Francis will continue to be the Presence of Christ for Cartersville.
Please call me at 678-558-1331 if you have any questions about your additional financial support for our Parish. You may donate by mailing a check to the Church or on-line at www.myowngiving.com/Default.aspx?cid=557. If you would like to donate stock, please let me know and I will supply the details on how that transaction can be handled. Thank you for your consideration, your prayers, and your generosity to Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. May God reward you!
Fr. Juan Anzora