Each year in February we begin to pull together numbers for the new parish budget which will be approved by the Parish Council in May to become effective on July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year. Staff members and committee chairs are asked to present their needs for the coming fiscal year—July to June—and the Finance Committee tries to match that total against foreseeable income. That can be a tough job.
Each year St. Cecilia's contributes 3% of its annual weekend income to charitable causes outside of the parish. This is a written policy and part of the annual parish budget. This year that amount is $10,485. Roughly half of that amount pays for the six dinners we serve at the Dorothy Day Center each year. The rest goes to nearby Catholic schools, Keystone food shelves and various causes in the city. One year we bought a refrigerator for a small food shelf so they could begin to handle fresh meat and vegetables.
Dorothy Day Dinners:
Six times each year, St. Cecilia's Parish feeds 250 people at the Catholic Charities Dorothy Day Center in downtown St. Paul. Ten to fifteen of our parishioners buy, cook and serve a complete dinner, at the cost of $860 per evening or $5,160 per year. That amount is part of our annual budget, and part of our contribution to the welfare of our larger community.
St. Cecilia's presently owes $195,959.54 to Sunrise Bank; this is the balance of the $1.5 million we borrowed in 2002 in order to build “the Link” and remodel the existing house and church building. Our monthly payment to the bank is $3,415 or $40,980 per year, including principal and interest. Money to make these payments comes from our regular weekend collections and is a big part of our annual budget. In some years, special year-end gifts to the parish enable us to make additional principal payments.
The Light Bill
The cost of heat, light and water is a significant item in our parish budget. Last year, a rather tough winter, we spent $12,092.23 to stay warm and bright. This year we are on track to spend about the same amount and, unless spring comes early, we may exceed our budget of $11,040 by a few hundred dollars.
Liturgy is a significant part of our parish budget. Last year we spent $7,951.81 for candles, wine & hosts, extra musicians, new music and piano tuning—all this in addition to more than $2,000 in extra contributions for Christmas and Easter flowers—all of it money well spent.
Each year we are assessed an amount determined by the Archdiocese. This year that amount is $30,916, or 8% of last year's parish income (after various IRS-type adjustments); we pay it in four quarterly payments of $7,729 each. This is part of our contribution to our larger community, from Catholic Charities to the operation of the Archdiocesan offices, including the other half of our pastor's salary. Remember that 92% of our parish income stays in the parish.
Payroll and benefits form a bit over two-thirds of the parish expense budget. These amounts are low by any standard, but generally within the range of similar staff salaries in the Archdiocese. We pay only half of the pastor's salary and benefits; the other half comes from his work as hospital chaplain.
Maintenance of our building and grounds is a significant piece of the annual parish budget. Property and liability insurance costs about $6,500 per year; rubbish and snow removal, lawn care, elevator and furnace maintenance, municipal street assessments, etc., etc. add another $11,700. And this does not include the cost of electricity, gas, and water described here, nor does it include major repair/improvement projects that are becoming increasingly necessary.
The Income Side
The parish budget for the coming year July 2015 to June 2016 is almost ready for final approval. Total operating expenses and debt service for the year, after being pressed down, shaken, shaved and otherwise reduced to the minimum, come to $390,940. The best estimate we can make for income, however, is only $368,700. That leaves a deficit of $22,240. There is no more fat to cut from the budget, and we don't think you want to eliminate any of the essentials. How can we cut Faith Formation, or insurance, or the light bill? If we can't reduce costs, we have to increase income. The deficit of $22,240 is just under 5% of anticipated weekend collection amounts. If we increase our normal contributions by 5%, we will close the gap and balance the budget with all programs intact. Please consider that.
Summary of Financial Information
The Church of St. Cecilia encourages its parishioners to take advantage of the option to debit their checking or saving accounts each month for their regular contribution to the operating budget of the church. An additional contribution can be likewise made to the building fund by direct deposit. To accomplish this, please complete the Direct Deposit Forms and return to the Parish Office at 2357 Bayless Place, St. Paul, MN 55114.
Click here to print the Direct Deposit Form for regular donations.
Click hereto print the Direct Deposit Form for the building fund.
Electronic Funds Transfer
Most banking institutions have a process by which you can authorize them to issue a check to St. Cecilia or in some cases an electronic funds transfer to St. Cecilia's operating account. You should make contact with your bank if you wish to do this. You can contact Linda Whiteneck at 651.644.4502 to obtain the bank routing number and account number for the appropriate St. Cecilia account to do the electronic funds transfer.
We welcome gifts of stock. St. Cecilia has an account with UBS Financial Services to accept your stock gift transfer electronically. To make a gift of stock you may either call the broker who assists us in these transactions (Shaun Scott at 651.298.1623), or call our parish office for assistance. St. Cecilia’s will acknowledge reception of the gift by letter, but we are not able/allowed to determine or assign a cash value to the donor’s gift. The broker can assist in determining the approximate market value of the gift for the donor’s records at the time that the stock is actually exchanged.
Finance Committee Minutes