Pastor’s Desk – September 24, 2021

Dear Fellow Parishioners,
I plan to resume my “tour” of the Mass within the next couple of weeks, but first would like to mention a few other important items:
Farewell, Fr. Andrew Pacheco: On Sunday, October 3, we will have a final opportunity to bid farewell to Fr. Andrew Pacheco before he leaves for Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Fort Bragg. The Knights of Columbus will provide coffee and pastries in the piazza after all English-language Masses that morning. I encourage you to stop by even if you already attended the Saturday evening Mass to say good-bye and thank Fr. Pacheco for his generous ministry here at SV. While there is a general shortage of pastors in the Church, what is far rarer still is an associate of Fr. Pacheco’s ability and dedication.
Welcome Fr. Thomas Stuart: Within the next few weeks, we will also have an official welcoming of our new “parochial vicar”– that’s the official term used for what we informally call “associate pastor”. Fr. Thomas Stuart joined our parish staff for lunch on September 22, and is beginning the process of moving in. I look forward to his presence in our parish and schools. He will begin offering Sunday Masses here on the weekend of October 9-10. I believe Deacon Jim Carr will be returning that weekend as well.
Kimberly Williams, our office manager and bookkeeper, continues to make excellent progress recovering from a stroke several weeks ago. She has visited the office a few times, and will continue to do so. Your continued prayers and expressions of concern and support have been an important part of her ongoing recovery.
The Parish Financial Report is completed by Kim Williams. Thanks to her traditional efficiency, this report was substantially complete at the onset of her illness. This annual report is made to you, our parishioners, regarding the state of parish finance. Until I can provide this report in final form, I will share some basic and very encouraging information regarding the fiscal year July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Thanks to your generosity, the hard work of many people, and careful parish management, St. Vincent de Paul Church has navigated the waters of COVID-19 exceptionally well.
Because of COVID, we expected and budgeted a loss for this past year of $110,630. This would have left the parish in perilous financial condition. Instead, we turned a profit of $48,902 – – – a positive difference of $159,532.  This positive result occurred because we benefited from a PPP loan (about $100,000), and because our Special Donations exceeded our budget by $71,800. This was largely due to your generous response to my letter last fall making a rare (for me) appeal for funds. Also, the fact that our office always remained open, daily and Sunday Masses were available via the Internet, and outdoor Masses offered as soon as it was possible to do so were all major factors in attending to the needs of our parish.
Two other factors are responsible for this happy result. So many faithful parishioners continued to drop off or mail in their donations every week, often in collection envelopes. Also, SV began encouraging parishioners to use electronic giving long before COVID struck. While other parishes were scrambling to start their electronic giving, we were already enjoying its benefits. (In fact, Kim Williams was invited to another parish to teach them how to start their own electronic giving programs.)
A word of caution: Another reason our program costs were lower was due to reduced activity. This year, we are busy playing “catch-up,” and program costs will rise accordingly.
We have finally entered the fall season, perhaps the most beautiful of the year. While two of Earth’s basic elements—fire and water—are a cause for concern this fall, there is also a lot of beauty to experience and enjoy.
Fr. Bill Donahue

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