The past year presented many challenges for our parish. As a result of the pandemic, we were forced to close the church to indoor Masses and we lost an important source of income – our parish hall rentals. Under the leadership of Chris Lang, Mike Milani and many others, the parish responded by moving to outdoor masses and acquiring the equipment to make it work. We later added live broadcasting and streaming on Facebook. Communication was improved by updating the website and adding weekly email newsletters. Parish meetings and ministries converted to “virtual” formats.
Our parishioners continued to give generously despite the changed conditions – plate contributions for the year were 94% of amounts we budgeted before the pandemic. Operating costs were restructured and reduced to meet the new circumstances – and we continued to rely on our volunteers for office staff, bookkeeping and many other functions. As a result, we were able to retain our three part time employees and still end the year “in the black” with operating income exceeding operating costs.
Looking forward to 2021, we are still faced with many uncertainties – when can we move back to regular indoor Masses (and at what percent of capacity), how quickly will Mass attendance recover, when will parish hall rentals resume? As a result, we have budgeted breakeven results of operations for 2021.
We are also making investments now for the future of the parish - when we return to indoor Masses and beyond. The church sound system, which has been an issue for years, is being upgraded with new speakers and wireless microphones and the old wood siding on the church is being replaced.
Thank you for your continued support of the parish.
St. Stephen Finance Committee