Increased Offertory Program
Dear Parish family,
“I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you,” (Phil 1: 3).
During the annual cleaning of our church to prepare for the Easter Season, we had to celebrate daily mass in the Gathering Place. The parish hall, where we initially thought of celebrating the daily masses, was housing three homeless families for the week as part of the interfaith program Family Promise (in which our parish has been an active participant for many years now). We are privileged to participate in the Lord’s work of shepherding his people as much as we rejoice in the fact that the Gospel is proclaimed in our community through the vibrant ways we worship and the myriad occasions we celebrate as community of faith. I praise and thank God for providing for our needs as much as I bless the Lord for your generosity and of all of the members of our family that makes it possible for us to live out our mission as a community of faith. With your cheerful giving and active participation we conducted a series of renovations to update our parish facilities and have begun and continue to put together innovative programs to make us grow in our discipleship and outreach to the greater community.
Wonderful as these may sound, we are still a long way from realizing our full potential as a parish community. Our growing numbers demand more facilities for meetings and celebrations. We need to update and maintain our offices and rectory, not to mention our use of technology in church. The poor and the needy in our community need programs that would effectively minister to them not only through providing for their material needs but the preaching of the Word as well. Our school needs assistance to be able to provide scholarships to those who cannot afford a Catholic education. But the most challenging of all is that St. Stephen Martyr is faced with a serious financial issue we must address. Last year we experienced a net loss of over $14,000 to our regulating income. As a result, our parish leadership must confront these concerns by moving forward with a concerted effort to increase our Sunday offertory collection.
Increasing our offertory will allow us to continue the mission of our church without operating in a deficit. I realize that much has already been asked of you. Some families and individual are already experiencing difficult financial times. I am counting on the many, who are able, to make sacrifices and increase their weekly offering.
Please review the contents of this special brochure and consider how you can help our parish. Our goal through this program is to substantially increase our regular offertory contributions. Other parishes that have conducted similar programs have seen their offertory increase between 20% and 40%. Please review the suggested guidelines for giving which are enclosed. A special Commitment Sunday was held at mass the weekend of May 4th and 5th and each family was asked to make a prayerful sacrifice and complete a Commitment Card of the gifts they will share to support the works of St. Stephen. If you missed this mass but would like to participate, please contact the parish office.
Feel free to contact me by calling the parish office or by sending an email through our parish website with any questions or concerns you may have regarding this initiative. I am extremely appreciative of everyone’s past generosity to the parish. I thank you in advance for your support, understanding, and kindness.
Fr. Leo Ortega
Please review the gift charts as you consider your commitment to St. Monica Church. Each one of us has unique circumstances and income. The gift charts serve as a guideline to help you determine an appropriate increase based on your means. The charts should be within the means of most parishioners. Please prayerfully consider your commitment level.