Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Need is Real. The Need is Now.

St. Mary Catholic Faith Community in nearby Hales Corners posted some "Frequently Asked Questions About Our Mortgage", which stands at $4,255,760 as of January. Briefly, parishioners are not paying it off nearly as quickly as had been assumed.

If you Listen to Steve Borkenhagen's presentation that he gave on Nov. 18, 2007, it sounds like they're going to combine funding of operating and capital expenses. I understood the separation for accounting reasons, but doubted the miraculous fundraising powers ascribed to it. At the current rate, I calculate it would take them 20 years to pay off the mortgage.

If only they had a dollar for every time a parishioner was told "Church is not a building" or words to that effect, they could probably pay off the mortgage, and go back to calling it St. Mary Church.

We have similar financial problems at my St. Al's Church. (see this earlier post, item III.m.) I can recall being told the parish capital campaign assumed the parishioners would be so impressed with the new construction they would pay for it with "new money" in addition to their continuted contributions to the operating expenses. I can also recall being told it was assumed that parishioners would pay toward the capital fund by reducing their contributions to the operating fund.

At least it was a change to hear contradictory explanations about something other than liturgy, but real world results in financial matters get attention. The "From the Pastor's Desk" column in the May 11, 2008 St. Al's bulletin says
I recently had a meeting with a representative of the Catholic Knights, Inc. They hold the mortgage on our building. It is hoped that we can refinance our current mortgage, which has a balloon payment due in 2011 of nearly 2 million dollars. Refinancing will allow us to reduce our monthly debt service of $32,000.00 to something like $19,000. The catch is that we will be paying for 20 years. No decision has been finalized, and your comments are welcome.

Comments are welcome? Well, as a pastor once emailed me on a liturgical point, "do you reall think jesus cares..."

1 comment:

  1. And in related news, Wisconsin's tax-revenues are now only 12.3% of personal income for Wisconsin residents--an increase of .02% from 2006.