Thursday, July 24, 2008

Marvelous mighty mortgage

In the From the Pastor’s Desk column in the July 13, 2008 St. Al's parish bulletin he writes,
Thanks, too, for your continued financial support. This enables our parish to do marvelous works and mighty deeds.

At St. Al's, this kind of flattery is usually soon followed by a reminder that the parish has some trouble paying its bills. In this case, it follows immediately.
We have finalized the re-financing of our $2.6 million dollar debt. We will pay 6.45% for the next 20 years. This brings our monthly payments to a manageable amount.

Or, to put it another way, the original plan for shorter term financing with periodic debt-reduction campaigns turned out to be unmanageable. To the question What would my loan payments be? Yahoo's calculator replied
Your estimated monthly payments are $19,308.44 and you will pay $2,034,026 in interest over the life of the loan.

The annual payments total $231,700. The parish currently budgets expecting $1,365,000 in regular donations, mostly through the "weekly envelope". Assuming the refinancing will mean, more or less, adding the mortgage payment to this, the total required becomes $1,596,000 (about 17% more, a total of $133,000 per month or $30,700 per week).


  1. If I may ask, what is the source of the debt?

  2. Anonymous10:35 AM

    This enables our parish to do marvelous works and mighty deeds.

    Who needs God when financial support does marvelous works & mighty deeds?

  3. David: The debt results from a building project which added a Community Room, improved disabled access, and remodeled the former Convent into improved office and conference/classroom space. It's been a topic in earlier posts but here's a short version. The then-pastor wrote us all that the project was needed because the parish is growing. I went to a meeting and pointed out that all the available statistics indicated the number of people at mass, number of students in school, etc., were declining. The response was that the parish was growing, but not in that sense. I analogize this to that line from Star Wars, "So, what I told you was true...from a certain point of view."

    Anonymous 10:35 AM: There seems to be a reluctance to explicitly connect, say, the Gospel, to specifics of what the parish is doing, or would like to do, and then connect these to the money. For example, in this column the pastor about midway through says "This might be a good time to reflect on how the WORDS of our faith, the WORDS of Jesus have had and continue to have power in our lives." Looks like a segue into saying how they have power in the life of our parish. Instead he goes immediately to talking about interviewing for a new parish engineer and refinancing the mortgage.

  4. Why would Dolan sign such a proxy?

  5. The St. Al's project was completed in 2002, so any Archdiocesan approval would be from before Archbishop Dolan.

    On the other hand, he's apparently signed off since on other parish's projects for which I didn't see a compelling need in the information publicly available.