Ways to Give Financially

The Offertory, or Collection, at Mass is an integral part of the Sunday liturgy, not just because it is the primary means by which the parish receives financial support from the parishioners, but because it is also an expression of our gratitude to God for the blessings He has given us to return a portion of them back to Him for use by His Church.

By our baptism as Catholics we are called to be stewards of God’s gifts to us, to use them in ways that build up our families, our parish, our community, and our world. In that stewardship, we are encouraged to be deliberate and intentional in weighing our various obligations against our limited resources as we decide where we spend those resources of time and money and effort. When we give to our parish and to the greater Church, we are witnessing to our children and to the world about our values and about what’s important to us.

The parish offers various methods by which parishioners can support her mission through various offerings and collections. Each method has unique recipients and benefits both to the giver and the parish.

Weekly Offering - The weekly offering is to the parish what your paycheck is for your family. This is how the bills get paid: utility bills, insurance, salaries for clergy and staff, and all the other line items you see in the annual or quarterly financial reports. The weekly offering is the collection (the first one if there are two in any given week) taken up at Mass on Sunday, except on Christmas and Easter. (More on those in a moment.)

Monthly Offertory - This monthly collection, is used to balance the operating budget. As those expenses we just enumerated above have risen in recent years, our costs have exceeded the amount received in the weekly offering. The monthly collection helps us move closer to meeting our obligations.

Grand Annual - This collection has a long tradition in the Archdiocese of Boston and was originally intended to supplement our operating income to provide for special expenses and projects that fall outside budgeted expenses, like building repairs or unexpected maintenance. Unfortunately, over the years as budgets became strained, more and more of the Grand Annual collections have been used to pay parish obligations in the operating budget.

Snow Removal & Air Conditioning/Heating- Occasionally special collections are taken up during the year to help pay for expenses related to smow removal and energy. As everyone knows, the cost of energy is always rising. Meanwhile, our aging buildings are often not energy efficient, especially when it comes to our heating systems and thus they use more energy than we’d like.

Christmas and Easter - Only one collection is taken on Christmas and Easter, and it is not for the parish. The proceeds are sent to the Clergy Benefit Trust Fund, which provides health and retirement benefits to the hundreds of priests who serve and have served us throughout our lives, from baptism through thousands of Masses, marriages, family illnesses, and funerals. They are with us throughout our lives and we give as generously as our means permit to provide for them when they need us most.

Second Collections - Other collections are taken up throughout the year as a second collection at Mass, as determined by the Archdiocese of Boston. These provide for local, national, and international needs. Some are scheduled every year and others are special, one-time collections responding to a special need such as a natural disaster. The Archdiocese provides a list of second collections and their dates on their web site.

Capital Campaign - Every few years, the parish may embark on a capital campaign. These are special fundraising efforts to accomplish big projects. Sometimes it may be for necessary maintenance such a re-roofing the church or replacing the heating system. Other times it may be for a more forward-looking effort like upgrading and renovating spaces to make them more useful for different ministries to provide support for a special evangelization campaign to connect with more parishioners. The campaigns usually take a long time to prepare. Then there is a period of time in which pledges and gifts are requested, and then usually three years over which pledges are paid in installments. These funds are not for the regular operating budget of the parish and so its important for the parish to plan the capital campaign in such a way that it does not decrease the weekly offertory that pays the regular bills.

The Catholic Appeal - The Appeal is an annual campaign that pays for the work of the Central Ministries of the Archdiocese as directed by Cardinal Seán. Those ministries provide invaluable aid to parishes like ours in a variety areas from training to financial expertise to real estate and engineering consulting to insurance and risk management services to evangelization training to youth ministry opportunities and formation to ministry to all the various cultures represented in our area. The Cardinal asks each parish to raise a certain dollar amount as their share of the archdiocesan total, taking into account the particular circumstances of the parish. Money raised above the parish goal will be shared with the parish. If a parish falls short of its assessed goal, the difference is paid to the archdiocese out of the operating funds of the parish. You are always welcome to make a donation to the Catholic Appeal, credited to our parish, at any time of the year at their web site.

Bequests or Planned Gifts - A planned gift is a way to support the parish that can cost nothing during your lifetime, can provide significant tax savings and can create a personal legacy for you that can continue to pass on your values to future generations. Such gifts can be restricted to particular purposes or provide for the general operation of the parish. They can be revocable or irrevocable. In fact, there are many forms that a planned gift can take. For information on making a planned gift, please contact the Finance & Operations Manager at operations@sauguscatholics.org.

 

 

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