Every year around this time, I like to share our year-end financial statements for the past fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 2021. (I usually wait until the fall to share these numbers with the parish so that our Business Manager and I have time to review them with the Parish Finance Council.)
I’ll be the first to admit that, with the unusual nature of the past year, these statements are hard to compare with previous years. If you recall from past reports, we had been running at a deficit and have been working to shrink that deficit each year. We have been able to do this without dipping into our savings at all because our cash flow has been stable, but we have been moving closer to a balanced budget each year to ensure the long-term financial health of our parish. The events of the past year, however, particularly the COVID pandemic and the sacristy fire, have resulted in unusual and inflated numbers for both income and expenses. Most significantly, we received a Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loan that proved to be enormously beneficial during the worst of the COVID pandemic, enabling us to continue normal operations without laying off any employees or reducing their hours or wages. (The PPP provided a loan in the Spring of 2020 that subsequently was forgiven in full as part of the federal government’s CARES Act.)
These income accounts also reflect other extraordinary, one-time events, including grants that covered health and safety expenses, grants for technology purchases in the school, and insurance reimbursements related to the sacristy fire. The expense side of the equation also contains a number of extraordinary items, including the health & safety and technology expenses that were partially reimbursed by grant money and the cleanup expenses from the fire. Expenses (and insurance reimbursements) also reflect the impact of some flooding that occurred in the school in the summer of 2020 while the construction project was still in progress. Finally, the unprecedented freeze that occurred in the southern United States translated into much higher utility expenses for natural gas. (Please note that the expenses and insurance reimbursements related to the act of vandalism that occurred over the summer don’t appear on these statements since this event occurred in the current fiscal year.)
When it comes to our more “normal” operations, there are some positive and negative trends to report:
- Total collections came in about $85,000 under budget. We are so grateful to the dedication of our parishioners throughout the pandemic, which prevented this shortfall from being much worse. We continue to review our collections regularly in hopes that we will eventually get back to our previous level of giving.
- The Bishop’s Appeal was extraordinarily successful. The generosity of our parishioners, coupled with the reduced goal by the diocese, allowed us to realize a $93,000 overage, which compensated for the reduced collection.
- The Spring Auction was extraordinarily successful. This was the first time we’ve held the auction virtually, and we weren’t sure what to expect. Our parishioners came through beautifully, and so we were still able to exceed our budget, with thanks to our chairs and all the parishioners who supported this event.
- School income proved to be much more challenging. Our school enrollment took a hit of about 30 students because of the COVID pandemic. Much of this occurred in our Early Childhood programs, with some families electing to wait to begin their children in these programs. We’ve seen a recovery in enrollment for these programs this year, but this set of financials reflects the effect of this dip in enrollment.
So when you look at the bottom line, the overall result is favorable, but that is primarily due to the PPP loan program. We are keeping a careful eye on expenses as our operations slowly return to normal to make sure that we can keep getting closer to a balanced budget each year.
We are so grateful to our parishioners who serve on the Finance Council and have provided invaluable guidance and oversight through this most unusual year: Nathan Baumgartner, Danny Conroy, Eric Karaman, Liz Rulli, Rose Savastano, Chris Skoczylas, Shawn Stevens, Leslie Yates and Luis Zapata. (Eric and Rose rolled off the Council this year, with TJ Brecht and Mark Berta replacing them.) Special thanks also go to our school administration, who did so much to maintain the high quality of our educational ministry while being good stewards of our resources; our maintenance staff, who worked extra hard to maintain our facilities throughout a never-ending stream of challenges; and our Business Manager, Abby Doyle, who has done so much to keep us financially stable and healthy during such a challenging time.
And many thanks to you, our parishioners. Please take some time to look through the enclosed financial report to see how your contributions are being used. My staff and I are committed to being good stewards of your time, talent and treasure, and I am exceptionally grateful for how your commitment to our parish has sustained us (and not just financially, either) through the challenging events of the past year.