Letter from the Pastor, August, 2020

August, 2020

Dear friends,

As we near the end of the summer I hope all of you are finding at least some respite from the stress of the past four months.

As you know, the Parish has resumed the regular celebration of Sunday Mass for some weeks now, albeit with restrictions as to occupancy, social distance, and the wearing of masks.

Attendance at Mass has been noticeably lower than before March, and Covid (as we are told) is still active and poses continuing health concerns. This, and a normal summer variance, has significantly impacted the spiritual and temporal state of the Parish.

August 31st marks the end of our Diocesan Fiscal Year and St. Matthew’s, like all other parishes, must submit a proposed budget to the Diocese for FY 2020-2021.

After detailed analysis of the Parish’s fiscal state and current income, I must tell you that we are looking at a projected operating budget deficit of $200, 000 for the coming Fiscal Year.  There has been a 30% decline in collections since the Covid shutdown.

Some of this shortfall can be made good by using already earmarked funds, but the deficit will still loom large. Your generosity over the past half-century and more of this Parish’s existence has given us reserves that can help in a “rainy day”. However, this has been a long “rainy day” and it seems it’s not over yet.

The image of “eating one’s seed corn” comes to mind. There are only so many budget cuts we can make.

I am very mindful that many of you have also experienced financial and employment worries. Yet I would be remiss in my duties if I did not bring this situation to your attention.

Would you be able to contribute a special gift to St. Matthew’s Parish today?

Anything you give is deeply appreciated and would enable us to face the financial future with a reasonable confidence.

You may mail in, or drop off your gift in the collection basket in church. Or, you may use Faith Direct Online Giving. The information on that service is on the website and bulletin.

As I write this, I’ve paused and asked the Holy Spirit and our good patron St. Matthew, as well as Saint Joseph, two Saints who managed the demands of holiness and who managed human and practical concerns of the Church and the Holy Family, to aid us by their intercession.

With my prayers and gratitude,

Father Robert Hewes
Pastor