Skip to Content

From the Pastor 11/26/17

Dear Parishioners,

A blessed Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. With this celebration comes the end of the liturgical year. Next week we begin a new year with the First Sunday of Advent.

It seems appropriate as we end this liturgical year to enclose in the bulletin the 2016-17 Annual Financial Report. This report covers our income and expenses from July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. I am presently in the Silent Phase of meeting with families concerning the Archdiocesan Capital Campaign which will be coming to the parish in March 2018. I decided it is not necessary for me to come and talk about money from the pulpit since we will have enough of that coming in March. So please allow this Pastor’s Column to address the Annual Financial Report.

I again give great thanks to our Finance Council, the Business Office, and The Stewardship and Development Committees for their hard work, guidance and fiscal responsibility. As these groups can attest, this has been an exciting and very productive year. As you all are very well aware, we have successfully paid off the debt that funded the building of our new school, renovations of the church and parking lot, and purchase of the convent. On February 1, we paid $3.2M towards the debt with the final payment of this debt made in September 2017. The parish is finally debt free! Praise God! The paying off of our debt is an amazing accomplishment as it shows the love and dedication our parishioners have for St. Gertrude Church and School.

As you also know, the organ has been installed and is making beautiful music during our liturgical celebrations. The purchase of the organ, and its installation was a very long and challenging process where numerous engineers and contractors were involved in making the installation a success. Jeff Plate was at the forefront of this coordination effort, and I remain grateful for his work on this project.

Our campus infrastructure is doing well and continues to serve our parish community’s need for contractors and suppliers in place to provide the services and materials needed to operate the church and school. We continue to improve the landscaping around the campus to ensure that the campus remains a safe, inviting, and attractive place for worship and fellowship.

Our balanced budget depends mainly on us reaching our offertory goal for the year. Our progress towards this goal is published in the bulletin each week. As you know, we are completely dependent on your weekly contributions through the use of your envelopes or electronic giving to balance our budget and to provide resources for our many ministries. Please be assured that every budget in the parish is scrutinized by me with the directive that everyone who has responsibility for running programs trim their budgets and spend only what is absolutely necessary. We still need to keep the offertory as needed each week to make ends meet. The parish cannot run a deficit each year or we will have no savings for emergencies.

This fourth week of November 2017 as I am preparing this financial report for you, the parish is unfavorable to budget by $59,366. Please prayerfully consider putting in an extra offering to help us balance our budget and continue to fund the many programs and ministries here at St. Gertrude. Any weekly increase of $5, $10, $20, or more would greatly increase our financial stability.

As you will see in the Financial Summary, the Parish was over budget by $120,351 last year. Though this may appear to be a significant amount, the results are very positive in light of paying off our debt and the organ installation. The organ project was funded through our savings, which is considered a parish expense. We continue to manage costs and look for ways to reduce expenses. Our focus and goal is to reduce our operational expense.

Since July 2017 we have a permanent learning atrium in the school for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS). We have made improvements to the convent. We have put up a wall in the St. Joseph Room of the Parish Center allowing more soundproofing for the Adoration Chapel. We have sealed and stripped the park- ing lot (which we do every three years).

Big projects on the horizon will be the installation of a new boiler for the church. The boiler we presently have in the basement is the original boiler when the church was built. This boiler is failing and inefficient. All the doors, jams, and thresholds in the church and Parish Center are in bad shape and are in need of changing. We are looking to reconfigure space in the school to build a second atrium for CGS. As we anticipate the Arch- diocesan Capital Campaign in March 2018, the $2.6 that we are being asked to raise, one half million of this will come back to the parish for these big project expenses.

Finally, for those who are able, please consider electronic giving, and also remembering St. Gertrude in your will, or by naming St. Gertrude as a beneficiary on an insurance policy. These are relatively painless ways to give back to your parish.

Thank you again to our many contributing families and parishioners who make sacrifices to keep our parish financially stable. Our parish is successful due to the giving of time, talent, and treasure.

God’s blessings to you all,

As always under Our Lady’s mantle,

Rev. André-Joseph LaCasse, O.P., Pastor