FAQ’s About Finances at St. Francis of Assisi
Q: I thought the Archdiocese of New York gives the parish money. How much do we receive from the Archdiocese?
A: We receive no money from the Archdiocese. It’s the other way around: as a parish of the Archdiocese we are required to support archdiocesan endeavors. We pay to support the regular functioning of the Archdiocese and our Catholic schools.
Q: I thought this is a rich parish because the church is always so beautifully maintained. Doesn’t St. Francis have a lot of money?
A: We are rich in faith, love and good people, but we are not financially rich. St. Francis struggles each year to meet our budget. We survive because of people financially supporting the church on a regular basis.
Q: Has online giving affected our income?
A: Absolutely! Online giving is the best way to make your contribu- tions, and our online givers are our best supporters. The average in-pew donation per week is only $4.00, while the average per- week donation online is about $25.00.
Q: I give to the St. Francis Breadline – doesn’t that support the Church too?
A: No. Breadline donations only support the Breadline, not the Church. Giving to the Breadline is great, but we need people to contribute to the Church.
Q: I put a dollar in the basket each week. Isn’t that enough?
A: If that is all you can afford, of course it is enough! But we would not be able to keep this Church open if everyone gave just a dollar each week. If you are earning a decent salary in New York, actually, a dollar is not enough. The Bible calls us to a 10% tithe. We are asking a 2.5% tithe because we know that it is expensive to live in New York. Our giving should be a sacrificial support of the Church’s mission, not a symbolic offering of just one dollar.
Q: Why does the church need money?
A: Like everyone else, we have expenses to make the work we do here happen. Just our monthly electric bill is about $8,000 to $10,000! We have bills to keep the church heated and clean and well maintained. The music at Mass costs money. We have to pay for security services because we are open every day, all day. We also have staff that we must pay to keep our Church running as well as all the ministries and services we provide.
Q: How much does St. Francis need from each person to meet our budget?
A: About 2,500 people attend Mass at St. Francis each week. If cover our budget. In other words, if we all commit to contributing $100 per month, our Parish would be okay. Our membership in the church is worth at least that much.
We need everyone to do their part to keep St. Francis on firm financial ground. The best way to use this is to make your offering using our online giving system. We want to thank everyone who supports the Church of St. Francis throughout the year. Our income comes only from our members and visitors who financially support our community.
The Lenten season is a fresh invitation to explore again who God is, who we are, and what it means to be human. We begin by hearing the tragic story of the first humans in the book of Genesis. As Paul describes in Romans, our struggles started when our ancestors broke the bond of unity with God, sought self-sufficiency, and grew apart from their true purpose and identity. In Matthew’s Gospel, we see how Jesus resists the lure of living outside of unity with God. Jesus rejects false promises of possessions, power, and status. Instead, he puts his life in his Father’s hands. As our model for living as a fully human person, Jesus demonstrates that we are created to live in relationship with and trust in God, and in harmony with and for all of creation.
Being like God
The story of Adam and Eve, in Genesis 2 and 3, considers the origins of the trials and sufferings that we experience in human life. Part of the problem, the story suggests, is the human effort to be like God. Humans are therefore forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The story is quite a contrast from Genesis 1, which proclaims that we are made in the image and likeness of God, and called to seek to become more like God. This creates a tension that points to a challenge in our life of faith: we are created both to embody God by developing our God-given human capacities, and also to live in radical trust and dependence on God. We are called to embrace and to live into this tension.
When the people of Israel were freed from Egypt, they were declared to be God’s chosen and beloved people. They wandered in the desert for forty years, often with great resistance, as God prepared them to enter the Promised Land.
Jesus’ forty days in the desert echoes their story, and offer a contrast. At his baptism, just before being led into the desert by the Spirit, Jesus was declared by a voice from the heavens to be God’s “beloved Son.” So, twice in today’s passage, he is lured with the words“If you are the Son of God . . .” The devil tempts Jesus to redefine his sonship of God on his own terms, instead of following his Father. Israel had failed to understand its identity as God’s people, but Jesus demonstrates how to live as God’s Beloved.
These contrasting stories of Israel and of Jesus present us with a challenge. We are regularly tempted to redefine our identity as Christians on our own terms, to make faith comfortable and non- threatening. This Lenten season can re-mind us to allow God to transform our minds and hearts on God’s terms.
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Stations of the Cross
Every Friday after the 12:30 & 5:30 PM Masses
“Pardon & Peace” Service of Reconciliation
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 7:00 PM
A Lenten Afternoon of Prayer Saturday
April 4, 2020 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM San Damiano Hall
Matthew the Evangelist added his own unique touches to the story of Jesus’ journey to the cross. These particular insights will form the basis of meditations on Matthew’s Passion narrative, interspersed with selections from J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion – the work of a faith-filled musical genius and one of the towering achievements of Western culture. The afternoon will include communal prayer and conclude, for those who wish to participate, with our 5:15 Mass for Palm Sunday.
Presenters: Fr. William Beaudin, O.F.M. & Charles Powell Fee: $20.
Our Commitment to Life
The injustice and harm racism causes are an attack on human life. The church in the United States has spoken out consistently and forcefully, against abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, the death penalty, and other forms of violence that threaten human life. It is not a secret that these attacks on human life have severely affected people of color, who are disproportionally affected by poverty, targeted for abortion, have less access to healthcare, have the greatest numbers on death row, and are most likely to feel pressure to end their lives when facing serious illness. As bishops, we unequivocally state that racism is a life issue. Accordingly, we will not cease to speak forcefully against and work toward ending racism. Racism directly places brother and sister against each other, violating the dignity inherent on each person. The Apostle James commands the Christian: “show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.”
(to be continued)
On this First Sunday of Lent we are presented with the temptations of Jesus in the desert. We all know that Jesus wasn’t the only person to be tempted; we face temptations every day of our lives. They come at different times and in different forms. Many times they may appear to be “short cuts” and we can achieve a goal by taking some steps that might not be exactly moral or ethical, but they get us where we want to go. Other times temptations present an untruth as a real option. Or, we may look better if we act this way rather than another way. When we sit and consider seriously the consequences of giving in to a temptation, we know that in the long run, it affects our conscience and our way of handling ourselves and being responsible to ourselves… and to God!
So, what are you doing to make Lent a growth filled time in your life? Are you giving up something or are you taking on something this Lent? Remember, begin now; don’t wait until tomorrow or next week…or never.
Congratulations to our catechumens who are now “The Elect” after being enrolled in the Book of the Elect at the Cathedral of St. Patrick before Cardinal Dolan today. Please keep them in your prayers as they move through Lent in preparation for their baptism, confirmation and reception of holy communion at the Easter Vigil.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
Get Ready for Lent!
Ash Wednesday • February 26, 2020
Masses in the upper church:
7:00, 7:45, 8:30, 11:30 AM, 12:30, 4:30, 5:30 & 6:30 PM
Confessions in the lower church:
7:30 – 8:30 AM • 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Imposition of ashes
in the lower church: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
and in the upper church following the 6:30 PM Mass
Below is a table comparing January 2019 collections to our current January 2020 collections.
As you can see our collections have gone down and we are not making our budget.
We need everyone to do their part to keep St. Francis on firm financial ground. The best way to use this is to make your offering using our online giving system. We want to thank everyone who supports the Church of St. Francis throughout the year. Our income comes only from our members and visitors who financially support our community. Click here to read some FAQ’s about our finances.
We ask all of our members and visitors to offer the equivalent of ONE HOUR of their weekly salary per week to support the mission of the church. This comes to a tithe of 2.5%
Brochures are available with descriptions of the courses being offered in the St. Francis Adult Education Spring 2020 semester.
On Wednesdays from February 12 to April 15, Joseph Nuzzi will present “Deuteronomy and the Conquest of the Land.” Noon-time and early evening sessions of this course will be available.
Fr. Brian Jordan, O.F.M. will offer a one-day presentation on “The Perils of Pornography” on Friday, April 24, 2020.
“Reading Ezekiel” will be taught by Fr. William Beaudin, O.F.M. on Wednesdays, from February 27 to March 19.
These courses, along with several others, plus several one-day workshops will be presented during the coming months.
COURSES ARE AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION.
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