JESUS DID NOT CALL CONSUMERS… HE CALLED MISSIONARIES.
As followers of Jesus we are called to continue his Mission. This means living the Gospel and bringing God’s love to our families, among our friends, and in our places of work. But it also means making sure that our community is able to be fed by the Word of God and the Eucharist, and to make sure that the Gospel is preached in word and action in our local church. When we financially support the church, we are not simply paying bills, we are also fulfilling the demands placed upon us as disciples of Jesus Christ.
MEMBERSHIP IN THE CHURCH HAS ITS PRIVILEGES AND IT COMES WITH RESPONSIBILITY
We are all called to be good stewards of the material blessings we receive from God through our hard work, talents and abilities.
Part of that stewardship, since biblical times, has been understood to include using a portion of our income to support our religious institutions and some to help the poor and disadvantaged. In the Bible, we are asked to contribute 10% of our income as our tithe. Today at St. Francis we ask our members and guests to contribute ONE HOUR of our work week to support the church. This comes to a tithe of 2.5%. This is the sacrificial giving we ask our people to commit to.
Many people do not understand how the finances of Church work. Here are some FAQ’s of questions we commonly hear at St. Francis that might help clarify some questions.
But the bottom line is this: each parish community in the US must raise the funds it needs to pay its bills from the people who attend the church. That means here at St. Francis it is our responsibility to contribute to the budget to keep our parish church running.
Unfortunately today, many people who attend Mass regularly simply never think about their financial responsibility to the church. We see often at Mass people who search in their pockets or purses for whatever they can find during the collection. This should not be.
Each of us, as a full fledge member of the Church, should know and commit to what we can afford do give to support the Church. And that support should be a sacrificial offering. It should not be an afterthought.
If you simply cannot effort to give 2.5% then look at your budget, and decide what you can give, and commit to it. That is what we are all called to do. But without each of us doing our part, our church cannot survive.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GIVE?
Today, the best way to give is to sign up for online giving and create a recurring weekly or monthly donation. You can sign up right now by clicking HERE.
Our average donation online is $25.00 per week, whereas our average in pew weekly donation is only $4.00. This is because people who give online take their support of the church seriously. They think about what they can afford to give, and they commit to it. This is what we all need to do as members of the church.
If you have any questions about our online giving tool, or about our stewardship campaign in general please email Joseph Nuzzi at email@example.com
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.
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%
Join us each Sunday in Lent as we take a deeper look at the Sunday gospels.
3:30pm in the Clare Room followed by 5pm mass.
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.
As St. Paul proclaimed, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. But for that reason, I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.”
St. Paul’s own conversion is a powerful reminder of how God’s grace can transform even the hardest hearts. Prayer and working toward conversion must be our first response in the face of evil actions… Therefore, we must never limit our understanding of God’s power to bring about the conversion of even those whose hearts appear completely frozen by the sin of racism. Our communities must never cease to invite and encourage them in love to abandon these sinful thoughts and destructive ways.
(to be continued)
In today’s Gospel we hear: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” In fact, when you look at all the readings for Mass, you will notice the same theme of how we should deal with our “neighbor.” The Gospel speaks about ways to deal with various situations and some of the ways of dealing with those who harm us go against our normal response of paying back or getting even. These may be challenges to any of us who try to live as Christians, but Jesus doesn’t want us to be like him as difficult aa it may be. After all, there is enough hatred in the world, why add more through our negative behavior?
Today, you will an encouraging message about everyone doing his/her share to support our mission here at St. Francis Church. Online Giving has had a great impact on our Sunday collections and it is an easy way to do your share. Many have joined in the One Hour way – giving what one earns in one hour at work. At times when I am taking up the collection, I notice that people are going through their pockets trying to find something for the collection; often it is a dollar or change or nothing. A conscientious decision on how much to support the church is important rather than hunting through one’s pockets whenever there is a collection. This is so important to the life and vitality and mission of our church and any church. Our collections have not been meeting the budget, as can be seen in January’s financial report for 2019 and 2020 (see the follow page). We bring this to your attention now, so that the trend can change and we can move into a better financial situation. Your participation is greatly appreciated.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
On Saturday, February 15, we will celebrate the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick during the 11:00 AM Mass.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick brings the presence and healing power of Christ to those who are ill. We invite all who are sick and those who would like to pray for them to come to this celebration of the sacrament.
Is anyone among you sick? They should summon the elders of the church, and they should pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up. If they have committed any sins, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. (James 5:14-16)
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