A Message from Monsignor Daniel Stack….
This is the last time I will be giving you an annual financial update. I will be retiring in July. These eight years have presented their challenges and their blessings. Together we have faced the challenges of the upkeep of 40 and 50-year-old buildings, economic fluctuations and now a global pandemic. You have met each of these challenges and overcome them trusting in a good God and using the gifts he has given you. You have inspired me.
This pandemic has been the greatest challenge. Everything changed and continues to change. Our staffing had to change, our models of ministry had to change, how we participate in the sacramental life had to change. Your flexibility and resolve have brought us through, in many ways stronger than before.
I see your resilience and your patience as reasons for hope as our 50th year in North Fulton unfolds and we find ourselves not only reminiscing about the past but looking forward to the work that lays ahead.
It has been a year of holding our breath as our income rose and fell because of the pandemic. Our expenses were hard to predict, especially with emergency repairs. Through it all we were never in a “negative position.” Between your gifts and the leadership of our staff and the Finance Committee, our heads have stayed above water. Your commitment to our parish mission resulted in the numbers you see in the financial chart. We ended the first six months of this fiscal year with a positive net revenue of $326,690 and operating cash of $486,000. Our savings balance is over $376,000. We received a number of unexpected gifts at years end for which we are incredibly grateful.
Our weekly offertory has been below our weekly plan for much of the calendar year. I do not know what this means. Is this a ‘new normal?’ Has covid left us a smaller parish or are we still recovering, still bouncing back? I am grateful for a staff that has been able to adapt. I do not know if this is the new normal or if there is a greater return yet to come and more growth as well. This new normal for revenue has required us to be very diligent in our expenditures as we continue to meet each month with our Finance Council to review both revenue and expense.
Our greatest economic worry is our “aging infrastructure.” We had plumbing repairs and air conditioning (HVAC) repairs and normal wear and tear. We spent over $23,000 per year over the last three years on repairs on our older HVAC units. These large units are not environmentally friendly or efficient and require much attention from our vendor. We have already spent $4,000 in the last 4 weeks and have a $16,000 repair we have deferred until Spring.
With our 50th celebration coming on June 4th, I do not want to dwell on the challenges we have faced but, on the future, – the next 50 years. This Parish is an integral part of the community. We are the “mother church” for most of the parishes around us. We have our place here at the crossroads of Roswell, Alpharetta, and Milton. We are a Parish that looks like America: newcomers, old timers, young and old, born in the USA and new to America. Our mission continues to reach beyond our parking lot and using our experience, our plurality, and our strong Faith, we welcome those in need of a church to call home, a source for spiritual awakening, prayer, and support.
As I begin to bid my farewells these next few months, I am left with a deep sense of gratitude and peace knowing that the future of St. Thomas Aquinas rests in your good and able hands and will continue to be a beacon in the community for generations to come. May God bless you in your work.
Thank you for your support, your ministry, and your prayers.
Monsignor Daniel Stack
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church Finance Council