Pastor’s Perspective – June 28, 2020

* Summer Projects around St. Regis Campus

Thank you for your continuing support of St. Regis Parish, even during this time of reduced Masses and other public restrictions. Because of that support we have been able to move ahead with (or will begin) some needed projects. Here is a partial list to keep everyone up-to-date: painting the parish offices; replacing about 10,000 square feet of the parking lot; finishing the Early Childhood Playscape on Lincoln side of the school; enhancing the front of the main school entrance off the parking lot with overhang and new look; new ceiling tile in the Father Shields Club Room; LED conversion of lights in the gym and school office areas; purchase of extra sanitization equipment for daily sanitization of the school; digging out the foundation along the gathering area wall of the main entrance into the church to fix the foundation, seal cracks, and divert water flow to prevent ongoing flooding in the gathering area; and fixing the small wind shelter attached to the parking lot gym entrance.

* Finance Council Approved Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget

At the June Finance Council meeting the council approved the parish budget for the upcoming fiscal year. I want to thank Bud Feeley and Mike Klima who have served on the council for many years and have reached the end of the allowed number of terms on the council. They have shared their commitment to this parish through much needed advice on all administrative matters. This means I am looking at appointing at least two and up to three new members of the Finance Council. If you have someone to suggest, who has some background in administration, law, personnel, construction, or other helpful area, send me an email and why they would be a good addition to the council. Members serve for three years with terms able to be renewed if they choose to stay on. All members must be registered, active members of the parish.

The budget for the fiscal year which begins July 1st had to be developed in light of the ongoing COVID-19 recession and financial concerns that flow from that, which include both projecting a 15% decline in income over the next twelve months and having the Payroll Protection Loan we received turn into a grant. This led to a budget that shows a fairly significant loss for the coming fiscal year (over $200,000) without being overly concerned. If the PPL turns into a grant, that money will cover any projected deficit. The hope is that in the following year (July 2021-June 2022) we would be back to pre-COVID patterns of giving and future budgets would be in the black.

There are no major renovation projects in the budget, but some monies are always set aside for repairs and upgrades on equipment. If the year goes better than expected I would consider asking the Finance Council for approval over and above the budget to convert all the halide lights in the central spline of the church ceiling into LEDs, and to position them so that they can give better light spread to the ceiling. Currently they simple shine a powerful spot on the ceiling with little distribution. In turn, that would free us to use those halides behind the altar in the cone and in the corner alcoves to spread more light in those areas. But that is a $30,000 expense that can wait until we know how our finances are doing. On the school side of expenses, in addition to the playground and main entrance work, we have set aside more monies for sanitization and are also looking at carpeting some more of the classrooms. Again, if the budget year goes better than anticipated, I will ask the Finance Council to approve a new roof for the Lincoln lobby area of the school ($50-75,000). We did a large section of new roofing a couple of years ago and need to continue replacing the oldest portions of roofs over the next few years until all are done.

We will publish a summary of the budget along with the fiscal year report (in September). The bottom line is that we are currently still in a very good financial position, but we need as many parish members as possible to send in their contributions on a consistent basis. If you have not done so, please consider using our online portal at stregis.org or set up a regular donation through your own online banking platform. Thank you.

* Thank you for 40th Greetings

Many of you sent cards or emailed me congratulating me on my 40th anniversary. I truly appreciate it. Just as it is hard to believe forty years have gone by since I was ordained a priest, it is amazing how quickly four years has flown by as pastor here at St. Regis. Through it all, the cornerstone of my priesthood is always celebrating Eucharist with you.  That is why these last four months have been particularly odd, and why I am so happy that we are beginning to get back into a regular Eucharistic rhythm. Be safe and stay healthy and do not feel guilty if you do not yet feel up to attending Mass. You are not required to. But if you are able and willing, there is plenty of room for you!

Fr. Buersmeyer

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