In 2003, our goal to pay off the remaining mortgage of $2.5 million sparked an enthusiastic Second Century Campaign. As we rolled out the campaign, we did not fully anticipate some of the challenges that we as a community would face. Many in our parish were financially impacted by requests for help due to natural disasters, the residual effects of the dot com bust, the airline and other corporate bankruptcies and layoffs. Even with these challenges, together we have been successful in paying off our outstanding mortgage.
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
An address to the community on June 6, 2010
After 11 years, 4 months and 6 days, I am thrilled to share with you, that tomorrow, Fr Steve and a group of parishioners are meeting with the Archbishop to present him a check for $284,136.53 that will finally pay off our restoration mortgage!
Today is our last mortgage Sunday!
This is quite the feat for a parish of our size! When we first started planning for the restoration and updating of this worship space more than 12 years ago, we were told that a capital campaign in a parish our size would raise between $300 – 400,000. Half a million dollars would be tops if a big donor stepped forward. Little did they know, about the drive, passion, and the generosity of this community we call Most Holy Redeemer. In the end, we will have paid off a loan in the amount of $2,245,000 plus interest for a total payout of over $2,832,100 nearly 19 years early! – Truly an amazing story of determination, generosity and love.
The funds to pay off the debt tomorrow come from three sources. The anticipated revenue from today’s second collection, funds from a recent bequest that was received from the Rose Mueller estate and the last $100,000 of the debt is paid from the Chuck McLaughlin estate that we held in reserve per his request.
Ultimately, this day would not have been realized if it wasn’t for three groups that I must recognize at this time:
Our generous and passionate parishioners, from those who contributed to the original Restoration Project, or the Second Century Campaign or the Bridging the Gap Campaign.
There are those who contributed to all three campaigns. There are those who simply were able to contribute to our monthly second collection and there were those who simply gave once. Each and every one of you was significant in helping us achieve our goal of a beautiful worship space. Over 577 people gave regularly to help eliminate our debt. Contributions from $1 to $100,000. To our parishioners, both current and former, we owe our prayers and our heart felt thanks and gratitude.
The second group of parishioners, we hold most dear, as they remembered Most Holy Redeemer Parish in their last will. The Ellard Family, Jim and Mary Quinlan, Chuck McLaughlin and most recently Rose Mueller, among others. The contributions from the four named bequests significantly enabled us to not only achieve our goal, but also do so in a much timely manner, thus saving us tens of thousands of dollars in interest charges. This group of individuals offers us a beautiful example of how important it is for us to remember our faith community when planning our estate.
The third group of individuals who must be recognized are the members of the Finance Council (both past and current), along with Fathers Zachary Shore, Ned Phelan and Steve Meriwether, whose mission and passion in planning for our financial well being over the years have truly paid off. I particularly must thank former Council members Mark Silva and Wayne Lord for their many years of service on the finance council during much of the time we have been paying off this mortgage. I also want to recognize Nick Andrade for his help in renegotiating our loan some 2 plus years ago with a lower interest rate – thus saving us thousands of dollars in interest payments.
In addition to this great news, I have more good news to share! Two projects are still outstanding from the original Restoration Project.
The first is the completion of the garden and memory wall outside. Donations made to the garden from the original restoration project, the first brick campaign and the more recent brick campaign are still in tact and reserved for the completion of the garden. We will begin the process of planning for this phase with the hope of completion in the not too distant future.
The second outstanding project is the restoration, repair and completion of our church organ. This project will take place this summer while our choir is out on their vacation break. The funding for this project comes from the original donations made to the restoration project (in the name of the music guild) and from the Rose Mueller bequest that we recently received.
On the Operations side of our budget, I am happy to report, with the tight fiscal control of expenses, increased revenue realized from our school rental and the stabilization of our weekly collections, we are able to embark on a few maintenance projects that have been on hold for some time. The major project will be the painting of the exterior of our church and rectory buildings this summer.
Since our last finance update with you, our weekly Sunday collections have improved and have somewhat stabilized, especially in light of the saw-tooth performance of our national economy. Again, it is a testament to your passion and your constant generosity.
Earlier I mentioned a gift from Rose Mueller. Rose was a parishioner many years ago (long before many of us!) attending liturgy on a regular basis before age & illness confined her mostly to her home. She kept up with the news & going-on of our parish as she had our bulletin sent to her on a weekly basis as well as members of our communitybringing communion to her home like Evelyn Squeri. We are grateful to Rose as she remembered this parish in her last will. Her significant bequest has been key in much of today’s announcements.
Finally, we are quickly coming to the close of our financial fiscal year at Most Holy Redeemer and the Finance Council is finalizing our 2010-11 budget. The Pastoral Council has identified some immediate ministerial needs that will be funded in the new budget. In September, when our parishioners are back from vacation, we will again address the community with our annual financial report and budget for the next year, complete with more details of all the exiting news I have shared with you today. We will also plan and have a mortgage note burning celebration – an event you will not want to miss!
With our mortgage paid off, we have turned the page in our parish’s history. We can turn our collective focus on ministry and on our bright future. This is a very significant day in our history. Not many parishes have had the opportunity to pay off such a large debt, complete other needed capital projects, address deferred maintenance, and establish a prudent reserve fund. The opportunity and challenge for our parish and for our Pastoral Council is to reflect on who we are as a parish community today, Who and Where do we want to go tomorrow – Who and What we want to be 5 and 10 years from now. That is not mine, nor the Finance Council’s job. I’ll leave that to you and our Pastoral Council.
Our job (the finance council) is to continue to work in partnership with our Pastoral Council and our Pastor in achieving our collective goals, to be prudent in our spending, safeguard our assets and continue to work with the Archdiocese on ideas like financially supporting Catholic elementary schools in lieu of paying our annual revenue tax to the Archdiocese.
Again, thank you all for your most generous support over the years in the restoration of this worship space we call home. We also thank those parishioners who have contributed and have moved from our home. And we fondly remember and pray for those who have gone before us and who have contributed so much to this parish not only in time, talent & finances, but also in ways only our loving God & Creator would know.
Most Holy Redeemer Parish Finance Council
Marc Colelli – Chair, Fr. Jack McClure C.PP.S. – Pastor,
Fr. Matt Link C.PP.S. – Parochial Vicar,
Nick Andrade, Maureen Flaherty, Mark Okashima, Ron Pacheco, Diane Trewin