Terry opened the meeting at 5:00pm.

Fr. Raj began the meeting with a prayer.

Present: Terry Brennan, Bill Jacobs, Bob Dressler,  Eileen Grant, Anne Welborn

Absent:  Brad DeSaye, Keoni Murphy

Staff: Fr. Raj, Jim Wren, Donna Maneely, Shelly Cooper

  Minutes Approval:

  • Anne motioned to approve the November meeting minutes; Eileen seconded it; approved.

  Financial Statements:

  • Eileen questioned why the school’s janitorial budget was over budget. Donna will review and let her, and Shelly know.
  • Keoni emailed Jim about why we are only receiving .17 interest per month on our PNC Money Market account. Jim had to contact the bank on a different issue and found out that we have a dedicated account manager. He asked about the low interest rate and was told that the rate can be increased to 2.5% or the money can be put into an 8-month CD at 4.75%. The Council agreed to the 8-month CD. Anne suggested that it not be automatically rolled over.
  • Bill asked why collection plate income declined in December as compared to last year. Donna said December 2022 brought in a lot more donations than usual. Not sure why this year was lower.
  • Bill asked if we have a Visiting Priest account in the budget like we used to have. If not, should we separate it for next budget? He also asked if we pay visiting priests directly or to the Diocese or their order. Fr. Raj answered that we pay Diocesan priests directly and Claretian priests are paid to the order. Fr. Raj tallies up their number of masses, confession times, on duty days and travel is included as well. Bill commented that Tina used to contact the Diocese to see if a retired priest could fill in. Fr. Raj says that they are not willing to come up here, so he asks the Claretians. Donna will create a new account for Visiting priest stipends in the next budget so that we do not overstate the priest salaries account.
  • Eileen motioned to approve the November and December Financials; Bob seconded the motion; motion approved.

  Bank Statement Approval:

  • Terry reviewed the November bank reconciliation; no discrepancies noted.
  • Keoni reviewed the December bank reconciliation; no discrepancies noted.

Fr Raj presentation:

  • Fr. Raj explained the difference between religious orders and religious congregations. Orders like the Dominicans and Franciscans take solemn vows which cannot be absolved, while congregations take simple vows which can be absolved.
  • Fr. Raj stated that all income that a Claretian priest receives goes to the Claretian Missionaries. The priest receives a monthly stipend. All their expenses are paid by their parish or the Claretian Missionaries. Parish pays salary, insurance, retirement, food, and lodging. When Fr. Raj goes to visit India, the Claretians pay for it. Per Father Raj, the priests themselves are supposed to pay for any private vacation expenses from their monthly stipend.
  • Fr. Raj said that the Claretian Missionaries manage nineteen parishes in seven communities. Every third year they get transferred and the normal retirement age is seventy-five.
  • The annual Assembly is in LA next week. They want to form a new community near the border, so they plan to close one existing community.

Pastor’s Report:

  • This year’s Lenten Mission is on February 25, 26 and 27th. Lent starts in 2 weeks on February 14th.
  • Muriel is retiring in May; Rory Endrizzi, her replacement will be arriving at the end of the week.
  • Deacon Joe is moving to Phoenix this month.
  • 2025 is the Jubilee Year in Rome.
  • Fr. Raj will be taking his Sabbatical April 1st through July 31st. He will be visiting the Claretian Missionaries all over the world and taking other trips and pilgrimages. He will be here for two weekends in April and the last 10 days of July. Our Interim Pastor will be Fr. Reegan. Fr. Gaspar will be here as well. Neither priest will be authorized to make decisions and one will be set up as a signer for the bank account. Pending approval of Monsignor Bui and a resolution by the Diocese, he will give one of them authorization to come to the Finance Council meetings.
  • We are hosting a Eucharistic Congress for all Northern Arizona on June 29th. Neighboring parishes will be invited.

  Parish Manager Report:

  • The renovation of the house at 233 Summit is completed. Our new Director of Catechesis, Rory, will live there temporarily. The new rent is going to be $1,687 per month. Jim does not want to charge Rory the full rent since he is still paying for rent in Canada while his wife is there. It was decided to charge him $700 per month.
  • Rory’s first day of work will be February 12th. He will be able to attend the Rite of Election in Cottonwood.
  • The Charity and Development Appeal begins this weekend. The materials have been out for several weeks. Sacred Heart was one of the parishes that hosted the training this year. At the training, Jim asked who decides who gets the money raised through the CDA. Historically, a group at the Diocese has been deciding. Jim told them that our school and our local St. Vincent de Paul need help. Bishop Dolan is starting up a new application process in April or May 2024 and we will apply.
  • The 2024/2025 budget process has begun. We are in relatively good shape. We do not have benefit information yet. We will have a hard time making the school budget balance. Jim inquired of Catholic Community Foundation how much the school could take from the endowment. He has not heard back yet. The RCIA budget will only include Rory’s salary this year so the Parish subsidy should decrease a little, but this will likely be completely offset by health insurance costs.
  • The next Eucharistic Encounter Night is on February 7th with Brad Scott as the speaker. Jim will be speaking in March.
  • January Collection plate: $105k, online giving: $42k
  • Reserve Study Re-run: We have requested a re-run with changes in some parameters but have not received it yet.
  • We are distributing Lent booklets the weekend before Ash Wednesday.
  • The Club 180 building may be for sale. A few parishioners are suggesting that the church buy it but did not give any ideas about what to use it for. Jim consulted a local Real Estate Agent about the cost. The agent said the cost was $2.8 million the last time it sold so it could be around $4 million this time. We cannot afford it without a capital campaign and have no stipulated use of the facility.

  Old Business:

  • none

  New Business:

  • Bill asked if we are still charging for funerals: parish, presider, sacristan, music, deacon and lunch fee. We are currently charging the fees. He also asked if this is normal and if we should be charging. Fr. Raj responded that he set up the fee schedule as a guide only and the family has the ability to decide what they can afford. Jim clarified that we do budget the parish fee in revenue under Stole Fees.
  • Bill suggested that we make a long-range plan for the parish and wondered if there was anyone at the Diocese that could help us. Fr. Raj would like to include the councils to create a long-range plan. Bill recommended we use an expert to organize it. Jim will ask the Diocese if they have any ideas.

Fr. Raj closed the meeting at 6pm with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted by Donna Maneely