Council Members Present: Terry Brennan, Bill Jacobs, Anne Welborn, Dan Putschoegel, Eileen Grant
Council Members Absent: Brad DeSaye
Others Present: Father Raj, Pastor; Jim Wren, Parish Manager; Bob Dressler, who will become a Council member in July.
- Meeting called to order by Chair Terry Brennan at 5:00 PM. Bob Dressler was welcomed as a new council member starting in July. Tonight, he will be observing the meeting.
- Father Raj led the Council in an opening prayer.
- Approval of May 26, 2021 Finance Council Meeting Minutes: Anne made a motion to approve the May 26 minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Eileen and the minutes were unanimously approved.
- Review of May financial statements:
- May financial statements: Eileen asked about the $66,000 and $14,000 transfers into BoK. Jim indicated that this was the $80,000 transferred in over four months (January – April, May transfer done in June). Dan asked about the sacramental expense in the School; Jim answered that it is related to Theresa Yslas’ sacramental program. Dan also asked why registration was down since Shelly had indicated previously that the school was close to budgeted enrollment. Jim clarified that Shelly’s statement referred to enrollment for the upcoming school year and that the previous year enrollment was down due to the pandemic.
- Bill moved to approve the May financial statements; Anne seconded. The May financial statements were unanimously approved.
- Bank Reconciliations:
- May – Brad (who was not present at the meeting), indicated to Terry via Email that he reviewed the May reconciliation and found no issues.
- Pastor’s Report:
- Father announced new guidelines related to coming back to Church after the pandemic. The dispensation to attend Mass ends July 1. We will finalize the new guidelines when Father Ralph returns later this week. New guidelines will be in place the weekend of June 26 and 27. Dan asked about whether the collections will return to normal. We will continue to not pass the basket for now. Father indicated that collections have not suffered using the new method. Dan asked whether there is an issue with people putting money into the new collection box during the week. Jim indicated that there is no issue since the box is locked and the key secured. Jim also indicated that we will be keeping the collection box outside the office as people are still using that.
- There are two meetings scheduled with the liturgical ministers on July 2 and 9 to discuss changes to procedures following the pandemic.
- We will be introducing more hospitality events such as cookies after Mass for various events and also at the Heritage Festival.
- Father reminded the Council about the new floor in the Forum. Bob asked whether the Forum could be used again. Jim indicated that once the floor is completely dry, the forum can be used as normal and should be fine for the next Knights meeting in July.
- Father commended the maintenance staff on all the work that they do maintaining the parish facilities and grounds.
- Summer school is happening using federal EANS money. Dan asked whether the teacher positions had been filled; Father indicated that there are still positions to be filled. Jim indicated that we did receive several applications for the new full time custodian position.
- Parish Manager’s Report:
Jim reported the following:
- Light of the World Retreat was held June 12-13. Thirty people registered and nearly all stayed for the whole weekend including Confessions and Mass. The retreat was very successful and bore much fruit.
- New Church envelopes were issued and feedback has been positive so far. Anne asked whether we can get rid of envelopes and go to all online giving. Jim indicated that this doesn’t seem possible at least in the near future since it is evident from the calls regarding the new envelopes that many people still give using paper envelopes.
- New projection screens have been obtained and Forum floor has been completed.
- We are in process of planning the staff/council retreat for July 30. Food is planned to be ordered this time so all staff can participate in the retreat.
- Hard copies of the Bishop’s apostolic exhortation have been ordered. We have ordered 250 English and 50 Spanish because they were $4.45 each.
- We have met the goal for the CDA for the first time in quite a few years. This effort was helped by the matching grant.
- We will be working on fiscal year end statements due to the Diocese on July 31.
- Collections thus far in June have been: about $83,000 with still one weekend left. Dan asked whether there were five collections in June; Jim indicated that technically there were only 4 in June but because the May fifth Sunday collection was May 30 and May 31 was Memorial Day, that collection wasn’t deposited until June.
- Jim asked about scheduling of the CCF seminar on Estates and Trusts. We will consider setting this up in August. It was asked whether we have had these seminars before and we have, but it has been awhile. Bill asked whether CCF would benefit by becoming the advisor directly. Jim indicated that this is an educational service offered for free by CCF and wouldn’t necessarily directly benefit them.
- Old Business – 2022 Budget: Minor changes were made to the previous draft of the budget. These include adjusting the priests’ salaries per the information from the Diocese (3% increase); this was offset by decreasing Deacon Joe’s salary and Father Gary’s stipend to a more accurate amount based on what we have spent in the past. The subsidy for Youth Ministry increased because the new youth minister will have family health coverage. Youth Minister starts July 7. Some minor changes were made to the Preschool budget, mainly a reclassification of revenue between tuition and scholarships with no material overall change to the budget.
- Anne made a motion to approve and adopt the fiscal year 2021-22 budget; Bill seconded the motion and the 2021-22 budget was approved unanimously.
- New Business – Mary Bronson from Investing for Catholics gave a virtual presentation to the Council regarding some proposed investment strategies to earn more on our reserve funds. Some of the basic items Mary presented include:
- Mary gave a brief history of Investing for Catholics(“IFC”) and indicated that the Diocese of Phoenix has approved Investing for Catholics as one of three possible investment vehicles. Mary works with several parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix and recently was selected by Xavier Prep as their investment advisor. There is a preferential pricing structure for the Diocese which is in total between .3-.55%.
- Compared to other retail brokerage firms, IFC is a true fiduciary advisor and focuses on educating parishes about fund selection, diversification and risk management.
- IFC would help Sacred Heart open the investment account (using either Ameritrade or Charles Schwab) and then have an ongoing dialogue about the asset allocation and regular rebalancing of the portfolio. IFC analyzes the entire market of Catholic value investments. Funds exclude companies that have any investment in any facility supporting abortion and human embryo and fetal stem cell research or product lines tied to embryonic or fetal stem cells; contraceptives; pornography; controversy regarding child labor or manufacturers of weapons of mass destruction.
- We have $2.5 million total in reserve funds but will keep $600,000 at BoK, so we have $1,900,000 available to invest. Father Raj wants to proceed slowly. We need to consider whether we want cash to be separate or be part of fixed income. Bill recommends that we keep the cash separate. The Council indicated that they want to be very conservative.
- IFC uses Dimensional Fund Advisors (similar to Vanguard) – they target diversification but lean more toward small and value companies. There are 2,300 companies in the fund.
- Moving $900,000 to IFC, leaving $600,000 in BoK and the other $1,000,000 in cash would create a 36% allocation in stocks and 24% in bonds with 40% remaining in cash.
- Jim asked how other parishes in the Diocese handle the allocation between equities and fixed income. Mary indicated that many parishes have separate accounts that each have different purposes and different levels of risk and, therefore, different allocations between equities and fixed income vehicles. That would be another option to consider for Sacred Heart. Mary felt that the average allocation of fixed income versus equities ranges from 55%/45%- 65%/35%.
- Because of the special fee arrangement with the Diocese, we would have to add in and additional .6% to the projected returns on the documents handed out.
- A buy and hold strategy is recommended.
- Jim asked which parish we should talk to in order to get an idea of what might work for Sacred Heart. Mary indicated that the best contacts would be Dennis Dion or Ron Gerden (from Prince of Peace Parish which was recently spun off from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish). These gentlemen are on the Finance Council. Mary will provide their contact information.
- Bill clarified that $1.5 million of the $2.5 million is for long-term capital reserve projects so that we may not need to access that money anytime soon. Mary indicated that these funds may be able to be in a little higher risk fund but the overall allocation is still 60/40. IFC has 150 portfolios with different allocations between stocks and bonds.
- Bill indicated that since the 50 years average return is 10% , we will be losing money if we delay the decision to move funds to IFC.
- Father Raj indicated that we should get the information from the other parish and reflect on what we want to do but we definitely want to invest something.
- Eileen requested to get a list of companies that we would be investing in.
- Closing Prayer and Adjournment: Father Raj did the closing prayer. The meeting adjourned at 6:22 PM.
Jim Wren, Parish Manager