Terry began the meeting at 4:35pm.
Fr. Raj opened the meeting with a prayer.
Present: Terry Brennan, Brad DeSaye, Bill Jacobs, Eileen Grant-via phone
Absent: Anne Welborn, Bob Dressler, Keoni Murphy
Staff: Fr. Raj, Jim Wren, Donna Maneely, Shelly Cooper, Fr. Gaspar
- Minutes Approval:
- Bill motioned to approve the November meeting minutes; Brad seconded it; approved
- Financial Statements:
- Bill motioned to approve the November Financials; Brad seconded the motion; motion approved
- Brad motioned to approve the December Financials; Bill seconded the motion; motion approved
- Bank Statement Approval:
- Terry reviewed the November bank reconciliation; no discrepancies noted
- Eileen reviewed the December bank reconciliation; no discrepancies noted
- Pastor’s Report:
- Lent begins tomorrow-February 22nd; Masses will be held Monday-Thursday at 5:30 pm during Lent
- Confessions are held on Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays and more confession times may be added toward the end of Lent.
- Stations of the Cross will take place each Friday of Lent at 6pm in Spanish and 7pm in English.
- A Liturgy Meeting is scheduled in March.
- A Congress is being held for the Eucharistic Renewal in 2024. We hope to have ten parishioners attend.
- All the clergy from the Diocese will be attending a conference in June led by Amazing Parish. The conference will discuss how to make parish life fruitful and vibrant.
- Eight parishioners (including Fr. Raj) along with two Claretians are preparing to attend World Youth Day in Portugal this summer. Tickets have been purchased and another $6-7k needs to be fundraised.
- Parish Manager Report:
- Charity and Development Appeal update: we are half way to our goal of $138k
- Solar panels update: Bosch is not able to supply the panels. They have asked that we take the $75k offer instead. We haven’t received an estimate yet for panels. There is money in restricted funds to help with replacing the solar panels.
- Roof update: the church roof needs to be replaced; we have had numerous leaks. Two estimates have been received and we plan to use Arrow Roofing. We have money from the Diocesan campaign and parishioner donations to help pay for the roof. We are waiting on final approval from the Diocese. Arrow Roofing estimates the project will take about 2 weeks depending on what is going on at the church, i.e. funerals.
- Jim had planned to travel to Lake Havasu to help Our Lady of the Lake Parish with their finances. It did not work out so he held a conference call with them. He answered a lot of their questions and made some recommendations. The Pastor would still like him to go there to meet. Jim plans to assist them with a needed capital campaign.
- Two bequests are in progress- one is slated for non-school youth programs. We cannot reduce the budget as of yet since we do not know when it will be finalized. The other is a $1,000,000 bequest for the school to be received at an undetermined time.
- Good Friday Stations of the Cross: We now have to schedule this within a certain time frame, pay an administration fee and a $1,500 deposit. Jim argued that we only use the sidewalk so we shouldn’t have to pay the deposit and Fr. Raj wrote a letter disagreeing with the deposit. We will still pay the deposit since it is an important event. Yavapai County will be in charge of this directly next year, which concerns Jim.
- T-Bills: The process to set up this investment has been difficult. BOK Financial did not invest the money until February and we started the process in November. The Diocese required a resolution which was not initially known.
- Bishop Dolan made some changes to the reporting structure: Doug Pritchard now reports to the CFO, which makes more sense.
- Eucharistic Miracle exhibit by Blessed Carlo Acutis will be here March 17-20th. Volunteers are needed to help with exhibit.
- Jim completed performance reviews for parish staff.
- Old Business:
- I-Bonds: Diocese agreed to approve the formal resolution as an exception to invest in I-bonds. We are waiting for Bishop Dolan’s signature to go forward.
- Rentals: 233 Summit had a fire on New Year’s Eve. The house has been cleared out and we are going to rebuild. We are working with Catholic Mutual. Everything will be covered by insurance including lost rent. Since it is in an historic district, the roof has to look similar to the old one. The tenants would like to move back in once it is rebuilt.
- Jim spoke with a real estate agent to get average square footage rental prices in Prescott. They run between $1.80 and $2.00 a square foot so we should raise rents since we are under charging for most of the houses. Bill suggested hiring a property manager to take care of collecting rents and maintenance requests. Fr. Raj was not sure about hiring a manager. He is concerned about a conflict of interest with our Catholic values. But he would agree to it if the Diocese approves. Jim puts in a lot of time with this so it would be nice to have a property manager. Brad agreed that we should have a property manager. He spoke from experience as he has a rental. He will share his property manager information with Jim. The cost is 10% of the rental income.
- New Business:
- 2024 Budgets: Jim explained that we left some of the budgets out of balance so the council could see the issues we are facing. The school, in particular, will have a hard time balancing.
- Shelly explained that it is hard to bring in new families; it is a transient town. ESA -Universal Vouchers- brought in a few new students. CEA can only be used for tuition and if using ESA, a student cannot use CEA. Fewer families will use CEA next school year and so the CEA revenue budget has been reduced. Kindergarten is not fully funded with ESA so those families may use CEA and if a student needs services from the public-school system, they cannot use ESA. Shelly also explained that ESA charges a 2.5% fee.
- The school did not have a Gala this year and Shelly cannot find anyone willing to volunteer to chair it.
- Shelly feels that Kindergarten will be full so the school will hopefully start building from the bottom.
- Brad asked Shelly how she recruits students: word of mouth, chamber of commerce, St. Germaine’s, St. Catherine’s, advertise in bulletin. Brad suggested adding information about ESA which should appeal to families. He also suggested running radio ads in June and July. He offered to help Shelly.
- Shelly is hoping to get the 400 club up and running again and is putting it in the budget. She would also like to increase the number of Bingo nights. She would like parents to take it over. Bill suggested asking the Knights of Columbus for help with Bingo.
- Preschool is having budget issues, as well. The Catholic School’s office is not recommending taking Quality First money due to changes that do not align with our Catholic beliefs. It will be difficult to get more students without having scholarships from Quality First. ESA will cover preschool tuition for any child who will turn 5 by 12/31/23.
- We have not heard from the Diocese yet about benefits or parish salary increase recommendations.
- Bill recommends increasing the reserve transfer to $20k per month from the current $18k next fiscal year.
- Jim briefly spoke about the Blue Cross and Blue Shield hospital issue. Our insurance is not being accepted by the hospital in Prescott which may cause problems for some of our employees if they need to be admitted the hospital or have a doctor affiliated with the hospital.
- Bill asked if there has been any discussion about reaching out to our parishioners to increase the collection plate. Jim explained that we need to find the right time for it. With CEA and the CDA going on right now it is not a good time; maybe at Easter since attendance is high.
Fr. Gaspar ended the meeting with a prayer at 5:48pm.
Respectfully submitted by Donna Maneely