Finance Council Meeting Minutes – March 30, 2022

Terry began the meeting at 5:01pm.

Sr. Anne opened with the Laudato Si Prayer.

Sr. Anne and the Care for the Earth Ministry led a presentation of Care for the Earth.


Present: Bill Jacobs, Eileen Grant, Terry Brennan, Dan Putschoegl, Bob Dressler, Brad DeSaye, Anne Welborn

Staff: Fr. Raj and Jim Wren (arrived at 5:30pm),  Donna Maneely, Shelly Cooper, John Gust

There was also an observer present who did not identify himself.

  1. Minutes Approval:
  • Eileen motioned to approve the February meeting minutes; Dan seconded it; approved
  1. Financial Statements:
  • Anne motioned to approve the February Financials; Bill seconded the motion; motion approved
  1. Bank Statement Approval:
  • Anne reviewed the February bank reconciliation; no discrepancies noted
  1. Pastor’s Report:
  • Raj thanked the Council and Staff for all they do.
  • 250 parishioners participated in the Synod. The committee is working on the report to the Diocese now.
  • April Events coming up: Holy Hours for the Lord, Holy Week, Confirmation and Eucharist
  1. Parish Manager Report:
  • The original collection for Ukraine and Poland was $15k and now it is up to $24k.
  • March collections as of 3/29: $75k plate and $45k online giving
  • The Charity and Development Appeal has announced a one million-dollar Match. It starts 4/1 and goes through 5/15. Sacred Heart has given over $100k so far.
  • Fr. John’s Lenten Mission was a success. Universal positive feedback was given about the mission. Many parishioners went to Confession; some who hadn’t gone in over 20 years.
  • Health insurance costs are increasing 9% for 2023 budget year. The Diocese is self-funded and the increase is due to increased claims most likely due to Covid. There haven’t been any significant increases in the past 3 years. This will impact the budget: $7k parish, $5.7k school and $770 preschool. Dental insurance cost remains the same.
  • We do not have the 2023 priest salaries yet; we have included a 3% increase in the budget for now.
  • Jim sent several questions to the Diocese about the new Sage Intracct accounting system that the Diocese would like to implement.  The Diocese sent the questions to Sage. Jim still has not heard back from them. Jim is concerned about checks being auto signed instead of being signed by the Pastor directly. Brad commented that they use Sage at his business and that it has a great audit trail.
  1. Old Business:
  • The biggest change to the Second draft 2023 budget is the salary increase. Jim felt it is important to give a merit based increase this year due to inflation and the very low increases in several previous years. Both the Diocese and Catholic Schools Office recommended a 4% increase.
  • Some suggestions to help with the deficit (we do not want to balance the budget by increasing Collection Income): reduce Depreciation expense as there will not be any huge depreciable items next fiscal year and we are under budget this year, reduce Conference expense since Jim will not be attending the ICSC conference. The changes will be made and brought to the council next month. Jim also commented that RCIA received a large restricted donation that will be used for next year’s RE Conference.
  • Eileen is concerned that Tree of Life income and Interest Income are over stated. Anne asked why Sports income and expense were decreased so much. Wreath sales were taken out of the Sports account and put into fundraising.
  • Jim asked the Diocese about investing in I-Bonds based on Finance Council recommendations. Diocese CFO, Joe Anderson is reviewing.
  • John Gust spoke about the church roof. It is in the Reserve Study for this coming fiscal year to replace it. John  stated that the roof is in exceptional shape. There are no obvious failures. He is having Arrow Roofing come to walk the roof to get their opinion. There was a leak by the Music area during the Advent Concert since the flashing had peeled up, but that was repaired.
  • Repairing the bathroom at the 237 Summit rental house has been added to the Reserve Budget for 2023.
  • We still do not have a maintenance contract for the Chiller. The first quote was too high. We have received another quote. It’s been sent to the Diocese for review but haven’t heard anything back; it’s been 6 weeks.  A multiple year agreement can be put in the Reserve budget.
  • Bill Jacobs spoke about the reserve fund analysis. See the attached analysis done by Bill. We are in very good shape. We will ask Tom Thompson to do further revisions.
  1. New Business: none

Fr. Raj ended the meeting with a prayer at 6:21pm.

Respectfully submitted by Donna Maneely

2022-05-05T19:10:29+00:00May 5th, 2022|

Finance Council Meeting Minutes – February 23, 2022

Terry began the meeting at 4:30pm Via Zoom.

Fr. Raj opened with the Synod prayer.

Present: Bill Jacobs, Eileen Grant, Terry Brennan, Dan Putschoegl, Bob Dressler, Brad DeSaye

Absent:  Anne Welborn

Staff: Jim Wren,  Donna Maneely

  1. Minutes Approval:
  • Bill motioned to approve the January meeting minutes; Bob seconded it; approved
  1. Financial Statements:
  • Bill asked if we are sending Fr. Vicente’s salary to the Claretians or are we getting a stipend from them. We are not paying Fr. Vicente’s salary nor do we receive a stipend from the Claretians. Currently Fr. Ralph’s salary is being paid by St. Catherine’s and we are responsible for Fr. Raj and Fr. Gaspar.
  • Bill asked about the IFA and BOK totals on the balance sheet. He does not feel that they are comparable as originally agreed upon. We may need to revisit the structure and balances in the accounts.
  • There was a discussion about placing some funds into CDs in the near future but they do not generate much interest. Eileen suggested buying an I-bond, the interest rate is 7.12% for Series I-bonds but you can only invest $10k. Jim will follow up with the Diocese about I-bonds.
  • Eileen motioned to approve the January Financials; Dan seconded the motion; motion approved
  1. Bank Statement Approval:
  • Bill reviewed the January bank reconciliation; no discrepancies noted
  1. Pastor’s Report:
  • February is the kick off month for the Charity and Development Appeal. It has been talked about at Mass for the last two Sundays.
  • The Synod Committee was formed last month. Meetings have been scheduled and more will take place in the coming days. The finance council will be having their synod session following this meeting. The intent is to survey the spiritual life of the parish. The listening sessions will be documented which will show us what we can do to help our parishioners with their spiritual life.
  • The Preschool spaghetti dinner was successful; over 200 people attended. Parishioners were pleased with the participation of the kids.
  • Lent begins this coming week on March 2nd and the English Lenten Mission will take place on March 6th and 7th.
  1. Parish Manager Report:
  • Fr. John Narhgang, who is leading the Diocesan Synod process is presenting our English Lenten mission on March 6th and 7th. The theme on March 6th and morning of March 7th is ‘Jesus Is Merciful’ and on the evening of March 7th, ‘Jesus Conquers All Evil’. Fr. John will be handing out two sacramentals and will be hearing confessions after the mission talks. He will also be handing out miraculous medals after the 7am Monday Mass.
  • Jim has almost completed staff performance reviews. He will begin meeting with staff later in March.
  • Tom Trask can not lead the Safety Committee any longer due to his health. Harry Boden has agreed to lead the committee. Many new people are joining.
  • We received our semi-annual Together Let Us Go Forth deposit from the Diocese. It was $27k which is almost double the amount of the first deposits. The church roof is half funded due to this and other parishioner donations.
  • February collections as of February 23rd -Plate: $45k, Online Giving-$34k.
  • The Diocese is having a webinar next week to demonstrate a new financial software called Sage Intraact. Jim asked the council to let him know by Friday if they would like to attend the webinar.
  • Jim asked the council for feedback concerning a tuition increase at the school. The Diocese is recommending a tuition increase. Shelly is sending registration packets home next week. She does not want to increase tuition. Dan mentioned that with inflation the school is in a tough place. Terry mentioned that there hasn’t been much promotion of the school tax credit-CEA.
  1. Old Business:
  • Passing the basket at Mass was discussed. Unfortunately, we do not have enough Ushers at each Mass to do this.
  1. New Business:
  • 2023 first draft budgets
    • The Diocese has not released any information about recommended salary increases yet; the Catholic Schools Office has recommended a 4% salary increase for teachers and school staff. Jim feels that the Diocese will recommend the same for parishes. Hopefully, we will have more information by the next meeting. The parish has a $5k surplus in the first draft before salary increases.
    • Two items that are not in the budget: Parish directory-which could be costly. Roger Dubin has said he would take the photos but we need to form a committee to figure out costs, logistics and printing. Also, we do not have an amount for a service contract for the chiller. Phillips wants to charge $25k so we are getting a second quote. Some of the cost can be absorbed since the Maintenance budget is never fully used.
    • Eileen asked if increasing our interest income in the budget is a good idea due to all the current volatility. Jim agreed it may be a risk and we may have overstated it.
    • Bill discussed salary increases: the staff has not had a substantial raise in many years. The staff is losing purchasing power due to inflation. He is in favor of a 5% salary increase. He suggested rather than increasing the Claretian Mission donations by $2.5k to make it a second collection. Fr. Raj is not in favor of this since the Diocese already requires many second collections. He suggested that over the summer we could have a Claretian mission speaker.
  • Reserve Study: Tom Thompson completed his site tour and finished his report. We are 97% funded. We do not have to increase our contribution to reserves. The parish is in an excellent position. The report will be discussed at the March meeting. Bill suggested that we could put the chiller service contract expense into reserves as long as it is a 2-year contract.

Fr. Raj led a closing prayer at 5:24 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Donna Maneely

2022-03-31T15:53:39+00:00March 31st, 2022|

Finance Council Meeting Minutes – January 26, 2022

Terry began the meeting at 5:00pm.

Fr. Raj opened with a prayer.

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

Absent:  Brad DeSaye

Staff: Jim Wren (Via Zoom), Donna Maneely, Shelly Cooper

  1. Minutes Approval:
  • Eileen motioned to approve the December meeting minutes; Dan seconded it; approved
  1. Financial Statements:
  • Terry suggested adding a note to the bulletin income/expense report that online giving is lower this year due to the online giving grant match last summer.
  • Jim commented that December was a good month financially and the Christmas collection was $10k over budget.
  • Bill asked about the $25k anonymous restricted donation to the building fund. A letter was sent with the donation restricting it to building expenses. He also asked if the restricted roof donations were all earmarked for the church roof; yes.
  • Bill motioned to approve the December Financials; Dan seconded the motion; motion approved
  1. Bank Statement Approval:
  • Terry reviewed the December bank reconciliation; no discrepancies noted
  1. Pastor’s Report:
  • Fr. Raj commented that attendance seems to be increasing at Mass.
  • He spoke about preparing for the Synod and that the council will be asked to participate.
  • Catholic Schools Week begins next week kicking off with the Preschool Spaghetti Western Dinner.
  • The Volunteer Appreciation dinner is February 24th.
  • Lent begins March 2nd. We are giving out the book, ‘Living Joy’ by Chris Stefanick. Fr. Raj would like to have an open house to discuss the book after Easter.
  • We are contacting the Diocese about a Lenten Mission speaker.
  • Blessing of the Candles is February 2nd; Blessing of the Throats is February 3rd after Mass.
  • Next week is the Annual Claretian Retreat. It will be virtual.
  1. Parish Manager Report:
  • December plate collection numbers are strong as are January’s: $87,800 plate and $40k online giving so far.
  • The Volunteer Appreciation Dinner is February 24th at 5:30pm in the Gym. Only 12 RSVPs so far. The deadline to RSVP is February 4th. It will be catered and there will be music.
  • A 2017 Nissan Rogue has been donated for Fr. Gaspar. It is in great shape; has 40k miles. Fr. Ralph will drive the Prius since his car has a lot of miles. Fr. Ralph’s Subaru will be the back up car. Jim asked if we should depreciate the car over 5 years as in the past or 3 years as Terry and Bill suggested. If 3 years, it will affect the depreciation budget.  Terry will research.
  • Tom Thompson has been given all the information for the Reserve Study. We are 8th on the list for the site visit. Jim welcomes any Finance Council member to be there for the visit.
  • CDA virtual training was yesterday. We have the same goal as previous years. Bulletin ads will begin February 5/6. February 12/13 is the kick off weekend and Mike and Kelly Daniel will give a witness talk the weekend of February 19/20. The Diocese put together a great video of the Daniel family which is posted on the Parish and Diocese Facebook pages.
  1. Old Business:
  • We discussed passing the basket at Mass. Bob was in Yuma and said they were passing collection baskets there. Our Ushers were holding baskets at Christmas which may have helped with the larger collection. An important question is if we have enough ushers to pass the collection baskets. We will hold off passing them for now.
  1. New Business:
  • Pope Francis has called for a Synod. Bishop Olmsted opened it for the Diocese of Phoenix on October 17, 2021. The Finance Council will discuss the three questions from the handout at the next meeting. The Diocese wants to know what parishioners are thinking about the Church. The Priests will be talking  about the Synod in homilies and will have open houses to hear from different groups. Kevin Keighron and Martha Lamb are heading up the Committee. This is a 2-year process, though the Committee has set a March 17, 2022 due date to complete the Parish report.
  • 2023 Budget: first draft budgets are due this week from the ministries. A tuition increase has been recommended from the Diocese. Jim will present the first draft at the February meeting.
  • Jim would like a committee to be formed to discuss putting the Parish directory in the 2023 budget.
  • Shelly talked about Catholic Schools Week which begins January 30th.

Fr. Raj led a closing prayer at 5:55PM

Respectfully submitted by Donna Maneely

2022-02-24T19:05:00+00:00February 24th, 2022|

Finance Council Meeting Minutes December 15, 2021

Terry began the meeting at 5:05pm Via Zoom.

Fr. Raj opened with a prayer.

Present: Bill Jacobs, Eileen Grant, Terry Brennan, Dan Putschoegl, Bob Dressler, Anne Welborn, Brad DeSaye


Staff: Jim Wren, Donna Maneely, Shelly Cooper

  1. Minutes Approval:
  • Eileen motioned to approve the October meeting minutes; Bob seconded it; approved
  1. Financial Statements:
  • Anne asked how the large contributions come about. Jim explained that most come in undesignated, though we will ask them to fill out a restricted form to designate it to something specific so we do not get assessed by the Diocese.
  • Bill asked about Collection amounts lagging behind Pre-Covid numbers. He asked if we should pass the basket again, have an usher at the door, and/ or promote online giving.  Jim remarked that many of our larger donors have recently moved.  This has not been offset by new parishioners; more families have registered but giving has not matched the large donors. We promoted online giving last summer with the grant match. Jim encourages online giving with new parishioners. December offerings have been good so far: $63k plate and $24,800 Online Giving. Most Holy Days have fallen on Sunday or Monday this fiscal year so we lost some revenue there as well.
  • Dan asked if we think church attendance is down. Fr. Raj has been gone for a month but did notice the Youth Mass attendance is low but other Masses seem to be well attended. Dan suggested the ushers move the collection boxes to be in front of the exits. Eileen commented that someone did not feel comfortable placing their cash in the collection box.
  • Dan motioned to approve the October Financials; Anne seconded the motion; motion approved
  • Bill motioned to approve the November Financials; Eileen seconded the motion; motion approved
  1. Bank Statement Approval:
  • Dan reviewed the October bank reconciliation; no discrepancies noted. He commented that there were 2 reconciliations: BBVA and the new bank PNC. The transition is going okay. There have been more returned checks with PNC Bank. The check scanner is working.  Jim commented that the credit card transition wasn’t easy. It was difficult to activate his new credit card.  The process went smoothly for other employees after Jim activated his card.
  • Brad reviewed the November bank reconciliation; no discrepancies noted
  1. Pastor’s Report:
  • Fr. Raj said it was nice to be back after his visit to India.
  • Upcoming events in December: decorating for Christmas, Holy Hours for the Lord.
  • commented that the Advent Mission was not well attended. He would like to have a popular speaker or musician perform.
  • Vicente is waiting for a Religious Visa permit from Canada. He is available for confessions and Spanish Masses.
  1. Parish Manager Report:
  • As Fr. Raj stated, attendance was low for the Advent Mission with Fr. Kevin. Jim has been in contact with popular Catholic speaker Chris Stefanick and Catholic singer Matt Maher. Both have control over ticket sales. From a budget perspective, we do not pay for anything but tickets may be too expensive and keep people away. Another idea is not to start out that big; use another speaker from Revive from Phoenix. The parish would have more control.
  • The Thanksgiving Mass and Advent Concert were popular and well attended; as was the Our Lady of Guadalupe Fiesta and play.
  • The School Advent pageant is December 16th.
  • Holy Hours for the Lord is December 22nd from 8am-7pm and confessions from 2pm-7pm.
  • There is no 5pm Vigil Mass on December 25th for the Feast of the Holy Family. Mary Mother of God is on Saturday, January 1st. There will be only one Mass at 9am.
  • We updated the names on our BOK accounts and will request to close account #4 since we are still being charged fees and there is only a small amount in the account.
  • Deacon Tony Humphrey is retiring after 49 years as a Deacon. Bishop Nevares will be celebrating the 9am Mass for him on January 16th. A reception will follow.
  • Deacon Joe Bueti is retiring from working at the Parish as of January 1st. He will continue to serve at Masses.
  • The Volunteer Appreciation Dinner will be on February 24th this year.
  • Please complete Safe Environment Training by December 31st.
  • The Reserve Study needs to be scheduled. We will use the same person as before, Tom Thompson. Bill will contact him.
  • The Parish is giving out the book, Life is Messy, by Matthew Kelly to our parishioners for Christmas. We received a donation from a parishioner to pay for the books.
  1. Old Business: None
  2. New Business:
  • The 2022 meetings will be the last Wednesday of each month except August and December.

Fr. Raj led a closing prayer at 5:45PM

Respectfully submitted by Donna Maneely

2022-01-27T17:10:16+00:00January 27th, 2022|

Finance Council Meeting Minutes – October 27, 2021

Terry began the meeting at 5:02pm.

Fr. Raj opened with a prayer.

Present: Bill Jacobs, Eileen Grant, Terry Brennan, Dan Putschoegl, Bob Dressler

Absent:  Anne Welborn, Brad DeSaye

Staff: Jim Wren, Donna Maneely, Shelly Cooper

  1. Minutes Approval:
  • Bill motioned to approve the September meeting minutes; Dan seconded it; approved
  1. Financial Statements:
  • There was a discussion about the shortfall on plate collections. Bill asked if we were going to do anything to try to increase collections. Not at this time. Jim added that collection money is down 14% Pre-Covid.
  • Bill motioned to approve the September Financials; Bob seconded the motion; motion approved
  1. Bank Statement Approval:
  • Bob reviewed the September bank reconciliation; no discrepancies noted
  1. Pastor’s Report:
  • The Liturgical Minister’s annual formation meeting was held on October 2nd. The reflection was on Bishop Olmsted’s Apostolic Exhortation. About 65 ministers participated.
  • Heritage week went well. Fr. Raj is having a special Mass to thank all of the volunteers.
  • Next week is the All Saints and All Souls Day liturgy. The school children will dress as Saints and parade around the school after Mass on All Saints Day.
  • Fr. Raj is taking his annual vacation from November 8-December 10. Fr. Ralph will be acting Pastor.
  • During Advent we have mission talks during the first week of December, the Advent Pageant on December 16 and 12 Hours for the Lord on December 22.
  • Suggested that we have our next Finance Council meeting on December 15th instead of November 17th.
  1. Parish Manager Report:
  • The Diocese asked for the percentage of our online giving compared to our plate collection for the past 3 years:
    • 2018/2019-36.4%
    • 2019/2020-36.8%
    • 2020/2021-42.3% (most likely due to the online giving grant from Summer 2020)
  • The New parishioner dinner was successful. 65 new parishioners attended; 100 people in total. Representatives from the councils and ministries attended. It was catered by Rosati’s and the leftovers were given to Fire and Police dispatch. New volunteers and friends were made. The cost of the food was offset by our credit card rewards rebate of $1,165.
  • Jim attended a virtual meeting with Our Sunday Visitor (our online giving provider) on how to increase offertory. He said it was not helpful.
  • Heritage Festival:
    • Expenses (so far)-$1725 without the police security bill
    • Income – over $2900, the 50/50 raffle winner donated back her winnings
    • There will be a follow up meeting to discuss the pros and cons of the event. Jim felt more help was needed with cleanup and that the hours should be condensed.
  • Index Fund Advisor account update: our investment dropped last month but has recovered.
  • November is a quiet month: All Saints Day school Mass and Thanksgiving Mass are coming up
  • December: Advent Mission, Advent concert, Advent pageant, Christmas and New Years
    • Since Christmas is on Saturday this year, there will not be a vigil mass on that day and January 1st is not a holy day of obligation.
  1. Old Business:
  • None
  1. New Business:
  • None

Fr. Raj led a closing prayer at 5:21pm

Respectfully submitted by Donna Maneely

2021-12-16T16:34:34+00:00December 16th, 2021|
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