From Father's Desk

Dear OLPH,

We have reached the conclusion of the Christmas Season with the Baptism of the Lord. Tomorrow begins Ordinary Time, which is by no means ordinary, since at each moment God knocks at the door of our heart. Our Father constantly beckons. The Son’s radiance continually shines. The Spirit ceaselessly breathes life into the world.

As we return to a usual rhythm and enter into 2019, perhaps now is a good time to take stock and share with you some updates. Some have asked about progress with certain projects, especially the Faith to Move Mountains (FFM) campaign.

The whole Diocese of Trenton engaged in a special endowment campaign called Faith to Move Mountains, from 2014-2016. OLPH had a goal of $555,000. The campaign had a total goal of $75 million. Our goal, and all parish goals, were set at 112.5% of regular ordinary annual income (in case you were wondering how they got that number).

FFM allocated funds this way: up to goal , 30% of funds raised return to the parish; 70% for our diocesan endowment. For monies over goal , 70% returned to parish. Hence, our parish was looking forward to $166,500 for projects. We chose to dedicate the funds to improving the pews in church. Our case for support stipulated: refinishing church pews; clean and/or replace pew cushions; install book holders.

At last update (Nov. 2018) 121 families committed to supporting FFM. OLPH families committed to raising $165, 107. Thank you, thank you to those generous families!! So far, $88,460.20 has been donated, while $76, 646.80 is our pledge balance. Sacrificial monthly giving could be spread over five years. If your family has a pledge balance, please continue to plug away, and thank you.

As you can see, OLPH families were only able to commit to 30% of our total goal, meaning that our portion for improvements is greatly diminished. So far, $23,499 has been sent back to our parish, which is inadequate to refurbish our pews. After more than 60 years of faithful service, our pews need some TLC. That is certain!

We have a few options. We can (a) choose a worthy project that can be completed for $50,000, or (b) engage in a separate parish campaign to raise the necessary funds for the pews. I am very open to hearing your thoughts, especially from the 121 generous families. I will do nothing without thorough consultation. These funds are restricted and will not be added to the general fund.

A word about money. I do not like talking about money. I would much rather talk about Jesus, the Kingdom of God, and the spiritual life. Please know this to be true. But a pastor’s task is like the head of the household, and money always plays a role in what is possible. We can dream big dreams, but if the piggy bank does not support them, they remain just dreams.  I have done my best to be a good steward of your generous offerings, and I will continue to do my best to use what is entrusted to me with prudence and diligence. Thank you for your trust.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Wilson