FINANCIAL MATTERS: Many in the community, but certainly not all, know that prior to entering the seminary I graduated Penn State (not that other local fave whose moniker is something akin to "the pits") with a business degree. But - obviously - God called me in an entirely different direction and I WILLINGLY turned my back on the world of business. Imagine my chagrin (ESPECIALLY on becoming a Pastor!) when I realised how much of my time is consumed with business matters (raising capital, managing employees, facilities management, budgeting resources, capital improvements, signing cheques to name but SOME of them). And WITHOUT A DOUBT the business side is the absolute LEAST favourite aspect of my priestly life. Be that as it may, I do NOT have the option of ignoring that aspect of my "job." I pray that someday a new model of parish administration develops, one that leaves me free to focus my energies exclusively on MINISTRY. A boy can dream ...
Last Sunday, after 9am Mass a parishioner at Saint Aloysius asked me a very FAIR question "Why are our expenses greater than Saint John's?" (Implied in the question was the fact that the two parishes are comparable in size.) Immediately I realised that many, if not MOST, parishioners are clueless as to how we allocate expenses among the various parishes. Thus, let me now expand on my answer to him and his wife in an effort to help EVERYONE understand how things work around here. There are 3 categories into which our expenses fall: 1) those apportioned between all four parishes; 2) those split among the three Connellsville parishes; and 3) those that fall to an individual parish. With that as the basic framework let's now delve deeper.
1) Expenses split four ways are divided thusly: Saint John and Saint Aloysius (as the smaller parishes) pay 15% each and Immaculate Conception and Saint Rita (as the larger parishes) pay 35% each. The payroll and budgets of our pastoral staff are the most obvious examples that fall into this category; the se ministers serve the needs of the ENTIRE Our Lady, Queen of the Yough community.
2) Expenses applicable only to the three Connellsville parishes (which are administered as a SINGLE unit) are split in this manner: 20% from Saint John and 40% each from Immaculate Conception and Saint Rita. This would include the payroll and expenses of the office staff at DeVivo Centre as well as the Connellsville maintenance department.
3) Finally, there are certain expenses applicable only to an INDIVIDUAL parish. An obvious example is the office and maintenance staff at Saint Aloysius; they work ONLY for that parish. (Although later this year the secretary in Dunbar is going to be assisting at the DeVivo Centre, at which point her salary will become a four way split.) The other main expense in this category is upkeep of and utilities for EACH parish's physical plant. The exception would be non-capital improvements to a building that is shared among the parishes. For example, cleaning, painting, furnishing the former Saint Rita School which is to be used as a meeting venue for community-wide gatherings (the youth groups are already using the space). But any repairs or capital improvements are the responsibility of Saint Rita parish as THAT PARISH owns the building. In the same way, Waters House is the responsibility of Immaculate Conception, Gellhof Place the responsibility of Saint John, Brady Centre the responsibility of Saint Aloysius, DeVivo Centre and Bucci Hall the responsibility of Saint Rita.
From these considerations it can be seen why the expenses at Saint Aloysius are greater than those at Saint John, even though they are comparably-sized (in the statistics on the diocesan website the difference in the number of households between them is exactly TWO): Saint Aloysius currently has FOUR employees for which they are paying 100% of the salary (in addition to shared employees) whereas Saint John has NO employees exclusive to it and pays 20% of the Connellsville only employees' and 15% of the shared employees' salaries.
Another reality that emerges from the above information is that Saint Rita is responsible for FOUR buildings (until the recent sale of the convent the number was FIVE) whereas the other parishes have responsibility for only TWO each (in this number I am only counting the primary buildings and have NOT included the garages at the three city parishes and the maintenance shed in Dunbar).
COVER PHOTO: Another week with parishioner milestones! On Saturday 20 October Immaculate Conception parishioner (and former Holy Trinity parishioner) Ed Pieczynski celebrated his 101st birthday. Due to my schedule I had to visit him two days earlier to extend the community’s congratulations. Also on Saturday 99 year old Saint Rita parishioner Rose Mariotti had the joy of walking down the aisle at her granddaughter's wedding. Both look to be doing great and both are still SHARP AS A TACK! May God continue to bless them abundantly.