Our Lady of Czestochowa

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1 Our Lady of Czestochowa Our Lady s Church on the Waterfront 2016 Parish Report

2 The mission of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish (OLC) is to reach out to all people and encourage all to join us in joyfully giving praise and glory to God; to build a Christian community that, with trust in God, embraces the future, and in doing so, is a beacon of faith, hope and love on the Jersey City waterfront. Implicit in our parish mission statement is that we welcome ALL to join us in faith to worship the Lord. To this end, we joyfully celebrate the Eucharist and the other sacraments. We preach the Word during the Eucharist and in our religious education programs. We engage in works of charity to aid those in need. We also celebrate community through parish social functions intended to bring us together as one. The life of a parish is multi-faceted. However, the life of the parish must be Christo-centric. That is to say that the reality and core of the parish finds its center in the person of Jesus Christ. Amidst the cultural and ethic diversity of our parishioners, everything, from the celebration of the Eucharist and sacraments to parish social activities, must radiate out of the person of Jesus Christ who unites us as one in the Spirit. To encourage our oneness, we urge all to officially register in the parish. Doing so instills a sense of belonging, making OLC a spiritual home. It is here that we celebrate our faith in Jesus Christ and also celebrate community. This is particularly important because a vast number of our parishioners are not native to Jersey City. We have parishioners from all corners of the world and all places in the United States. We also encourage non-catholics, the separated and divorced, those who feel alienated from the Church, etc. to feel welcome and accepted in OLC. Making OLC our spiritual home can make us feel comfortable in a new environment that we need to accommodate ourselves. We are a small parish. The parish census indicates that we have a total of 1393 parishioners. This number is deceptive. It is deceptive because many parishioners are relocated in and out of the parish because of their occupational obligation. Our census does not always remain current with the mobility of parishioners. Because we welcome all, many register in the parish because they want their child baptized or they need a sponsor certificate or for some other personal reason. Frequently Page 2 Baptism at OLC

3 afterwards, such families move on and out of Jersey City. Over the course of the year Sunday Mass attendance has averaged 382 (including children). This reflects a Mass attendance of 27% of our total census population. Daily Mass attendance averages 30 people. The majority of these people come from the business community. Regarding the celebration of the sacraments, over the course of the year we celebrated: 40 Baptisms, 18 1 st Holy Communions, 3 Confirmations, 5 RCIA Candidates being Baptized, 11 Marriages. Our marriages included Catholic couples, but also Catholic and Non-Catholic couples. One couple was Catholic and Jewish. We accommodate all couples to prepare them for the marriage. We also help the couple to plan a meaningful ceremony the day of the wedding. While we minister to adults, our children are of utmost importance. Our 10 am Sunday Mass is a Family Mass where children are welcomed. During that Mass we celebrate a Liturgy of the Word for the children in the church hall. They hear the Word of God and are instructed according to their age. We also encourage the children to sing at Mass to the pride of their parents. Our ministries go beyond the liturgical ministries of Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers and Altar Servers. Our ministries include community service. We collect food for a local food bank serving residents of Jersey City. We sponsor Downtown Harvest. This program supports an organic farm in New Jersey. A portion of their fresh produce is distributed to support a local food bank. We conduct a winter coat drive. During the Christmas season, our choir visits a local nursing home. Even though Jesus preached the Gospel, he also recognized the importance of being with people socially. Like wise, the social activities of the parish are instrumental in bringing parishioners together spiritually. During the course Annual Parish Picnic hosted at St. Peter s Prep. of the year we celebrate a Fish & Chips Lenten meal. We host a parish picnic. We enjoy the parish s annual Festival of Christmas Song celebrating the Feast of Christmas. Additionally, we provide donuts for the children after the 10 am Mass. This also brings parents together to socialize, getting together and making new friends. We host an Easter Egg Hunt Holy Saturday morning. Annual Festival of Christmas Song Page 3

4 While we attend to the spiritual needs of the parish, we have a fiduciary responsibilty to manage the parish. To this end we have a Pastoral Council which attends to the spiritual aspects of the parish. Our Finance Council oversees our finances, initiates parish fund raising, etc. The Buildings and Grounds Committee oversees the physical needs of our facilities. Presently, The Building and Grounds Committee recognizes several needs in the Easter Egg Hunt parish. They include: repairs to the church floor, a renovated kitchen in the church hall and acoustical problems in the church hall. All of these require substantial funding which we do not have at this time. Financial support is essential to the survival of OLC. In the past few years three parish churches in downtown Jersey City have closed, largely due to financial reasons. These parishes were originally merged to form Resurrection Parish. First to close was St. Boniface; second, St. Peter s (the oldest parish in Jersey City); third, St. Bridget. Parishes in this section of Jersey City are not immune to closure. Additional Revenues, $61,263 Easter Offering, $25,000 Parish Revenues 2016 Non Operating Revenues, $90,540 Additional Offerings, 16,315 Christmas Offering, $35,000 Ordinary Revenues, $270,585 Church Revenue Ordinary Revenues $ 270,585 Christmas Offering $ 35,000 Easter Offering $ 25,000 Additional Offerings $ 16,315 Additional Revenues $ 61,263 Non Operating Revenues $ 90,540 TOTAL $ 498,703 Archdiocesan Assessments, $55,692 Supplies, $11,094 Parish Expenses 2016 Utilities, $24,184 Insurance, $11,161 Maintenance, $10,687 Contracted/professional Services, $82,888 General expenses, $7,369 Benefits, $62,580 Capital Expenses $6,690 Salaries, $213,857 Church Expenses Salaries $ 213,857 Benefits $ 62,580 Contracted/professional Services $ 82,888 Maintenance $ 10,687 Insurance $ 11,161 Utilities $ 24,184 Supplies $ 11,094 Archdiocesan Assessments $ 55,692 General expenses $ 7,369 Capital Expenses $ 6,690 TOTAL $ 486,202 TOTAL SURPLUS (DEFICIT) $ 12,501 Page 4

5 Illustrated below are the revenues and expenses for the past four years Ordinary Revenues Sunday & Holy Day Offerings 337, , , ,585 Christmas Offering 35,000 35,000 35,000 35,000 Easter Offering 26,617 25,000 25,000 25,000 Perquisites 10,715 11,010 12,975 16,315 Total Ordinary Revenues 410, , , ,900 Additional Revenues Religious Education 1,320 1,815 3,979 3,019 Other Misc. Revenues: Christmas Flowers 1,897 1,823 1,998 1,822 Easter Flowers 1,725 1, ,468 Rent from Convent - 55,000 48,000 48,000 Other Misc. Rev Total Other Misc. Revenues 3,910 58,818 50,958 51,346 Votive Revenue 11,460 6,690 11,487 6,898 Total Additional Revenues 16,690 67,323 66,424 61,263 Non-Operating Revenues: RCAN IMA Interest # Interest Income - Restrict. Funds Hurricane Sandy Fund Restricted Income 30,561 55,761 91,826 90,436 National Collections 3,418 5,055 4,806 8,901 National Collections. Expense (3,418) (5,055) (4,806) (8,901) Total Non-Operating Revenues 31,507 55,881 91,928 90,540 TOTAL REVENUE 458, , , , Expenses Salaries & Benefits Salaries Religious & Clergy 30,688 29,542 30,443 33,084 Lay Salaries 184, , , ,773 Benefits 58,646 56,599 56,086 62,580 Total Salaries & Benefits 274, , , ,437 Total Contract/Professional Services 70,081 70,512 66,918 82,888 Plant Related: Repairs & Maintenance 21,324 3,641 8,402 10,043 Maintenance Supplies 468 3,908 2, Total Maint. & Maint. Supplies 21,792 7,549 11,023 10,687 Insurance Property 13,612 13,927 13,795 9,791 Insurance Auto 1,171 1,230 1,292 1,370 Total Plant Related 40,010 22,706 26,110 21,848 Page 5

6 Total Utilities 30,161 32,406 27,895 24,184 Total Supplies & Equipment 19,850 30,884 19,250 11,094 Religious Education Exp Rectory Provisions 2,586 3,516 3,165 3,701 Assessments 51,600 44,604 53,307 55,692 Miscellaneous Expenses 3,234 1,075 2,718 2,616 Bank Fees TOTAL EXPENSES 499, , , ,512 Net Ordinary Income (30,180) 40,789 76,974 19,191 Capital Projects Revenue 9, Capital Project Expenses 48,688-79,723 6,690 Total capital expenses 48,688 79,723 - Net other income (39,618) - (79,723) - TOTAL SURPLUS (DEFICIT) (69,798) 40,789 (2,749) 12,501 The above parish financial statement appears to paint a positive financial picture with an operating surplus of $12,501. We attribute this to Restricted Donations. However, there is no guarantee we will have this amount of income in Additionally, collection revenue from 2013 to 2016 has been falling. From 2015 to 2016, Sunday collections have dropped 16.6%. This is significant since a considerable number of generous contributors have relocated out of Jersey City this past fiscal year. It is significant also because we rely upon the Sunday collection as a reliable source of parish funding. This drop in collections may mark the beginning of a trend as new parishioners have not registered and are not contributing significantly to the Sunday collection. Please, refer to the graph below illustrating the drop in Sunday collections. $360,000 Sunday Collections $340, ,472 $320,000 $300, , ,816 $280,000 $260, ,585 $240,000 $220,000 $200,000 Fiscal year 2013 Fiscal year 2014 Fiscal year 2015 Fiscal year 2016 Page 6

7 Even though we had a positive fund balance last year, there were two other contributing factors. We eliminated one position. Originally, this was a full time position, later changed to part-time. This year we eliminated the position. This has resulted in extra work for the staff. Additionally, revenues from the rental of the convent by the school contribute significantly to the parish. This may change in the future. Over the course of these past four years, we have tried to economize. We have attempted to cut operating costs. Unfortunately, there are operating costs that we cannot control. These include health insurance costs, which continue to rise. Other insurance costs have risen also, particularly after hurricane Sandy. We have no control over these costs because the Archdiocese dictates these expenses. Additionally, because of Lighting the Way, the Archdiocese increased our parish assessment. Sunday Mass attendance over the course of the year averaged 382 (including children). That number is misleading because the average is skewed by Easter attendance and Sundays when we have baptisms. The upward spikes in the chart below indicate Sundays of Baptisms. The dotted line is a trend line indicating a trend in which Mass attendance is moving, up or down over the period of the year. One can see that Mass attendance is not consistent. This negatively affects Sunday contributions Sunday Mass Attendance Even though a significant number of parishioners have relocated out of Jersey City, we believe that, with recent new construction in the area, our membership can grow. However, even with new growth, we can only hope that new parishioners will attend Mass regularly and contribute generously. In the meantime, we are making some efforts to increase the number of registered parishioners. In doing so, we not only hope to increase our Sunday collections, but also seek out new volunteers to become involved in the parish. Page 7

8 As previously mentioned, Lighting the Way is an Archdiocesan program designed to keep Catholic schools financially viable. Personally, I believe it is doing a disservice to our school and to our parish. Over the course of the past seven years, under the direction of Mrs. Anna Mae Stefanelli, the OLC School has grown enrollment from 300 students (pre-k through 8 th grade) to about 500 students. Mrs. Stefanelli has grown the pre-school and she has developed a plan to increase the retention rate of students in the higher grades. Mrs. Stefanelli has developed programs for teacher enhancement. She has enhanced computer sciences and other programs that promote excellence in our students. This past year, our school was granted national recognition as a Blue Ribbon School. Moving forward, I believe that the parish is facing some major challenges. We need to grow membership and strive for greater financial responsibility among the parishioners. In doing so, we welcome ALL. We respect young families with young children. Actually, I enjoy seeing the children carry-on at mass. We have some major projects needed in the church as mentioned before. Unfortunately, we do not have the financial resources to start these projects. We will need to build up our cash reserves to address these problems. I hope that parishioners will respond positively to address the many needs of the parish. Page 8

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