This Sunday I am publishing our Parish Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1st, 2016-June 30th, 2017). Photocopies of the detailed reports for Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Parish and its parish cemetery of St. Mary’s are available in the vestibule of the rectory for those who would like to take them. I will summarize the reports here in this column.  

The parish cemetery ended the Fiscal Year with a positive balance of $40,000 (income less expenses) This provided us with a modest financial cushion going into the new Fiscal Year. We were able to add $91,534 to the Perpetual Care Fund. I want to express my gratitude to parishioner Ron Goguen and his family team of Guardian Estate Management for the excellent and reverent care that they are giving to St. Mary’s. I also want to express my thanks to Margie Bibbo who runs the cemetery office and to our business manager Sharon Hogan for their dedicated professional work. 

Total Income for the parish this past Fiscal Year was $523,495. Expenses totaled: $736.830. This left us with a deficit of: ($204,335) Fortunately we were still able to cover the revenue shortfall from our parish endowment, but that has taken another huge chunk out of our resources. It undermines the parish’s longer term future and it increases the pressure to close the gap before we reach the tipping point where we cannot cover the revenue shortfall anymore from our savings.

The parish did better in revenues than budgeted ($153,000), primarily through $81,000 in other donations and $24,000 in gifts and bequests. We were $11,000 under-budget in terms of Total Expenses.

The analysis of our Parish Giving shows that ten donors accounted for 45% of last year’s donations, 66% of the total donors gave less than $20-per-week, and 84% gave less than $50-per-week.

My message in the face of these numbers is the same one I have consistently been giving to you: if we want to keep our parish of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes open then we are going to have to pay for it. Nobody else is going to pay for it. Nobody else should pay for it. It is the responsibility of the community of the faithful who are already here to support their church through a stewardship level of giving born of their own faith-commitment. There has to be a commitment to a sustained level of sacrifice. The sacrifice also has to be broadly shared. It should not be only a small percentage of parish households making the real financial sacrifices.

In the coming weeks we will be rolling out a Pledge Campaign for the next year—between the First Sunday of Advent and November 24th, 2018 (the 108th Anniversary of the Dedication of our Parish Church). Please start to consider what you might be able to do for our parish in the coming year.

(Fr. Higgins)

About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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"If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter."
- St. Therese of Lisieux (+1897)

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