In order to serve the needs of the people and to be responsible stewards of the gifts given, the Diocese of Austin issues that a Finance Council is to be established and is to be operative in every parish in the Diocese of Austin.
Parish Financial Report in September 2015
Operating Budget for the 2016 Fiscal Year (July 2015 - June 2016)
The Nature and Purpose of the Finance Council
Members of the St. Thomas More Finance Council
Parish Financial Report in September 2015 [top of page]
In late May 2015, we reported a dire financial situation at STM that was driven by very weak contributions, and escalating costs. Contributions had declined by roughly $145,000 year over year [rolling 12 months] and expenses had escalated to the point of forecasting a nearly $300,000 budget deficit for the 2015-2016 budget year. By May of this year, the parish had spent roughly half of its savings to meeting its monthly expenses.
In response to the crisis, the following actions were implemented:
Non-essential capital and operational spending were cut from the budget while we continue to look for other savings opportunities.
We decreased our charitable giving and subsidies to outside organizations.
A pulpit announcement was made to educate parishioners and ask them to prayerfully consider increasing their giving of time, talent AND treasure.
Thanks to those who responded to our May plea. The results of these actions have been:
The highest summer giving in 4 years.
Budget spending below a significantly trimmed budget.
A financial plan implemented that focuses on increasing contributions and proactively managing costs in an environment of accountability
An increase in our savings. However, we are still well shy of our target of 90 days of cash on hand.
Parishioners offering to help defray costs through their volunteerism and suggestions
Parishioners actively engaged in fundraising for the parish. (Please see the parish bulletin for details about the Amazon Smile and Randall’s Card programs. With active parishioner participation generate free cash for St. Thomas More by merely spending money you would have normally spent with them anyway!)
THANK YOU for answering the call! Your positive response has us headed in the right direction. However, we are not out of the woods.
We need to increase our savings to 90 days of cash on hand and be in a position to fund some of the non-sustainable budget cuts. Our contribution goal was lowered to reflect the recent budget trimming as a “break even” amount and reported in the September 6th bulletin. However, we must exceed that amount in order to increase our savings and address longer term capital improvements. As a result, the pre-existing $52,500 weekly contribution target is necessary to get STM back to a healthy financial position.
We spent significant and necessary unforeseen capital to replace 2 failed AC systems in August.
Increased gifts of time, talent and treasure need to be sustained to offer the programs, services and ministries we provide. These include faith formation, Sacraments, social outreach, Catholic education cost subsidies and parish activities.
We certainly do not wish to distract from the joyous occasion of Fr. Isidore’s 30th Ordination Anniversary being celebrated on September 12th & 13th. However, this important message needed to be delivered as it is vital in sustaining our vibrant parish. If you have not done so already, we would ask you to prayerfully consider increasing your financial contributions in addition to your time and talents.
Lastly, we would like to publicly thank Don Rosenberg for his long and faithful service to the Finance Council. Don will be rolling off of the council in November. Thank you, Don!
We would again like to sincerely thank those who were present and responded to our plea on the weekend of May 30th & 31st, 2015. Your increased contributions resulted in the highest summer giving in four years.
We would ask all of you to prayerfully consider increasing your financial contributions if you have not done so already. One of the precepts of the church is to support our faith community. Your financial support allows St. Thomas More, this beautiful body of believers, to serve others, and our own community with faith formation, Sacraments, social outreach, Catholic education cost subsidies and parish activities. Please also prayerfully discern giving of your time to volunteer with one of our various ministries. Giving of your time, talent and treasure is a natural result of your love of God and others. As you pray about this, please remember the words of St. Paul (2 Corinthians 9:7): "Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
Thank You, Mickey Batsell, Finance Council Chair. Phone: 512-260-0050. Send Mickey a message.
Operating Budget for the 2106 Fiscal Year (July 2015 - June 2016) [top of page]
The Nature and Purpose of the Finance Council [top of page]
The nature and purpose of the Finance Council relates to consultation in the parish.
Consultation is at the heart of the decision-making process.
Consultation does not pertain to the issue of who holds authority in the Church; it does pertain to the way that authority is exercised.
Consultation recognizes that all the baptized are called to share in the governance of the Church, each in a way proper to that person.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law introduced a new and separate consultative body to parish life. "In each parish there is to be a finance council which is governed, in addition to universal law, by norms issued by the diocesan Bishop.” (c. 537)
The purpose of the parish Finance Council is to provide the pastor with a group of Christian faithful who will aid him in the administration of parish goods according to these norms. While distinct from the Pastoral Council of the parish, this Finance Council is to serve the goals and objectives set forth by the Pastoral Council, both being guided by the mission statement of the parish.
The consultation of the Finance Council is parallel to consultation of the Pastoral Council. The responsibilities of the Finance Council shall be to:
Assist the pastor in the administration of parish goods in accordance with the norms of Canons 1281 through 1288
Assist the pastor in the preparation of a yearly budget of income and expenditures 1. The proposed budget is to be shared with the parish Pastoral Council.
Assist the pastor in the preparation of an annual financial report of revenues and expenditures for dissemination to the parishioners. 1. A parish may choose to provide more frequent reports.
Review the parish income and expense report quarterly and make recommendations as necessary to see that the expenses are in within the limits of income received and available.
Assist parish commissions, boards, and organizations in preparing and submitting annual budgets.
Study parish revenues and make recommendations for increasing revenue to meet both parish and diocesan goals and objectives.
Study parish expenses and make recommendations to minimize expenditures within the parish.
Familiarize themselves with all diocesan fiscal policies and assist the pastor in meeting these obligations.
Encourage support of parish and diocesan stewardship programs.
Be consulted on all expenditures other than normal operating expenditures.
Members of the St. Thomas More Finance Council [top of page]
The Finance Council, like the Pastoral Council, is a unit of service, not authority. If you have questions for the Council, please contact Mickey Batsell at 512-260-0050.
The following lay members of our parish form the Finance Council:
(Not PIctured) Ione Voor
Wendy Lambert Jennifer Plent