It has been roughly a year since I took the Director of Parish Operations position here at St. John. It certainly has been a learning experience for me. I stepped into the role right when Covid hit last year. What timing! The operations of the parish haven’t been “normal” due to the pandemic. So while it has been a challenge at times, doing the Lord’s work is life-giving, and he has provided the wonderful resources for it to continue.
We are very fortunate to have several facilities that enable the ministry of our parish to thrive here at St. Johns. We have 9 facilities spread over 4 campuses. From our churches to our schools to our cemetery, we are equipped to provide what we are called to do and who we are meant to be.
With these facilities comes, too, the enormous task to maintain them. Each year 15-20% of the budget is needed for facility expenses. This is what we know that needs to be budgeted for just to maintain them. Many things come up over time that need replacing that are not in the budget. This is where the 4% of the 5-4-1 tithing formula (or Generosity Challenge) comes to mind, and as Fr. Chas will emphasize this in his homily this weekend, these contributions to our capital campaign and other parish projects in our 10- Year Plan are vital to maintain our parish campuses.
Our Witness to Hope capital campaign has been going on now for 3+ years. There is an update in the bulletin to give you an idea where we are with the campaign projects. We thank you for your pledge contributions and ask you to continue to follow up on them so we can count on them for the remaining projects. This has been a very successful campaign, and we are very grateful to our parishioners in making these designated projects come to life.
We also have capital parish projects that are in progress from the “10-Year Plan” such as painting the steeple louvers, fixing the dome in the St. Joseph bell tower, updating lights in St. Joseph church, installing Cat 6 internet cabling throughout the school, and installing security cameras at the cemetery that require special funding mainly from our capital campaign fund. The monthly yellow contribution envelopes in your packets are used for your donations and go directly into the capital campaign fund. Thank you for your continued support of these projects. For those of you who have transitioned to online giving, in addition to your regular Sunday offertory, you can set up your online giving to include a monthly donation to the future capital expenditures fund. Call Diane in the office if you would need help setting this up.
We have many other projects slated in our Buildings & Grounds 10-Year Plan that will keep our many facilities running in the years ahead. Some of the major projects include these areas: School – a new roof for the school (both wings) $800k; remove steam tunnel asbestos $285k; upgrade HVAC JCMS wing $216k; St. John Church – repair some of the windows $200k; balcony revisions for new pipe organ $100k; replace parish trucks $100k; Parish Center HVAC upgrades $100K; St. Joseph Oratory – new roof for convent $100k. These projects alone total close to $2M. All of the projects in the 10-Year Plan are estimated at well over $3.6m. At this time, the capital campaign funds have a total of $300k of which $180k is earmarked for the St. Joseph campus in part from a generous bequest, which leaves $120k for the three other campuses. As you can see the total of the 10-Year Plan projects and what we have funded is a very wide margin. There will always be a constant need for capital funding as long as we have these facilities to maintain. The need to proclaim, learn, and fulfill God’s word will always be with us at this parish. It is our mission. We have that obligation to be good and faithful stewards to enable the vital teachings of the Catholic church and create disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ here at St. John for many years to come.