Letter from Holy Cross Finance Committee

To Holy Cross Parishioners:
For more than two years we have all been affected by Covid, both as individuals and more broadly throughout society. It has taken a physical, emotional and financial toll. Holy Cross Parish has been no different. Family incomes and expenses have been impacted, and so has our church family’s budget.
During this time the parish has incurred higher expenses in order to address unique pandemic needs. At the same time, we experienced a significant decline in Sunday and Holy Day collections. Over the last three years there was an almost 5% drop in giving. Over a four-year period, it is an even more pronounced decrease at 11%. Navigating these financial challenges required the parish to draw on its reserves and seek programs that would assist it in meeting its obligations. The goal was to provide continuity of programs and fulfillment of the parish’s mission of providing a spiritual home for all who share our Catholic beliefs and values.
During this time both the federal and State of Illinois governments developed programs to provide financial assistance to individuals, families, businesses and organizations to ease pandemic-related burdens. The federal government provided programs to help non-profit organizations as well. Efforts such as the Paycheck Protection Program, the Employee Retention Credit and Emergency Assistance Non-Public Schools Grants provided funds to retain staffs and cover expenses incurred in meeting Covid-related mandates.
Holy Cross Parish participated in these programs because it was the prudent thing to do to be able to keep our school and Parish doors open. The parish anticipates that these programs will provide more than $1,000,000 to Holy Cross. These funds are used to cover operating income shortfalls and provide for needed maintenance on the parish’s properties.
Regarding the maintenance of the properties, the Parish has a number of capital projects that need to be initiated to ensure that the physical plant of our parish is well-maintained for future generations. Some of those projects are replacement of the west window wall in the school, replacement of the air conditioning system in the Great Hall of the parish center, repair and replacement of the parish center’s exterior surface, resurfacing of the parking lot, and a number of other maintenance expenses. The money received through these government grants will ensure that some of these projects will be completed.
While all these special funds will be used, more will be needed to keep the parish in good order.
Over the years, Holy Cross Parish has been blessed with exceptionally generous parishioners. They have always provided the resources necessary—whether through bequests, individual donations, or weekly collections—to meet the financial needs of the parish at the time. Rarely has the parish been in a position where it needed to directly ask for the financial assistance of its parishioners beyond Sunday collections and the Annual Diocesan Appeal. To underscore this point, the last major capital campaign undertaken by the  parish was to air condition the church, which was over twenty years ago.
As previously mentioned, the funds received through the various federal grants will provide for some of the capital improvements anticipated to be made in the near future as well as to cover the parish’s operating  deficiencies. That money will eventually run out and the parish will continue to need your assistance. In that regard, the Finance Committee humbly asks for your consideration of an increase in your weekly offering and donating to support one or more of the projects mentioned.
We realize that these are difficult times, but we would remind you when considering increasing your financial assistance that prior generations of parishioners sacrificed to provide us with the beautiful church and parish facilities that we enjoy. Today we can pay that debt forward so that our families, and those who come after us, may continue to find a Catholic home where we can share Christ with our community and the world around us.
Thank You –
 Members of the Holy Cross Parish Finance Committee.

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