Weekend Reflection for October 10 & 11, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As many of you know, when I arrived, the Parish was facing a June 30, 2019 cash shortfall of $645,000. $546,000 of this shortfall was due to school operations and $95,000 due to the Cemetery. To address this, I quickly mandated that we analyze all expenses and staffing costs. This resulted in a reduction in staff at the Parish level and the elimination of all non-essential spending.
As you have probably assumed, COVID-19 has had a negative impact on our collections for the year, and although we were more fortunate than most parishes, we did have a $90,000 decline in contributions. This decline has continued through September 30th where we lost much of our traditional summer mass revenue. We are blessed to have the consistent support of our Parishioners. With our cost-saving measures and increased revenues at the Cemetery, the Parish was still able to post a cash surplus of $92,000 for the year ended June 30, 2020.
Please know that we are dependent on your weekly contributions. With many people uncomfortable with returning to in-person mass, making those contributions have been challenging. I want to encourage all of you to register for Parish Giving, an online giving platform. Venmo or Zelle giving options are also available. During the next few weeks, we will be forming a new Committee of parish volunteers that will begin to reach out to our parishioners and help them register for one of these online contribution options with the overall goal of substantially increasing the number of parish families that participate in this critical strategic initiative. A series of “how to” videos will be provided as well.
With the Parish costs under control, we have switched our focus to the school. Although we were able to reduce the deficit substantially, SCS still experienced a deficit of $370,000. Ideally, we would like to work towards a zero deficit; this will guarantee the future of SCS. This year, thanks to a bequest from a St. Catharine School alumnae, we were able to replace the roof and add air conditioning to the main school building. The school has adapted well to concerns over COVID-19, and although we have smaller class sizes, we currently have a waiting list for most grades. (See Mr. Dougherty’s comments below.)
Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 to all of you and our Parish, I have been regularly meeting virtually with the Parish Board of Trustees to discuss every important issue facing our Parish. I will continue these meetings with the Trustees in the months ahead. I know that many of our parishioners are still not comfortable attending an “in-person” mass and miss the vibrancy associated with our rich tradition of active parish ministries and the opportunities to engage. As you all know, we are now living a new reality. We need to reimagine what it means to be a new church. I think this will involve more person to person ministries and smaller gatherings. For those at home experiencing loneliness and isolation or simply unable to get to church, we have a vibrant virtual community that includes masses, devotions, reflections, and scripture studies.
We are currently working on a Fall Mass schedule. Please remember that our identity is no longer merely parochial but must include our local parishes. We are trying to work together as a Cohort. All schedules will be planned accordingly.
Thank you for your continued support of our Parish, this is not possible without your contributions. Please know that I feel passionately that each dollar you contribute to the Parish must be spent responsibly and for our Parishioners’ direct benefit.
For more detailed Parish financials, please go to our website where they are posted.
With Love and Blessings,
The students and staff members of St. Catharine School would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to all of the members of our parish community that have helped support our school in embracing the challenges of educating our students in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Please take a moment to review some of the steps we have taken to provide an in-person learning experience for the students of St. Catharine School:
Preserved small class sizes with an average of 15 students per classroom in respect to indoor social distancing guidelines to provide the most safe and comfortable environment for our students and staff members.
Hired 3 additional FT teachers in excess of our previously adopted school to support new need for additional class sections
Purchased 150 chromebooks to bolster and support both in person and remote learning.
Implemented a new master schedule to provide a full, 5 day a week cohort experience for our students.
Purchased and installed needle-point bi-polar ionization air purifier units for classrooms as well as a new HVAC system for our main building to improve air quality throughout our facility.
Converted the school cafeteria into two classrooms by installing a new wall to separate the space while also equipping the rooms with all necessary technology tools to support our instructional needs.
Installed over 130 custom built safety barriers in classrooms to provide further protection for our students and staff members.
Created an extended, staggered arrival process for students to enable daily health screening as well as a social distant entry process.
Increased our facility cleaning personnel, equipping the team with chlorinated electrostatic disinfecting sprayers to complete routine sanitation procedures.
Installed over 40 hand sanitizer dispensers throughout critical areas of the school building.
Altered student restrooms to accommodate spacing limitations and social distancing guidelines
Maintained and adopted weekly class mass as well as a virtual school-wide First Friday Mass at St. Catharine Church.
Robert Dougherty, Principal
Daily Readings from USCCB
SATURDAY MASS TIME CHANGE
4PM - St. Margaret Church
5PM - SCS Playground
As a reminder, our parish has obtained access to Bishop Barron's
Word on Fire
video library for all parishioners and we can view any of his incredible series. A group of about 70 parishioners has been watching a video a week virtually. We've just started Bishop Barron's first series,
, a beautifully filmed and powerfully delivered overview of our faith. Please join us by texting the word BARRON to 84576 or go to
St. Margaret Church
St. Catharine School Playground
Live Stream Links
St. Catharine School Playground on Facebook
St. Catharine Church
St. Margaret Church
If you would like to volunteer please click on the link below and put your name in one of the spaces.
Please remember that masks are required at all times while on the church grounds. This is not only for the safety of our visitors but also our priests and worship team.
Virtual Prayer Book
Do you know someone that is in need of prayers?
Are they sick and need prayers of healing?
Do they need prayers for strength to get through this crisis?
Do they need prayers for patience while homeschooling their children?
Is someone lonely and could use a little lifting up by the Holy Spirit?
Add their name to our Virtual Prayer Book
. During the Prayer of the Faithful we will include them collectively by saying, "all those listed in our virtual prayer book" and they will be included along with all of the intersessions we are praying for during mass.
215 Essex Avenue
Spring Lake, NJ 07762
Although we are currently hosting a limited number of public masses, we are doing our very best to maintain a community for our parishioners and friends.
If you are able, please maintain your contributions to the parish. Donations can be mailed, given electronically, or dropped off in the free standing mailbox outside the rectory offices.
This will help us continue to pay our staff, who continue to work, and maintain vital programs and operations.
More information on electronic giving can be found
or by contacting Lisa Cole at
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on Sunday, October 11 at 9:43AM