In this time of crisis, parishes need continued financial support

Friday, Mar. 27, 2020
In this time of crisis, parishes need continued financial support + Enlarge
Knights of Columbus Anthony Barry and Tom Goonan take up a Sunday collection for parish operation and CRS Rice Bowl at St. Marguerite Parish in Tooele on March 22. Courtesy photo/ Brian Duncan
By Marie Mischel
Intermountain Catholic

SALT LAKE CITY — In his March 19 memo to clergy and diocesan staff regarding recommendations in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Bishop Oscar A. Solis acknowledged that parishes likely will face tight budgets because, with public Masses canceled, no collections with be taken up. Bishop Solis suggested that parishes, if they have not already done so, establish online giving. 
The Diocese of Salt Lake City Office of Stewardship and Development has created a special button on the diocesan and stewardship/development sites for giving. Karin Hurley, director, released the following message:
“We are missionary disciples, by virtue of our baptisms, called to proclaim the Gospel and live out the mission of Christ. We are also called to fund the mission of the Church, most especially in time of crisis. 
“Our parishes are being impacted in myriad ways, and we, the faithful of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, have been asked to make spiritual sacrifices – the suspension of Holy Mass, other forms of public worship, faith formation and parish gatherings. We miss the Eucharist, the choir, the fellowship and community bonds. But, now more than ever, we must affirm the Mission and the ministry of the parish. 
“We are a family and our parishes are our spiritual homes, gathering places where we meet our Lord and prepare ourselves for our eternity with Christ. During a crisis, our parishes function also as field hospitals, attending to the spiritual needs of the people, and our pastors, priests and parish staff are on the front line. It is critically important to continue to provide parish financial support, and it is our duty and responsibility to ensure that they remain financial viable and equipped to meet these and other needs of the faithful. This is made possible through the continuing financial support of the people. Through the generosity of parishioners, our parishes will be able to continue in their vital ministries, cover maintenance and operational expenses, compensate staff and be better prepared to address other critical needs.
“We are asked to make spiritual sacrifices in this time of need, and must not forget those who are working so diligently on behalf of our spiritual well-being. This is everyday stewardship. The practice of being prayerful and grateful, which inevitably leads us to being gracious and generous. Support your parish today by hand-delivering your offertory gift, signing up for parish online giving, or the faithful can visit, and click on the Parish Giving button to make their gift.”
In a similar appeal, the Utah Knights of Columbus posted the following message on its Facebook page: 
“One of the seven precepts of the Catholic Church is for faithful Catholics to contribute to its material support. With Masses being cancelled, there are a fair number of people who are not doing so because they are not attending Mass and not placing their contributions in the collection basket every week.
“Our parishes have a lot of fixed costs. Staff must be paid. Utilities must be paid. Mortgages need to be paid. New hymnals must be purchased, and so on. Yet, the diminished income has seen our parishes straining to keep up.
“There are two ways you can help. First, send a check to your parish for the Sundays you have missed and will miss. Second, almost every parish has an automatic deposit system where you can make monthly contributions. If you are not already doing so, call your parish office and find out how this is done and make it happen.
“This is a difficult time for everyone. The Church you hold so dear needs your help. Be there for her, as she is for you.
“Vivat Jesus!”

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