Weekend Update - July 3

07-03-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Happy Fourth of July

I wish you and your family a happy Fourth of July as we celebrate our Independence Day on Saturday this weekend. Obviously, this may be about the most low-keyed fourth of July celebration in decades due to the new restrictions put in place to control the spread of the Coronavirus. Despite the current tension rising from the spiteful political campaigns that we see on television, street protests and economic challenges due to the viral pandemic, the fourth of July celebration is a constant reminder that the labor of our past heroes will never be in vain. What binds us as one nation is stronger than what divides us. Let us remember to pray this weekend for all who work for peace, unity and justice in our country. In a special way, let us remember to pray for the heroes of this country who gave their lives to give us the freedom and prosperity that we enjoy today and for those who risk their lives every day to protect us.

New Fiscal Year

Welcome to the month of July. The month of July is the beginning of our new fiscal year here in our parish. As we all know, the last fiscal year was marred by financial challenges as a result of the viral pandemic. Looking at the signs of the time over the past couple of months, we have developed some strategic plans to reposition our parish and school communities to be able to navigate through this challenging time effectively and with the hope of emerging even stronger after the crisis. I am glad to share with you some of the significant changes we made recently:

  1. Effective, July 1st, we have now integrated the St Benedict and St John Bosco financial system. The integration does not imply mixing up the school money with that of the parish in anyway. Each community will still maintain their specific account records. The change simply means the bookkeeping of the two communities will now be managed from one location. This is very important since we are one corporation with two distinct campuses. Consequently, we have also contracted a licensed accounting firm to manage our bookkeeping going forward. Besides the bookkeeping, this change will also involve staff sharing across the campuses in other areas such as HR. The overall goal of this change is to strengthen the accountability and transparency of our financial system as well as long term cost reduction.  
  2. We are in the process of integrating the Informational Technology (IT) across the parish and SJB school communities. Again, this implies the IT will now be managed from one location. This change involves sharing the internet and telephone system and other resources across the two campuses. This is a cost reduction initiative that will reduce our expenses significantly especially in areas such as hardware, software and manpower.
  3. Another significant change beginning from July first, is the downsizing of our parish office hours by one hour a day. The new office hours is from 9am-4pm (Mon-Fri). Painfully, this change involves a one hour pay cut per day for our parish staff.

Gift Matching Opportunity

I thank the families who have responded to our announcement last weekend regarding the offertory matching opportunity in our parish. I am so excited to inform you that over 40 of our parish families responded within the week by either signing up for online giving for the first time or increase their existing gift amount. Thank you so much for helping us to take advantage of this opportunity. I invite those who have not yet participated to consider doing so this week. If you are hearing this for the first time, I am glad to share with you that a generous Catholic family from outside of our parish community has offered to help St. Benedict Catholic Church with a matching gift up to $29,700 through August 31. The family is generously offering to match every new recurring online gift or increased recurring online gift to our parish dollar for dollar– up to $29,700 dollars. This is a wonderful opportunity for our parish and I again thank those who have already responded and participated in the program.

Thank You

On a personal note, I am glad to inform you that Fr Wilfred and I both celebrated our anniversary of priestly ordination this week. Fr Wilfred celebrated his 8th anniversary on Tuesday this week, June 30th and I celebrated my 16th anniversary today, Friday. Not counting but I was also 2 years old in the parish on Wednesday this week, July 1st. I thank God who, in His wonderful ways, has led Fr Wilfred and I from thousands of miles all the way from Africa to live with you here in this parish community. I thank you for your prayers, care and support through these past two years. I pray for God's guidance in our services to you here in our community.

Everyone have a wonderful Fourth of July and a Blessed Weekend!
Fr. James Aboyi, VC