Message from Father Dennis:
These are the most difficult of times. Please pray, follow the guidelines of the medical authorities, and wash and disinfect all the time. The parish is so empty without you all being here. God willing, we may be able to gather soon.
On a note that I always hate to address— money. The bills are not stopping because of the virus. The Diocese does not pay our bills! By the grace of God, one parishioner, who wishes to remain anonymous, is donating $1,500 a week to support the church. Without that donation, we would be in financial trouble. We have to pay property protection insurance, liability insurance water, propane, oil, electric, copy machine rental, office supplies, bulletins, security alarm and fire alarm protection, sewer charges, water charges, candles, internet and telephone, maintenance expenses, etc. The list goes on. The diocese also requires 11% of everything we collect. We also have to pay the Diocese $1,169.51 for medical insurance for our priests and their families, every month! We also have to pay the Diocese $600 per month for the retirement fund for priests. You may say, Father-I am struggling also. I fully understand that and appreciate these tough times. I have tried; also, to do my best to support our parish. For my 32 months here, I have taken a salary of $188 per month and have not charged the church for other expenses that the Diocese Financial Guidelines permit a priest to do for reimbursement. I ask that you all please give to the church the best that you can.
Please mail donations to our address:
St. Ann Melkite Church
41 Cross Road
Waterford, CT 06385
The Diocese requires $2,341.51 per month. (The 11% assessment of $572, medical insurance for priests and family $1,169.51, and $600 for the priest retirement fund) This has to be paid!!!!
The priest is supposed to be paid $2,100 per month, plus expenses.
Our normal collection is $1,300 per week, without the recent generous donations of our benefactor, which started 3 months ago. We do not know how long that generous and self sacrificing person can continue that wonderful gift.
Based on the “best normal collections” we take in $5,200 per month. What we owe the Diocese and the Priest every month is $4,441.51. That leaves us about $758.49 to pay for all other bills listed above. How are we doing that? I, Father Dennis, am not taking a full salary or submitting expenses. I do have free housing and utilities from the parish and live off social security and a pension from my prior work life, because I am retired. If I die or when I retire at age 75, and a new young priest arrives-he will need to be paid. I, also, would also like to be paid like other priests in the Diocese, for the protection of my wife Lisa. We must discuss and plan for that.
In perspective, the salary that I am not taking from the church is what is keeping us fluid at this time. $2,100 plus a month.
Please give more. Our usual donation in envelopes ranges from $2.00 per week to $100 per week. Most people give $20 per week! Our Lord asks us to tithe. If one makes $50,000 per year that would be $96 per week. I know that is way too much money, but I ask you to please consider giving more. Our church needs a new driveway and many other maintenance upgrades. We need a rainy day fund also, as the furnaces and air conditioners are on their last legs.
I apologize for this assessment, but we need to know the facts if our church is to prosper.
May God bless you and keep you during this difficult time for all of us.