Our attendance has been dropping gradually over the past several years but really plummeted during COVID.
Fewer fannies in the pew became quite noticeable when our parish implemented very strict restrictions. And then the unthinkable happened. People arrived one Sunday to find the doors locked. No Mass would take place. And the lockdown would occur for four straight weeks before the 10:00 weekly Mass would be open to parishioners again.
The result was even more people said forget it; we’ll take our fannies and church envelopes somewhere else. St. Anthony’s has yet to recover.
From this past Sunday’s church bulletin, April 24, 2022:
St. Anthony Parish Finance Report
Fiscal year from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020
This year was the beginning of the pandemic and the collections began to drop because there were no special celebrations, regular masses, or parish events. As a consequence, expenses also fell and the decrease in collection was offset by the decrease in expenses, so we were able to end the year with $4,955 in favor.
Fiscal year from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021
This year the collections remained even lower, but thanks to the raffle that was held, it was possible to continue paying the most necessary expenses. At the end of the fiscal year the parish was in favor with $3084 after expenses.
Fiscal year from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022
Counting 8 months of this fiscal year from July 2021 to February 2022
Collections continue to be low, even though there are already regular masses, no events have been held yet. Until these 8 months we are at least minus ($71,777) below the budget to be able to maintain the most necessary expenses of the parish. It is expected that in the rest of this fiscal year the collections will increase, it is projected that the parish will remain in negative numbers minus ($35,992),it is expected that our festival will be a success and have profits more than $40,000 and so with the festival it is projected that the parish will remain in minus ($16,094) it is still a negative number, that is why we have to increase the collections urgently and the negative numbers change to positive, only then the expenses can be paid and the repairs that already need our parish can be made. This will only be achieved with the support of the parish community, the registered members, the people who are not yet members but like to attend our parish, as well as the support of the parish groups with the parish activities. Let us all join the effort for the benefit of our parish because we all love St. Anthony Parish.
$71,777 in debt. After shunning us and turning us away we are now asked to bail the church out.