Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fr. Chuck's Column, Sunday, June 28

Welcome to Fr. Linh Nguyen, who is with us to preach the annual Missionary Co-Op Appeal, appealing for the Diocese of Lexington, KY. Please make Fr. Linh feel at home.

I am happy to report that as of last counting for our Faithful to Our Mission Capital Campaign we have received 52 declines, 95 one-time gifts, and 499 pledges! I hope that someone or some family will soon step forward and make it an even 500 pledges. Our total of gifts and pledges now stands at just over $4.5 Million. THAT IS GREAT! Thanks to all of you who have participated in this campaign for the future of our parish. God bless you!

The Parish Property Committee has received cost estimates for the renovation project. Adding all the costs together–fund-raising costs, a 4% allowance for non-collected pledges, all construction, $750,000 for debt reduction, a new roof on the church, architect and permitting fees, independent testing, taxes, bonds, insurance, hardware and furnishings, and a contingency fund, etc.–we come out almost exactly to $4.5 Million. It is pretty close, and in these kind of projects the costs always grow, but we are on very solid footing financially to move forward. YAY!!!

We are planning to meet with the Diocese of Austin Facilities Planning Committee on July 10 and get their approval for the next phase of architectural plans. We are on our way!

On another front, St. Austin Parish and School have scheduled our first ever financial audit. Surprisingly, while there have been financial reviews in the past, as far as we can tell, there has never been a full financial audit by an outside accounting firm. We are engaging Atchley and Associates, LLP for this audit. They were recommended by the Diocese of Austin and conducted the last audit of the Diocese. So they should be familiar with how the Catholic Church and the Diocese are structured financially. A date has not been set, but we are hoping for late July or early August for this audit. This is something both the Paulist Fathers and I have been asking for, and I am very happy to see it finally happening. It is a big step in our commitment to financial transparency.

Meanwhile, you can always see our annual financial reports and the annual budget, along with summaries of the parish Finance Council meetings, on our parish website, Click on About on the banner near the top, then on Parish Councils on the drop down list, and then lower on the page under Finance Council you will see links to the reports that are currently available. After we receive approval from the Diocese, the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget will be posted. Eventually a report from the accounting firm of our fiscal audit will also be posted.

God Bless,

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