Saturday, March 19, 2016

Fr. Chuck's Column, Sun., Mar. 20

Today is Passion Sunday, also known as Palm Sunday. We are now entering into the celebration of the most solemn and sacred time of the Church year.
Well, it is as good a time as any to talk about money. We have been successful in raising the money for our “Faithful To Our Mission” capital campaign. The purposes of the campaign are to make our campus safe by repairing the façade of our church and rectory, making our appearance more attractive, adding bathrooms and enhancing the space in the front half of the first floor of the rectory for better use, especially for Children’s Liturgy of the Word.
We are still working to make sure that we will be able to do all that we intend to do with this project. This means looking closely at the numbers and making sure that we have the resources to carry this out. Think of the parable that Jesus tells about a man who started to build a tower but was unable to complete it. Luke 14: 20-30Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ We certainly do not want to be that man!
So we are going at this project very carefully, doing all we can to make sure we stay within our budget. Initial numbers have us about $350,000 dollars over budget, but we have been whittling that down. In addition there is over half a million dollars in contingency in that number.
And we are getting creative. While we cannot re-finance the high interest loans with the Diocese of Austin that we already have, we can be creative to accomplish the same thing. We can use the cash we have already received (that is making almost no interest) to pay down our high interest bridge note (for the construction of the parking garage,) and then later borrow the same amount as a construction loan at a lower rate. Basically it is putting our money we have to work and then refinancing. It should save us $80,000 to $100,000, depending on when we would have to draw the loan. This idea has been presented to the Parish Finance Council, and they unanimously approved doing so. Likewise the Parish Pastoral Council reviewed this proposal and gave unanimous approval. And on March 10th a group of parish leaders from the Capital Campaign reviewed and approved this move. So we are doing so.
If you have questions or comments, please contact the Parish Finance Council at
We are still carrying on the campaign to raise funds, and just a couple of weeks ago  received a very generous commitment of $100,000. So we are moving in the right direction.
God bless!

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