Stewardship Renewal

Dear friends,

Pascal CandlePascal CandleHere is a close-up of our Paschal Candle for 2020, which has proved to be prophetic.

One angel, weeping, points to the crown of thorns beneath the cross. Surely you identified with the crown of thorns this past Easter. Many of you watched our live-streamed liturgies, but still experienced the separation that this pandemic has brought in so many ways, including not being able to attend Mass in person and receive Christ in Holy Communion at Easter. The church was so quiet that I thought, “What I wouldn't give just to hear a crying baby.”

The other angel points to the crown of gold above the cross, signifying our joyful hope in the promise of future glory that Christ has gained for us through his passion, death, and resurrection. I have been deeply heartened by the way that so many of you have held on to your faith and hope and kept connected to St. Patrick Parish even through the suspension of public Masses. I received many e-mails, phone calls, and even children's coloring pages showing your support. I will never forget a photo of a Palm Sunday procession at home with tree branches, including a child in a stroller!

On the cover of our Stewardship Renewal Booklet is a photo of the marker for the Alleluias that were buried at the beginning of Lent in our parish courtyard by our young Catechesis of the Good Shepherd students. The church is open again for Mass and the sacraments, thanks be to God. Still, just as the handwritten Alleluias were buried by the children, many of our parish ministries and activities are still "buried", or at least limited.

While it may seem a strange time to invite you to renew your stewardship, I think it is a great way to look forward in hope to the time when our parish activities, ministries, and small groups can rise again in 2021—maybe even better than before! So, please consider these ways to pray, learn, serve, and connect to your faith and fellow Catholics. Your commitment to these will help us plan ahead with hope.

Please also prayerfully consider your regular Sunday offertory contribution along with your giving to the poor and to the work of evangelization. Some of you have suffered economic hardship during these times—and if you or a fellow parish family have financial needs, please let us know—we have funds available to help. If, on the other hand, you are able to help your parish by increasing your regular offertory contribution even by a small amount, it would greatly help our parish. Here is a summary of why I am asking:

  • We budgeted 2% less offertory income than last year, and so far we are also 2% below this reduced forecast in the present fiscal year.
  • We have some cash reserves for our operating expenses, but they are lower than ideal.
  • About 3/4 of our operating expenses are staff salaries, and the remaining 1/4 of our expenses are already lean and under pressure.
  • Our cleaning expenses are increasing with the daily disinfection of the church.
  • Many of our program expenses (such as youth ministry and CCD) are paid by participant fees, so there is not much to trim on the expense side.
  • None of our staff—priests or lay—received raises or even a normal cost of living increase this year; our goal has been simply to protect their existing salaries during the pandemic.

I am deeply grateful to all of you who so faithfully continue to support our parish, even mailing in your offertory envelopes or giving online when public Masses were suspended. Some of you are already giving as much as you can. If you do have the capacity to increase your weekly offertory contribution by even 5%, please consider doing so. This will make a big improvement in our operating budget.

This annual stewardship renewal opportunity is tailored to our unique Dominican parish, which draws souls from over 50 zip codes in Central Ohio and sends them out even further. It flows from and supports our parish mission:

As St. Dominic brought his friars together to encounter Christ in prayer, study, and community (contemplare) and then to hand on the fruits of this encounter to others through preaching (et contemplata aliis tradere), St. Patrick parish welcomes Catholics from far and near to encounter Christ in the Supper of the Lamb and in the saving truth of our Catholic faith, so that we can hand on what we have received to a world hungry for his truth given in love.

I encourage you to imagine how you have encountered Christ at St. Patrick, and how you can—in gratitude—share what you have received, both for your own growth as a disciple, and for our growth as an even stronger source of Christ's life.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to making St. Patrick a beautiful place to come to the Supper of the Lamb, and a powerful source of Christ's life for so many, near and far, who are hungry for his life, truth, and love. Just imagine how many more souls Christ can touch through you.

In Christ's peace,

Fr. Stephen Alcott, O.P. Pastor

If you are unable to go to St. Patrick Parish in person at this time, feel free to print out your own copy of the Stewardship Renewal Booklet, complete it, and either mail it back to the parish office (280 N. Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215) or scan it and use this form to submit it to our parish office.

If you prefer, you can contact the parish office at (614) 240-5914 and we can arrange to mail a printed booklet to you with a stamped return envelope for your convenience.

St. Patrick Church
280 N. Grant Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215

© 2021 St. Patrick Church. All Rights Reserved.