For it is in giving that we receive. – St. Francis of Assisi
Our Parish Family has continued to illustrate its stewardship of the mission of Saint John the Evangelist: To Know, To Love, and To Serve God in His Church and Our Community. Stewardship is the integration of time, talent, and treasure of all of us together. We have weathered significant challenges in the past several years, including a major hurricane and a complete transformation of our campus, not to mention the changes in the community of Naples, Immokalee, and all we serve locally and abroad. At this point, we are in a significant position to do good for so many, and we want to ensure a completely transparent process in how we plan to execute our burgeoning Strategic Plan.
Saint John has increased our focus and vision to be the place for the health of the community, body, mind, soul, and spirit. That includes the new Pulte Family Life Center, and our Catholic Youth Organization (for the future of the church) and our Catholic Adult Organization. These programs and efforts have increased the overall financial need of our Parish. We could be content to simply be a “church” and provide Masses and services, and the occasional dance or party. That is not Saint John, not what we were before, not what we are now, and certainly not what we could be. Instead, we are a vibrant, engaging environment looking to grow the faith far beyond our doors through our joyous actions and activities. As such, our operating expenses for our Parish Family have increased, as you may have seen in the budget numbers on a weekly basis. We will be providing further details in upcoming bulletins about those expenses as well as the new income that comes along with these activities that you would not see in a simple Offertory number.
The Diocese has elected to decrease our Catholic Faith Appeal Goal for the first time in our history here in 2020. The goal is now $572,00.00. This is a responsibility we have as a Parish Family every year. We have done a superb job every year in achieving our goal, which funds local programs like Catholic Charities food pantries and soup kitchens, Faith Formation programs for those that cannot afford them, and assistance to mission churches. We will have to continue to do so even as we expand our own outreach and services.
Finally, we have our Finish the Church loan that we must complete. The Diocese allowed us to pull forward all our Capital needs for our campus and church building in the midst of the recovery from Hurricane Irma. While we had raised a significant amount during our Capital Campaign to Build Our Future, Serve Our Past, it was not enough to cover the entirety of the massive construction efforts on our campus, over $16.4 million in repairs and renewal. That has left us with a small loan that we would like to complete as soon as possible in order to re-focus our energy on the growth of our Parish Family. The current status on the loan is:
Finish the Church Goal: $1.8 Million
Gifts from 1/5/20: $19,442.30
Total Gifts as of 1/5/20: $ 681,030.18
Percentage of Goal Achieved Already: 37.8%
We are looking forward to 2020 as a year of surging growth and excitement and we look forward to the journey with you!