Monday, August 08, 2005

Father spent how much?!
I had a rather funny and embarrassing moment yesterday at the final Mass of the day. This past weekend I presented the parish with a summary financial statement from the fiscal year 2004-2005 which just ended on June 30. I asked one Hispanic man to explain the statement at the Spanish Masses since I am not able to adequately communicate such an explanation in Spanish. Meanwhile I handled the explanation at the English Masses. As the Spanish explanation was going on, I stood in the back of church to observe the scene.

One area listed in parish expenses was capital expenditures. I broke that category down some to offer an explanation. The largest part of that category was expenses for roofing work and new lighting for the church. There were also some expenses for the parish hall. Those two line items totaled thousands of dollars. Then there a line item for rectory expense. Well, the man doing the explanation in Spanish (and doing a fine job, by the way) was rattling off the first numbers which were all in the thousands, that when it came to the rectory expense he converted the actual expense of $265.00 to $265,000.00! I stood in the back church as he said expenses for Father's house and office totaled $265,000.00, and I realized the error when someone standing near me made a slight hissing sound in disapproval. So, I quickly went over to the area where that person and a few others were standing and pointed to the figure in the summary before them, clarifying, "No, no, not thousands, but two hundred." I hope no one else still labors under the misunderstanding and is scandalized.

Yes, it was an out of control year in the rectory: a new microwave, a new toaster, and a can opener! $265,000.00! I wish!

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