In 1828 the outpost of Forth Winnebago was established and Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli arrived to as a Catholic missionary to this area. The first “log” church was built in 1833 when we were a part of the Detroit Diocese and our current church was dedicated in 1859. What lives today in the hearts of the member of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish are the privilege and the responsibility of carrying on the faith of our ancestors. It is a privilege in that we have received what others have sacrifice. It is our responsibility to preserve what we have been given for the benefit of those who follow us.
Part of that responsibility and privilege rests upon our commitment today to be good stewards of all we have been given in the legacy of our Catholic faith. Stewardship is a part of our Catholic spirituality. It requires prayerful reflection, an acceptance responsibilities and generous hearts. True stewardship also involves sacrifice.
Each and every one of us must periodically reconsider, deeply and prayerfully, the level of our sacrificial giving; we must ask ourselves if we truly are carrying our share of the fiscal responsibility to the parish and its mission.
I can assure you that the leadership is exploring every possibility of prudence in what we spend; I ask that each and every one of you examine your practice of sacrificial giving. Our regular “offertory” contributions are down about 30% of where they were a decade ago. Our expenses have increased about the same amount in that decade. That creates a deficit that cannot continue. Ongoing expenses of our parish (salaries, insurance, operating expenses, building upkeep, etc.) have far outgrown our regular income. We no longer have the “reserves” to bridge that deficit, nor can we rely on special collections for ordinary expenses.
With that I am asking that each of your take the time to prayerfully reconsider your level of giving to the parish and respond by make some commitment for the next year.
Yours in Christ,