Letter in September 29th Bulletin of St. Isabel Catholic Church by the ex-temporary Administrator and Finance Council regarding Annual Report
Surely it is not our intention to be critical, for at first glance the letter in the bulletin of September 29th, 2019, intended to accompany the Annual Report, appears to be just what a parishioner wants to hear. The parish is happy, the people are generous, the staff is enlarged, and the Finance Council will “continue to monitor income and expenses appropriately to ensure fiscally sound decisions.” All is well with the parish of St. Isabel.
The real problem with this letter, and with the last three years, is that all is not well with the parish of St. Isabel, and the refusal of the parish staff and the Bishop of the Diocese to admit that it faces serious problems will continue to divide the parish and cause indefinite upset. We realize that for many, newcomers especially, the egregious injustice done to Fr. Christopher is of little consequence, but to a significantly large number of people, a large group of people quietly ignored in the Finance Committee’s letter, the lack of justice for Fr. Christopher remains a huge roadblock to the proper restoration of St. Isabel Parish never alluded to by the Finance Committee. The hundreds of people driven away over the last three years were not only a source of additional income, they were, in fact the backbone of St. Isabel, and for the Finance Committee and staff to pretend they don’t even exist, which they have attempted to do throughout the past three years, spreads the injustice unfairly beyond one person.
You certainly are expected to put a good spin on the present state of affairs at St. Isabel, but to pretend that everything is rosy at St. Isabel does not help any part of the parish to get closer to the peace everyone so genuinely desires. It is remarkable that with the contributions so definitively down, that a full-time Faith Formation Director was hired (a job previously done part time by Mrs. Scheer), that expensive surveillance was installed, that a new altar was built and a new tabernacle purchased. It is curious that the staff helping to make the parish so “strong and vibrant,” seems unable to provide the parish with up-to-date reports of the weekly collections. It is hard to appreciate that “good stewards” would spend so much money and be unable to provide timely offertory reporting.
We are not unhappy that your ministry fair welcomed over twenty new volunteers, but have you kept track of all those you have driven away or “let go” because it was determined they were not on Fr. Gates team? I doubt it, and that is precisely what is at the heart of the problem.
PFJ is delighted that the parish is doing so well financially (at least in your public letter), but until you and the Diocese admit to the very real issues that presently afflict St. Isabel parish, there will be no progress made towards anything bearing a faint resemblance of what the parish once was.