Donate To The Church
I want to give the Lord my tenth, for ev'ry time I do,
it makes me think of all the gifts He gives to me and you.
He gives us life, this lovely world. And though my tenth seems small,
it shows my faith and gratitude to Him, the Lord of all.
Lonnie Dobson Adams
The earliest forms of giving in the Church were the fruits of the field: grapes, wheat, livestock. Over time money began to replace the actual “products” of one’s labor. At the turn of the century an immigrant population used designated envelopes to save for each household expense: food, rent, utilities, etc., and the parish envelope system emerged as an additional household envelope. People felt good giving each week, as they felt part of the community.
Today we still ‘pass the basket’ at the Offertory, and we instinctively reach for our wallet. Can you imagine someone at Mass, during the offertory, grabbing the basket from the usher and stuffing it full of money, packing it down, until the basket could hold no more? Probably not, but throwing a buck in there is not the answer either. “That’s basically an afterthought,” says Catholic author Phil Lenahan. “We don’t want God to be an afterthought.”
But God doesn’t need our money. Why should we part with our hard-earned cash? First of all, from a purely practical standpoint, our parish needs a certain amount of money to stay in operation. Our operating budget at St. Richard is almost $12,000 a week: $608,268 last year. And all of it comes from you, our parishioners.
The second reason is more important. Giving alms to the Church and to the poor is a spiritual practice that helps us to grow in holiness. The money we offer is a symbol of ourselves and a sign of our detachment from material goods. God doesn’t need our money, but we need to give it away in order to avoid being mastered by it.
CPL: A STEWARDSHIP WAY OF GIVING OF OUR TIME, TALENT AND TREASURE
The Commitment to Parish Life Program helps families to live out their desire to be generous stewards of the financial gifts God has entrusted to them; a way of giving time, talent and treasure that reflects how people can manage their volunteer time and financial responsibilities. It is a method by which our parishioners are invited to make their financial commitment to our parish here at St. Richard while also effectively managing their finances, by offering the opportunity to make your commitment to the parish on an annual, semi-annual, quarterly or monthly basis. No longer will you need to remember to bring your donation and/or your envelopes to drop in the basket each week. The process also allows you to better plan for your donation to the parish based on the interval you select.
The Commitment to Parish Life Program has been extremely beneficial to the parish in that, it allows the parish to better budget for the operating expenses associated with the many ministries and activities that take place here at St. Richard. The parish continues to be a viable and active parish due to your financial commitment and to your participation in this very important program. Good stewardship of your generous donation is our first priority. If you are not currently participating in the Commitment to Parish Life Program, but wish to do so, please contact the parish at 978-774-7575 and ask that an enrollment packet be sent to you. Once completed, please drop in the collection basket at Mass or you may mail it directly to the parish.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I GIVE? GIVE WHAT YOU CAN AND WHAT FEELS RIGHT
It’s entirely up to you to decide how much you can give and what is appropriate given your monthly budget. If you’re curious to know, though, on average college graduates give about $1,200 a year to charity, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. That comes out to just over $20 a week. “And serious church-goers sometimes commit 10% of their incomes to the church,” says Kimberly Palmer, author of the new financial book Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back. But don’t let that pressure you if you simply can’t afford it. Give what feels right, says Palmer. “Ideally, giving should feel good—not like a chore—because it’s aligned with your larger goals.”
However you donate to the Church; whether it’s here at St. Richard, your home parish, or to another Church you are affiliated with, know that it is heartening that our shared enthusiasm for the mission of Jesus Christ is bearing fruit. We are very grateful to you for your generosity and ask for your continuing prayers as we seek to serve God in our community.
ADDITIONAL DONATION OPPORTUNITIES:
Major Gift Initiative
In anticipation of our celebration of 50 years as a parish, a committee was selected from our Pastoral and Financial Council to investigate the physical changes needed to the parish facilities to ensure that St. Richard remains a welcoming, vibrant and faith filled community for the second 50 years for those we serve.
The committee identified a variety of challenges that were broken into three phases, and included handicap accessibility concerns, deferred maintenance issues, energy inefficiencies and facility safety items. To affirm these as valid issues, we hosted a series of Conversations with the Pastor, seeking perspective from a cross section of 175 parishioners on how best to address these challenges facing the parish. After hearing the challenges presented, parishioners from all facets of the parish have affirmed in a thoughtful manner the need to ensure “accessibility for all” and address a variety facility needs as funds become available.
If you are interested in contributing to this project, please call our Parish Secretary, at 978.774.7575, and ask her to send you in information packet. You will receive a letter describing the needs of the parish, a Giving Summary, detailing the 3 phased projects and offering a guideline to giving, and a Commitment form. We ask you to prayerfully consider supporting these needs with a charitable commitment of a one, two, or three year period above and beyond your traditional offertory and grand annual support.
Our Grand Annual Drive begins in October each year and is very important to St. Richard Parish. It assists us in continuing to provide all of the programs and services offered here at St. Richard Parish. We ask that you consider donating whatever you feel is appropriate for you. No donation is ever too small. You may make your donations at any time beginning October 1 of each year. We will be able to provide you with a thank you letter so that you may take your generous gift as a tax deduction. For more information, you may contact the parish office at 978/774-7575. Thank you!
Is it that time in your life when you are beginning to wonder where you can make the best impact with a gift from your estate. Have you considered your own parish and its needs to continue the work of the Lord. You can tailor your gift as you would like it to be used. It is always best to get legal counsel. Please know that we are most grateful for your prayerful consideration as a beneficiary. If you have any questions about including St. Richard in your Estate Plans, please contact Fr. Bruce.
At St. Richard Church, the meaning of giving and stewardship is reflected all around us each and every day. God has generously provided for our parish. May God continue to bless our parishioners, their families, and our guests. Thank you for your continued support.
Lord God, you alone are the source of every good gift, of the vast array of our universe, and the mystery of each human life. We praise you and we thank you for your great power and your tender, faithful love.
Everything we are and everything we have is your gift, and after having created us, you have given us into the keeping of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Fill our minds with His truth and our hearts with His love, that in His spirit we may be bonded together into a community of faith, a parish family, a caring people.
In the name and spirit of Jesus, we commit ourselves to be good stewards of the gifts entrusted to us, to share our time, talent and our material gifts as an outward sign of the treasure we hold in Jesus.