It’s budget time – one of the less glorious parts of being a pastor. There was a time – actually most of the history of the Catholic Church I would think – that the entire budget consisted largely of a bank account out of which the pastor paid the bills.
Things are quite a bit more complicated these days with government regulations and legitimate input from other people besides the pastor. I for one am glad there are business managers, bookkeepers, and parish finance councils. Frankly, I have no idea how much we might spend on toilet paper and light bulbs next year, or how the latest health care regulations will hurt the parish finances, or where it might be better to buy our gas.
As I sit at my desk and write this I can see a truck parked on our front lawn and some gentlemen on the roof of our school. The chimney is in sore need of tuck pointing (I’m not even sure if that is the way you say it) and of course, as with all things, it’s going to cost quite a bit. I remember the class we had in the seminary about tuck pointing chimneys. It was fascinating. It came right before how to make a rabbit appear out of hat and right after how to do your own laundry.
The business people, lawyers, bankers, accountants, and other savvy people that donate their time to the parish to help sort through these things so that at the end of the year we aren’t looking under couch cushions for enough money to pay our assessments are a God send. In the end, however, the pastor is the one on the hook if something should go wrong. It would be his head on the chopping block. So he “gets” to make the final decision. But he needs you – the parish needs you. If you have some expertise and are asked by your pastor to consider being on parish finance council, please give it prayerful consideration. You can do a world of good.