Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Every year at this time we have a three week focus on stewardship. Last year it was suspended due to COVID, but this year I would like to remind you of our needs as a parish. Next week my pastor’s letter is in the form of an article I published elsewhere on why tithing is good for you, and the homily at our Masses will be about stewardship. Also, in the next week you will receive in the mail a brochure and pledge card. On the weekend of October 16-17, we will ask for you to return your pledge cards.

This three week focus is an opportunity for you to be made aware of the financial realities of our community at OLR. Over the last year we have been blessed by your generosity and wonderful spirit. With efficient management and good stewardship on our part we have been able to meet all our commitments and end the year with a substantial surplus of funds—a good chunk of which has gone to help pay off the debt on our new church.

This year in our stewardship campaign we are asking you to remember a few important points. First—give in a regular and planned way. Decide how much you can donate each week and stick to it. This helps our financial planning enormously. Second—use online automatic giving. This helps you give without worrying about the details of filling and bringing an envelope each week. It is also much more efficient since the record of your giving is automatic and it saves manpower hours otherwise spent in opening envelopes, counting cash, depositing checks and recording your gift. Setting up your online giving is easy and quick. Just go to the parish website and follow the links. If you need help in setting up or changing your automatic giving, please contact Martha in the parish office and she will help you set it up.

Finally—this year we have two special emphases. In addition to your pledge for regular weekly giving we are asking our families who have joined us since the dedication of the new church in 2016 to consider a major gift or pledge (to be paid by December 2022) towards the debt on our new church. The debt stands at about $500,000 so we think this could be cleared by next December freeing the parish to move forward financially. The other thing I ask you to keep in mind is the property to the North of our parish—the empty lot across Frontage Rd. This is for sale for about $1.5 million. If you think we should try to obtain this for the future of the Lord’s work here in this part of Greenville, please let us know what level of promise you are able to make. I should stress that this request is simply to test the water. It is a promise, not a binding pledge. If enough people say “yes” by making a significant promise, we will take it as guidance to move forward. If not, we will let it rest.

Thank you again for your generous giving and support!

Your Pastor,

Fr. Longenecker