On the heels of closing its K-8 elementary school last June, Bishop Matthew Clark has rubbed a little salt into still-open wounds at Holy Cross Parish by raising its 2008-09 Catholic Ministries Appeal "goal" some $6,000, or 9.2%.
("Goal" is the DOR euphemism for the amount of money a parish is required to raise. Parishes not reaching their "goal" have the difference taken out of their Sunday collections. I therefore prefer "assessment," as it is a much more honest description of what is actually taking place.)
According to this week's bulletin the parish had $70,492 in pledges last year, but only $65,500 of that amount was actually collected by the diocese. Still, Holy Cross managed to exceed its 2007-08 assessment by about $500 due largely, I'm sure, to the fact that most of that money had been collected prior to the bishop's announcement that he was closing Holy Cross School and his subsequent refusal to allow Holy Cross to operate its school independently of the MCCS bureaucracy and the DOR treasury.
Holy Cross Pastor Fr. Tom Wheeland preached an eloquent homily this morning on the subject of stewardship, part of which focused on the need to support the diocesan appeal. It now remains to be seen just how many deaf ears his words may have fallen upon.