June 30th marks the end of the fiscal year for a lot of businesses as well as for Catholic parishes. Thus, it is a time to assess how we have done in creating a realistic budget, and how we have done to live within our means. I would like to quickly look at these two points for I believe that they apply to all of our lives. First, creating a “realistic budget”, what does this entail? I believe the first thing that we need to consider is what is our ultimate goal as a Church or as a family. As a Church, our ultimate goal is to help share the Good News of our Faith on many different levels, give our Liturgies the dignity that they deserve, and care for property as a way of keeping them safe. What would you say your families’ ultimate goal is? This ultimate goal will go a long ways in directing your budget because this goal will help determine what are the most important things to you and your family and what is going to be your priority budget wise. The day, if there was ever one, where we could have it all is no longer. This always involves making the tough choice about what to let go.
Now to quickly looking at “living within our means”, what does this entail? I think to “live within our means” means that we base the “how much” of our priorities on what is available. The living within our means aspect of our budget helps to keep us grounded in reality. From my experience as a priest and in being part of many conversations about tight budgets with couples it is those couples who work together in creating and keeping the budget that are the happiest. I am sure that you have all heard it before but finances are one of the greatest sources of stress in marriages. But that stress is much reduced when the couples work together and what is true of families is true of the Church. May we always work together for what is truly important to our families and parishes.
God’s continued peace,
Fr. Yvon J. Royer