November 21, 2021

Dear parish family and friends,

Two years ago, our parish conducted an Increased Offertory Program. This initiative was a celebration of the great devotion to our parish, its vibrant legacy, ministries, liturgy, catechesis, and outreach to the poor. It offered many of us an opportunity to examine how we were living our faith with specific emphasis on how we devoted and allocated our time, talent, and treasure.

If you remember, we spearheaded this Program in the fall of 2019 to help our parish meet budgetary needs and ongoing expenses, including important projects such as the installation of the new ramp on Crescent Street, the light posts in the Parking Lot, the perpetual leaks in various buildings, etc. Many of you responded to this call to action by increasing your level of weekly generosity, enrolling in online giving, and sharing updated contact details. Although we did not know then that Covid would be so devastating until now. This Program and your participation have proven vital for our parish.

Your commitment to remaining faithful stewards of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church has allowed us to sustain our beloved parish. This includes our thriving ministries, religious education program for our children, monthly bills, the salaries of our devoted staff, parish improvements, and currently, safety measures such as the sanitization of our Church and buildings to ensure we can gather safely. And might I add, our parish staff members remain our unsung heroes. They are committed to serving you and keeping this parish safe. We simply cannot do it without them.

Given our limited resources during the pandemic, we are continuing to remain prudent with expenses. Anyone who owns a home would be able to appreciate the enormous financial responsibility that the parish has. In planning our budget, we must always account for unforeseen and unexpected expenses that might come without warning. For example, no one could predict the terrible damages that the recent hurricane has done to our Rectory and the Institute’s boilers, elevators, and basement floors. For some weeks now, our priests and parish staff have been enduring the frigid cold in the Rectory building as the work of replacing the boiler goes on. We are relying on some space heaters to keep warm these days, but we must take turns using them in different rooms because the building’s electric grid does not have enough power for everyone’s heaters to be turned on at the same time.

I am humbled, and inspired, by the extraordinary generosity of so many people who have built a strong legacy of giving in our parish, and have made stewardship a way of life, a concrete manifestation of their faith. I wish to acknowledge and express our sincerest gratitude to all the parish households and individuals who are contributing faithfully to the weekly collections at Mass. Your unwavering support has allowed us to sustain our parish during this difficult time. Your goodness has also encouraged me in my ministry among you, by alleviating my fears and reassuring me with hope.

For those that recently joined our faith community or those that were unable to participate since the last time we started the program, I invite you to join us and consider sustaining our parish in one of the following ways:
If you budget our parish in your monthly expenses, I THANK YOU. If you have become accustomed to paying for things online, as I have during this pandemic, please consider enrolling in electronic giving. Of course, for most of you, the traditional way of giving through the Sunday collections at Mass is still the preferred option. Please know that your generosity is the main source of income for our parish. If any one of you can consider making a reasonable increase in your regular giving, I would be most grateful. No amount is too small. Our congregation’s offertory is nowhere near its pre-Covid levels, and we cannot rely on a few to support the many.
Please prayerfully consider the requests I have made today as we seek to build a stronger Catholic presence in this community, so much in need of God’s mercy. Be assured that your goodness shall not be outdone, and it will be known to the Lord.

Devotedly yours in Christ,
Msgr. Cuong M. Pham