In an effort to keep everyone informed as to what is happening in our Parish, Parish Council has reintroduced the popular “Did You Know” series begun several years ago. Especially in this time of pandemic when we cannot gather our entire Parish family within the church, it is hard to keep up with the changes happening within our Parish and our Diocese.
We will keep you informed here on our website, through occasional presentations at Mass and the Liturgy of the Word and with some Zoom Q & A sessions. We will post updates on this page.
Did You Know?
December 11, 2021
Parish Building Repair Update
Some of you may have noticed over the years, the sidewalk and parking lot sinking as well as water collecting at the end of the sidewalk on the alley side of the church (at the corner nearest the hall). You may even have noticed the construction fencing and excavation in this area last fall (2020), as well as this fall (2021).
The Building & Maintenance Committee (BMC) had noted this too and that the buckling sidewalk was damaging the brick facing of the church, so they undertook the project to correct this. When the sidewalk was excavated in 2020, a large sinkhole was found underneath and the soil was very water saturated around the church foundation. Further investigation was not possible at that time, due to the water saturation of the ground and the source of the water was not obvious.
Looking for the water source required multiple camera inspections of pipes, opening a wall in the office, and plugging various other pipes. We again excavated in 2021 and determined that:
- a roof drain over the office was broken and not connected to the storm drains,
- the former electrical supply conduit to the hall had been broken and patched allowing water into the boiler room, resulting in the church basement flooding in June 2019 and subsequent requirement for a new electrical service to the Hall
- the storm drain manholes surrounding the church drained not only to the city drains, but also directly into the ground
As a result of this high-tech investigation, the BMC determined that the church foundation had not been compromised by ground water over the years, however to prevent future damage, remediation of the above problems needed to be addressed.
The BMC then undertook the project of replacing storm water lines, repairing manholes, permanently capping electrical conduits into the boiler room with cement and connecting roof drains to new lines. This project has cost $33,500 (2020-2021), while the flood clean-up and new electrical supply to the Hall (2019) cost $9,300.
Still to be done: parking lot grading for proper drainage, sidewalk replacement, and parking lot paving repairs, which will be done next year after compacted soil has fully settled.
Did You Know?
April 24, 2021
Did you know?
That Bishop McGrattan is making a number of changes to how things work within the Calgary Diocese. These changes impact across many aspects of Diocesan leadership.
The main areas of change are reviewed in this slide. Some of these changes you have seen a couple of weeks ago. They are reviewed here for you.
Our Diocese will now operate within certain financial principles.
As has always been the case, we are not allowed to run a deficit budget. What is new is that some budget categories now have a targeted percentage based on our usual donations. For example, we must maintain our costs for personnel to between 32% and 35% of budgeted donations. These numbers are derived from other charitable organizations. Another area of budgetary targets is maintenance where the maximum is 30% of budgeted donations. Thanks to our strong building and maintenance committee and the volunteers, we are usually well within this target.
In the Calgary Diocese, the Diocese functions as our banker. We must borrow from the Diocesan central fund if we require funds for development. Loans are assessed at 1% and interest on cash reserves at 0.2% through this central fund.
From March 2020 until December 2020, the Diocese waived collection of the 14.5% levy on all parish collections. This levy goes to support the operation of the Pastoral Centre. The levy has been reinstated as of January 2021.
That Diocese wide, collections have reduced by about 30%. Our donations here at St Pius X have been tracking the same, about 30% decreased from previous years.
With the 30% reduction of the total, the amount that is available for spending in certain budget categories has generally reduced by 30%.
These changes reduce our flexibility in choosing how our finances are spent internally within the parish.
The parish currently has reduced staff. We no longer have a sacramental assistant position. As well we have reduced secretarial time. The current cost for staff at the reduced level meets the diocesan maximum of 32-35 % of collections.
The Diocese has assumed responsibility for all human resources in the Diocese. This will result in a more protected and supported benefit package for employees. It also means that we must apply to the diocese if we wish to hire any additional employees.
In this application we must make a case for the need for the new hire position along with the expected role that this new employee will fill. Further, we must demonstrate that the additional remuneration for any new positions does not cause our costs for paid employees to exceed the 32% to 35% of donations threshold set by the Diocese. At the present time, all new hires must be approved by the Bishop.
Your parish council is currently reviewing the various roles and tasks required in the parish along with the financial restraints to see if there is need for enhanced parish support. We are particularly trying to ensure that all the parishioner supports remain strong.
Central Purchasing and Procurement:
The Diocese is in the early stages of developing a centralized process for bulk buying and establishing trusted suppliers for a variety of services and goods.
Parish Council Activities:
As noted, 2 weeks ago, in response to these changes, your parish council has met with the Bishop, William McGrattan, Rev Wilbert Chin Jon and Alejandro Henao.
As mentioned previously, we are currently reviewing the operation of the parish with all of the various tasks that need to be accomplished for support of the parishioners. We recognize the very strong role played by you our volunteers in the community of St Pius X. Supporting this role in the future is central to us.
This is lot of information and we will continue the discussion on Wednesday, April 28 with zoom meetings at 10:00 am and 7:00 pm. Parish council members will be available to clarify and respond to questions.
Ideas to move forward are welcome. We are also planning a broad based survey or town hall for parishioners in the fall once the world opens up again. But for now, please let us know what you think. If you cannot come to our virtual coffee sessions, please contact the office with your questions and we will respond.
Thanks so much to all of you for your continued support of St Pius X parish. As you learn about these changes and how we will deal with them, we believe that we all can grow together to be a stronger parish.
Did You Know?
April 11, 2021
Did you know?
That Bishop McGrattan is making a number of changes to how things work within the Calgary Diocese.
Some of the changes seek to provide more consistency within and between parishes. These changes were in the works prior to COVID-19 What COVID-19 emphasized was a need to move to more centralization. The diocese will support us to provide consistency, and responsible stewardship We will also have better access to expert resources supporting the parish to operate more efficiently.
Our Diocese is also asking us to review how we do things locally in our parishes. It is an opportunity now to review our methods to support our parishioners and see if we could do things differently in the future. An increased role for volunteers is suggested.
Areas of Change:
Our Diocese has implemented a Diocesan wide sacramental preparation program for our children that is online with common content.
Finance has become more centralized with common principles and targets for budgeting.
All human resources management will be done centrally through the Diocesan central HR offices.
The Diocese will require a formal building assessment done professionally on all buildings included in the Diocesan register.
The Diocese is developing a centralized purchasing and procurement process for goods and services within the Diocese.
Our Parish Updates:
The new plans for sacramental preparation including centralized online content will change our process within St Pius X. Every parent who has a child ready for sacraments will have to register with the Diocese for the Diocesan mandated online teaching. This applies to first reconciliation, first communion and confirmation. The online teaching will be managed by the parents with support from the Diocesan presenters.
Parents will also have to register with their parish for reception of the sacrament desired. Our parish will organize the communal celebration within the parish for the selected sacrament. We will have the option to provide other supporting activities around sacramental reception such as organized retreats. Our opportunity is to determine ways to develop the sense of community when one of the usual formats of doing this, sacramental instruction, is now done virtually.
The diocese will require formal building assessments. For St Pius X that means a professional assessment for our hall, our church and our rectory. We have an assessment done on the hall by the Building and Maintenance committee. It is currently being revised to fit the format from the Diocese. We believe that, thanks to all the professional people who contribute to our parish, we can produce an assessment on the hall which will meet Diocesan requirements.
Your Parish Council is working to transition our parish through these Diocesan changes.
We have met with the Bishop, Father Wilbert Chin Jon and Alejandro Henao of the Diocese to discuss our concerns with these changes. Today is our first action to communicate with you, the people of St Pius X, about these changes and the impact on our parish.
We are currently reviewing the operation of the parish with all of the various tasks that need to be accomplished for support of the parishioners. We recognize the very strong role played by you, our volunteers, in the community of St Pius X. Supporting this role in the future is central to us.
We will be returning to you in the future for input on how to support parishioners as we all define what St Pius X will be in the future.
This is lot of information and we will continue the discussion.
We invite you to join us for a virtual coffee session on Wednesday, April 14th in the morning at 10:00 am and in the evening at 7:00 pm. These sessions will be hosted by the PPC to answer any questions you may have. Links to this will be available in the bulletin and below.
Our next presentation will be on April 24 with further description of the changes and how we are responding.
Thanks so much to all of you for your continued support of St Pius X parish. As you learn about these changes and how we will deal with them, we believe that we can grow together to be a stronger parish.
Together In Action (TIA) Bishop’s Appeal
As of July 31st, 2021 we are are happy to announce that we have reached our target goal.