The Interim Parish Council has been meeting monthly to plan, manage & evaluate parish activities & business. The Council welcomes your questions & suggestions!
Council members include Pastor, Fr. Thomas Sievel, Parochial Vicar, Fr. Eduar Gutierrez-Tovar, Deacon Don Smith, Pastoral Associate Sr. Georgeann Vumbaco, R.S.M., and parishioners Mark Dupuis, Dan Lebel, Ted Leduc, Dan Gaffney, Barbara Ann Fraser, Raymond Aguiar, Tom Raffile & Dr. Loretta Tomasiello.
Our Lady Queen of Angels Interim Parish Council Meeting Minutes, June 18, 2018:
OLQoA PC Minutes 6-18
May 12, 2018
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish:
In light of the April 29th parish bulletin, I am writing to clarify and expound upon some of the information that was shared. I wish to apologize for its publication, as it is clearly causing unrest and concern.
It is important first and foremost for you to know that our school is not closing!
The school has consistently grown in enrollment, and continues to lower its parish subsidy, which are both initiatives of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School’s Strategic Plan. I am very pleased with the direction in which our school is moving, and I have an outstanding team in our Principal, School Board, and school staff, highly dedicated to its success. In fact, a member of the Archdiocesan School Board recently came to visit with our Principal and School Board members, as we were identified as a thriving school! They wanted to hear from us about how we keep it so strong.
As you know, significant changes have been taking place across the entire Archdiocese of Hartford in the Pastoral Planning process. Our once single campus parish now encompasses five churches, two of which have recently closed. The reality remains, however, that there is still much work to be done in this process, including the sale or leasing of some of the eight properties that have come together in this amalgamation. Holding on to vacant properties is an enormous drain on the parish’s finances. Our School Board has an Infrastructure Committee in place, which will continue to explore the options that might be available to the parish and school for generating income and reducing debt in the form of responsible property management. Please also keep in mind that the costs associated with the merging of the churches, over $100,000, is not a continual cost, but a one-time occurrence. Additionally, the school has a nearly 100% tuition collection rate and will likely need a lesser subsidy to close the 2017-2018 school year than was indicated in the April 29th bulletin. The school’s budget was approved in March for the 2018-2019 school year, and it projects between a $30,000 to $50,000 decrease from this current year’s subsidy. This is all very good news.
A fiscally strong parish is needed to sustain a school, and our school’s Strategic Plan truly lays the path for this strength to continue to manifest.
It is very important for you to know that the parish does have the resources to pay the debts that were published, and that strategic fundraising efforts and development initiatives go hand-in-hand with bringing our financials into the black. With continued dedication from our parishioners and school community, we have much hope for a positive direction for our school well into the future. Please forge ahead with faith and with much positivity, as Catholic education in Meriden is a high priority for me, our parish, and our greater community.
April 2018 – A note about St Laurent and St Mary Properties
As you know the properties of the former St Laurent Parish (Church and Rectory) and the former St Mary Parish (Church, Rectory and School) have been for sale since September. There are no offers to purchase these properties to date.
The Stained glass windows at St Mary have ben removed and will be used in a new construction in a Chapel in the South. All other religious items in both churches will eventually be removed and repurposed in other churches. The church firm of Adrian Hamers, Larchmont, New York, is handling theses arrangements. My goal is to find a happy home for all religious items. The church organs are being handled by Dr Ezechiel Menendez, Liturgical Consultant and The Liturgy, in Hartford.
I know these are difficult issues to face but we cannot maintain these 5 empty buildings and the former St Joseph School and St Joseph Convent for too long. The cost of maintaining these seven structures (heat, security , custodial, snow removal, insurance, etc) is $14,000each month.
Once again, my goal is to use everything liturgical in a new setting. My prayer is that new congregations of people where the Church is growing, will love these beloved, sacred items just as much as the good people of St. may and St. Laurent did!
Father Thomas Sievel