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  #1  
Old 27th October 2010, 01:05 PM
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Collection Plate Money

In a general sense, I've heard that the money in the collection plate at Sunday mass goes toward paying heating and electricity bills on the church building (plus other upkeep), providing a modest salary for the parish priest or priests, and for helping the poor, among other things.

I was wondering if anyone knew if there were any more specific guidelines, though. For example, do all parishes give a set percentage, like 10%, to the poor? Is there a certain percentage that goes directly to the diocese and the bishop? Or is it all completely at the pastor's discretion?

I just got curious about the subject. I know it's all a little "inside baseball", but I thought maybe someone might know due to sitting on a parish council or being friends with a priest or whathaveyou.
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  #2  
Old 27th October 2010, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Fish and Bread View Post
In a general sense, I've heard that the money in the collection plate at Sunday mass goes toward paying heating and electricity bills on the church building (plus other upkeep), providing a modest salary for the parish priest or priests, and for helping the poor, among other things.

I was wondering if anyone knew if there were any more specific guidelines, though. For example, do all parishes give a set percentage, like 10%, to the poor? Is there a certain percentage that goes directly to the diocese and the bishop? Or is it all completely at the pastor's discretion?

I just got curious about the subject. I know it's all a little "inside baseball", but I thought maybe someone might know due to sitting on a parish council or being friends with a priest or whathaveyou.
In most cases, at least in the United States, the money goes towards the parish. Priests are paid from the collection according to a standard set by the diocese. There aren't any guidelines for how the money is spent unless it is part of the parish setup or by diocesian guidelines. Usually there aren't any, because each parish is different. What a rich urban parish does with its money is much different than a poor rural parish. One might have tons of staff to pay, giving much to charity, while the other barely has enough to pay staff to clean.

The diocese gets money by collecting a fund from each parish. The members of the parish are totalled and that is used to determine how much they should give. Parishoners will contribute to that separately. Usually it is the poor that pay for the fund, because the rich use money like votes... which usually just ends up hurting people, and does not change the bishop's mind about a policy. For example, seminarian expenses are covered by diocesian funds. How on Earth does one complain about the lack of priests or quality priests while giving nothing to support them?

A parish will also frequently collect money for different causes in a 'second collection'. Despite what ignorant media commentors say, and outsiders think, the Catholic Church does not just take a single collection of money and spend it however they like. Some people honestly think all the money goes to the Vatican and it goes back to the parish.

One collection goes to cover parish expenses.
Usually once a year it will be time for parishes to collect for the diocese.
Once a year, parishes will often collect for the Vatican. Donations are totally voluntary.
Other times of the year, parishes will collect for Catholic Charities, the retirement of sisters and priests, other charitable projects, missions, et cetera.

That is how it works in the US at least, it should be similiar in other locations.
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  #3  
Old 27th October 2010, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Fish and Bread View Post
In a general sense, I've heard that the money in the collection plate at Sunday mass goes toward paying heating and electricity bills on the church building (plus other upkeep), providing a modest salary for the parish priest or priests, and for helping the poor, among other things.

I was wondering if anyone knew if there were any more specific guidelines, though. For example, do all parishes give a set percentage, like 10%, to the poor? Is there a certain percentage that goes directly to the diocese and the bishop? Or is it all completely at the pastor's discretion?

I just got curious about the subject. I know it's all a little "inside baseball", but I thought maybe someone might know due to sitting on a parish council or being friends with a priest or whathaveyou.
I know our Bulletin comes out every 3 months or so with itemized spending. What went where from the collection. Weekly there is a statement with what was collected as well as what charitable organization is helped that week. We help BirthRight, our Rescue Mission, etc.

I assumed all parishes did this. Being open with the finances.
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Old 27th October 2010, 08:46 PM
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Every Sunday I put 5 or 10$ dollars in the collection plate.
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Old 27th October 2010, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Michie View Post
I know our Bulletin comes out every 3 months or so with itemized spending.
I assumed all parishes did this. Being open with the finances.
I've never seen one that didn't and I have been a regular at many and visited dozens. I'd say they all do this. But not everyone attends Mass regularly or reads the bulletin - so may not have realized it.
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Old 27th October 2010, 10:37 PM
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The parish bulletin normally carries how much money was collected each Sunday and what was the outgo. In addition a quarterly financial report is usually on a bulletinboard in the parish hall or thereabouts (every parish that I've been to has had that.) In our parish, one is also sent out to each parishioner quarterly as well. Also, the archdiocesan newspaper has an annual report of archdiocese fiances once a year (the parish gives out free copies of the report that Sunday.)

Oh, our parish has a separate once a month envelope for whatever one wants to donate for church maintenance in addition to their weekly "tithing" envelope. Seems like quite a few parishes do that.

We are also encouraged to give to other charities besides our regular archdiocesan one. (Of course since that giving is personal to each member of the congregation, it's not mentioned in the finance report.)
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Old 27th October 2010, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by JoabAnias View Post
I've never seen one that didn't and I have been a regular at many and visited dozens. I'd say they all do this. But not everyone attends Mass regularly or reads the bulletin - so may not have realized it.
Yep. My thoughts also. There is a weekly update on collection & finances. The more detailed statements are every 3 months. Then you have one a year that is itemized for the year & lets you know if the parish is in the black or the red & in what areas.
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Old 27th October 2010, 11:15 PM
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Old 27th October 2010, 11:17 PM
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I'm not on the parish council, but I volunteer with our St. Vincent de Paul conference so I know what kind of support they give us. The parish's finances are published each week in the bulletin so I could get a figure of what percentage we receive of the entire budget. It's fairly significant and I'm pretty sure we're the major if not only charity they donate to. We also are the beneficiaries of monthly envelopes as well as whatever is put in the poor boxes.

From what I understand, other parish's operate as best they can under the circumstances given them. The parish next to ours is very large, very poor and very old. Any extra collections go towards building maintenance and they're ability to help the poor is limited.

I know a priest from one parish whose congregation consists largely of immigrant workers and who are suffering from 40% unemployment. He said 10% of their parish's budget is dedicated to helping them.

So, it varies from parish to parish, depending on the circumstances and the priorities of the pastor and parish council.
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Old 27th October 2010, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tadoflamb View Post
I'm not on the parish council, but I volunteer with our St. Vincent de Paul conference so I know what kind of support they give us. The parish's finances are published each week in the bulletin so I could get a figure of what percentage we receive of the entire budget. It's fairly significant and I'm pretty sure we're the major if not only charity they donate to. We also are the beneficiaries of monthly envelopes as well as whatever is put in the poor boxes.

From what I understand, other parish's operate as best they can under the circumstances given them. The parish next to ours is very large, very poor and very old. Any extra collections go towards building maintenance and they're ability to help the poor is limited.

I know a priest from one parish whose congregation consists largely of immigrant workers and who are suffering from 40% unemployment. He said 10% of their parish's budget is dedicated to helping them.

So, it varies from parish to parish, depending on the circumstances and the priorities of the pastor and parish council.
Yes we do SVDP & an immigration ministry too.
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