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Collection Plate Money

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Fish and Bread, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Fish and Bread

    Fish and Bread Taking a break from the forum

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    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.
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. Michie

    Michie Manipulation Resistance Team Supporter CF Ambassador

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    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.
     
  4. ProScribe

    ProScribe New Member

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    Every Sunday I put 5 or 10$ dollars in the collection plate.
     
  5. JoabAnias

    JoabAnias Steward of proportionality- I Cor 13:1, 1 Tim 3:15 Supporter

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  6. AMDG

    AMDG Tenderized for Christ

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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.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  7. Michie

    Michie Manipulation Resistance Team Supporter CF Ambassador

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    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.
     
  8. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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  9. tadoflamb

    tadoflamb Stop plate tectonics!

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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.
     
  10. Michie

    Michie Manipulation Resistance Team Supporter CF Ambassador

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    Yes we do SVDP & an immigration ministry too.
     
  11. Fish and Bread

    Fish and Bread Taking a break from the forum

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    I pulled out a couple of recent bulletins from two different parishes, and both listed the previous week's collection total (one comparing it with the figure that was needed to meet the weekly budget), but neither offered a detailed break down of what the money goes toward -- which is what I was curious about. I'll keep my eyes peeled and see if I ever notice the more detailed breakdowns some folks mention might be published quarterly. Thanks for all the answers, some of them were helpful in getting a more complete picture than I had previously.
     
  12. LANTERN

    LANTERN Dominus vobiscum. Oremus.

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    a percentage does get kicked to the diocese- i have found many people are not really happy with the money leaving the parish- i know one person who before he died willed a fortune to the parish but tol the priest it wuld not happen if any of the money went to the diocese; the priest had to get permission for that arrangement though

    anyway, the diocese loans money for new parishes and remodeling or debts of parishes and many times a parish has been forgiven substantial loans from the diocese when repayments cant be made etc etc
     
  13. LANTERN

    LANTERN Dominus vobiscum. Oremus.

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    you dont get them every week- we get statements in the bulletin quarterly or annually
     
  14. AMDG

    AMDG Tenderized for Christ

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    Go to your parish hall. Should be there. It is in several of the parishes here in the PNW. Before Vatican II and on the Eastcoast, I found it (in one parish) at the back of the church itself and in another parish by a side exit in the church.

    Perhaps you might even attend a parish finance meeting. (I know that I did and I'm not on the council.) Of course I bet that if you ask your parish leaders, it will be shown to you.
     
  15. sylverpiano

    sylverpiano unworthy

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    Hi There!

    Father Carl mentioned in the announcements before Mass Sunday that the Financial Committee was closing out the year and that there would would be financial reports sent out to all parishioners by November 31. He encouraged everyone to update their mailing and/or email addresses if they have recently changed.
     
  16. LANTERN

    LANTERN Dominus vobiscum. Oremus.

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    parishes have financial commitees- at the parish i am at now the term is two years to serve on it and you interviewed and must have a background in this type of thing

    12 years ago in sacramento one of the priests was arrested for stealing money from the parish and the bishop was publically vocal and adament this priest had stolen- i dont know the outcome only that the finance committee snitched
     
  17. sylverpiano

    sylverpiano unworthy

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    There have been two cases here in the last few years of Catholic Priests embezzling money from the parish. This is shameful.
     
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