THANKSGIVING GUIDELINES.

Immaculate Conception Parish, Hawthorn

Thanksgiving Contributions for our parish purposes

How parishioners can assist financially in the work of our parish.

This brochure will help you to:

  • Understand how your thanksgiving and other contributions assist the work of the Immaculate Conception Parish;

  • Use some guidelines to plan your thanksgiving contributions to support the work of our church and our parish;

  • Outline the various ways you can pay your contribution for the benefit of the parish and the Church.

 

Our parish has a diverse group of parishioners.  Many parishioners give significant contributions having regard to their income.  Other parishioners, who have many blessings and high incomes, might not have considered thoughtfully how to engage in or contribute to the parish - whether in relation to our activities, or financially.  We hope this brochure will help you.

 

Page 2.

How thanksgiving contributions and donations are used
Overview:


The Immaculate Conception Parish uses thanksgiving contributions from parishioners, donations and legacies as follows:

a) Conduct masses and parish activities of our parish (see below)

b) Supporting our Church's outreach into the local community through the priests supported by us (see page 4);

c) Bricks and mortar, both maintaining our current church assets and planning for development of our parish (see page 5).

The bank building has been restored and added to to create administration offices and also a large space for our parish community interaction.  These restorations incurred significant costs.
Masses and Services of the Parish

Our contributions are used to pay the staff supporting our parish, to meet the running expenses of our masses at both of our churches (Immaculate Conception and St Joseph's) and for basic property maintenance.

The major staff supporting our parish are:

· Marg O'Loughlin, parish co-ordinator, who looks after weddings and our sacramental activities, and co-ordinates the interaction of St Joseph's school and our parish activities, and the activities after Mass.

· Liz Frazer, business manager, co-ordinates the financial and thanksgiving program activities, maintenance and property needs (using conservation architects and tradespeople) and as secretary to both Parish Pastoral Council and Parish School Education Board. 

As you can see their activities are wide-ranging, including:
a) Strong roles in developing the life of the parish;
b) visiting the sick and elderly.
Our property maintenance expenses are substantial, arising from the age and significance of our churches.
Page 3.

The Immaculate Conception church needs increasing remedial maintenance (remember when the cross fell off the spire?).  A stonework survey has been completed on the church and cost for repair and restoration will be in the vicinity of $1.4 million.

As well, we in the Parish willingly contribute to the life of the children in our community: 

(a) St Joseph's Primary School
The St Joseph's Primary School has 257 children from Prep to Grade 6, and we willingly support the activities of the School and its significant role in bringing to children the word of God, integrated into the development of a high quality educational standard for them.

St Joseph's School is supported by the school fees of the parents and voluntary fundraising activities of the parents. 
However, our Parish also provides financial support to St Joseph's School when needed, to assist in funding the correct staffing to ensure that St Joseph's School has the highest quality teachers, teaming together, providing positive educational experiences and positive educational outcomes and religious environment for the children.

In the past two years, the Parish has contributed well in excess of $100,000 to the development of the St Josephs School.

(b) Facilities for the Manresa Kindergarten
For over 20 years the Parish has provided, at no charge, the use of our premises for the Manresa Kindergarten.  This is a non-denominational kindergarten, whose teachers are funded through the grants provided by government, by the fees paid by the parents of children, and their fundraising activities. 

However, we in the Parish make a critical contribution, of significant value to the kindergarten:

  • Up until 2005 the kindergarten has operated completely rent-free.  However a licence agreement has now been set up with the kindergarten which involves a 'peppercorn rent'.
  • Allowing the kindergarten to use some land purchased with the 'King's Funeral Parlour' property.
    Kindergartens all face challenges, depending on Government and funding requirements as well as demographic challenges.  However, the Parish makes a substantial contribution to enhancing the climate and environment for young children in the Hawthorn community. 

 

Page 4.

We are exploring ways of further enhancing our focus on the youth of the community, through the Parish visioning process.

How can I help to fund these activities?

Your thanksgiving contributions fund these activities when they are placed in the left-hand side "Thanksgiving" portion of the giving envelopes.

Supporting a community of priests bringing the word of God to the community and our Parish

We, at the Immaculate Conception Parish, are privileged to engage the community in Hawthorn and elsewhere in a number of ways which indirectly and in various ways bring the word of God to the community. 

Our Parish currently accommodates a community of five priests, with wide-ranging activities in and outside the Parish.  Our Parish makes a significant contribution to the work of God in the community and religious life, through the contributions which we make to the Presbytery Fund. 

Within the Parish, the priests are variously involved in masses and the sacraments for our parishioners, as well as providing a very high level of counselling services, such as:

  • Marriage preparation;

  • Baptism preparation including discussions with the parents;

  • Helping parishioners dealing with death (including tragedies involving younger people);

  • Stress counselling for parishioners needing assistance.

Our community of priests, which is supported out of our contributions, comprises "our priests" to whom we also pay as small income:

  • Des Dwyer SJ, our Parish Priest, is heavily involved in the Parish in the above activities

and the following priests whom we house (although they are funded elsewhere): 

  • Paul Duffy SJ, assists us with delivery of masses at the weekend, and in some other activities.

Through them we support the Overseas Missions through the Levy each Jesuit pays into Province Area, some of which goes to India, Thailand and other overseas Australian Jesuits. 
Further, the Parish actually supplements the Hazaribagh school and mission activities in India monies and of course is proud home parish of Fr Bob Slattery S.J.
We enjoy, in our Parish, a high availability of priests and we benefit from their time and approachability. We have an opportunity to recognise these gifts and to support the wide-ranging activity to the benefit of the community in Melbourne and at large, through our contributions.

How can I help to fund these activities?
Your contributions fund these activities when they are placed in the right-hand side "Presbytery" portion of the giving envelopes.
     (back)

Page 5.
Bricks and mortar: 
Parishioners and community interacting in the Bank Building

The Parish has owned, for many years, an assembly of properties including the Bank Building, Manresa Hall, and the Kindergarten, in addition to the Presbytery. 
Most of these properties have generated minimal income, and in fact have been consuming funds in their maintenance and limited upkeep.

 

Page 6.

On an ongoing basis, we have now developed a more commercial tenancy arrangement in relation to the Manresa Function Centre, which now operates as the Billy Lids Centre.
However, in addition to the capital works funded by borrowings, we will be spending substantial funds on heritage and consultant expenditures (heritage consultants, Heritage Victoria and fees of this nature) reflecting the Parish commitment to the community to maintain the historical environment for which we are responsible. This will cost the parish money.

How can I help to fund these activities?
To help us with these conservation-related activities we invite our parishioners to assist.  To do so, please direct your funds to the thanksgiving activities, designated on the left hand side of the envelopes.     (back)


Let's ask ourselves thoughtfully "How much do I now give to the Parish?"

Is it 10% of my income? Or 5%? Or 2%?
Or even 1%?
Or have I been giving the same amount every year, for years and years?

 

Page 7.

How Can I help?            Guidelines for Giving

We all know the theory: that we should give money to support God's work in our local church and further afield.

This section should help you work out what this means in practice, to:

  1. work out the amount you would like to give from your income; and 

  2. where you would like this amount to be directed.

Here are some tips that might help you:

  1. Work from your pre-tax income

  2. Think about your intentions and preferences (you have an active role, and you can shape and influence the outcome and contribution of our parish)

  3. Be sacrificial and be regular.

Step 1: How much should I give? 
God loves a cheerful giver

The principle - the tithe is used by many religions
In the Old Testament , God's people gave at least a tenth of all their income to God in response to his generous blessings to them (the "tithe").  This is first seen in Abraham and Jacob (Gen 14, 28), and it is then made explicit in the Law of Moses.  It was given generously with much rejoicing, not legalistically or begrudgingly (Num 18; Deut 12, 14, 26; 2 Cor. 31).

As New Testament believers, we should make "an offering acceptable to God" (Phil 4:18), recognizing the ultimate generosity to us of the death of his Son who, though he was rich, for our sakes became poor, so that through his poverty we might become rich (2 Cor. 8: 9).  Paul advises that we cheerfully give as much as we can, and even beyond our ability (2 Cor. 8-9) by recognising that all we have is God's.
'Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver'. (2 Cor. 9:7)

So how much should we give to God?  A tenth is a good starting point for thinking about this, and for considering how generous we can be.  Ask yourself: how much have we received from God? 
You've probably been giving much the same amount last year and the year before that … for the last 10 years.  But in that period costs have increased, the needs of the parish have increased, and your income has increased.

The guidelines below help you think through the issues.

 

Page 8.

Tax-deductions?
Some of the gifts you make might be tax-deductible:
  • the contribution to the School Building Fund (22.5% of the contribution on the left hand side of the thanksgiving envelope) will be deductible;
  • ask your tax adviser if distributions from a family trust to the parish might achieve much the same outcome as a tax deduction;
  • ask your tax adviser if businesspeople might be entitled to tax deductions for their contributions (might you sponsor something?).

In practice:
The first step is to work out your income (salary income and benefits):

  Me My spouse (if applicable)
Annual pre-ax salary $ $
Any non-contributory super $ $
Other income (interest, dividends, benefits, etc) $ $
Totals: $ $
  My / our total income: $

Prayerfully consider how much you are going to set aside from your total income to give. 

  Illustrative
Example:
Our figures:
Total income (as above) $45,000 A $ A
Percentage 10% B  ………  % B
Annual gift (A x B): $4,500 C $ C
Monthly gift (C χ 12) $375 D $ D
Weekly gift (C χ 52): $86 E $ E

 

We're not expecting 10% of your income. But do you currently give 5%? Or even 2%? And if your income is high, or the kids have left home, can your giving change?

 

Page 9.

The process of working out how much to give will of course need to be repeated each year or so, or as your income changes.

Make the contribution sacrificial to you, and appropriate.  Remember that in our world a hamburger and chips cost $5, and a round of coffee and cake, or drinks, for friends will cost you $20, or a restaurant meal will cost you more than $30, and even a magazine will cost you $5-$9. 

Here you’re considering a much more significant contribution – your contribution to the work of the Church in our community and beyond.

Think about how our parish and the Church can help you to channel your contribution to the welfare of the community and the spreading of God’s word.

Step 2: To whom to give?

The principle

In the Old Testament , the tithe was channeled by God to those who needed it - to the priests and Levites who had no source of income and to the poor of the land.  In the New Testament, Christian giving is directed to meeting the needs of those who labour amongst us in the Lord, as well as towards the poor.  As Paul puts it in Galatians 6: "Let him who is taught the work share all good things with him who teaches "; and then a few verses later: " So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

In practical terms, this means directing our money not only towards our parish, but to the work of the gospel further afield, and to the poor.

Immaculate Conception Parish and beyond

The Immaculate Conception Parish community of priests receive all their support from the personal giving of Immaculate Conception Parish people, and a significant proportion of our gifts should go towards supporting this community of priests.

As we’ve outlined above, Immaculate Conception Parish reaches beyond its church buildings into the community, through the activities carried out by or led by Immaculate Conception Parish priests and our staff.  Consider the work of our parish school, the religious instruction in Government schools, the upkeep of our buildings, the support we give to the visiting of the sick and elderly, and the other activities.

Some of your overall giving might go to other religious and charitable purposes, like St. Vincent de Paul Society,  Salvation Army, etc.  But think about your total contribution, prayerfully.  It’s an important part of your overall contribution to society. 

Page 10.

Allocating your giving:

You can use the following table to work out how to divide up your giving, starting with your monthly or weekly gift (D or E from Step 1 above):

 

% of total gift:

Example: continuing the example above

My own personal thanksgiving contributions continuing  from 
step 1

I’d like to give a total contribution of: $86 per week My total per month/week from Step 1 is:$ ……..
To the Immaculate Conception Parish %   My total per month/week from Step 1 is:$ ……..
Outreach activities of our community of priests (see page 4) % $21  
Our parish life and services (see page 2) % $25 $ ……. ..  to the presbytery contribution (right hand side of envelope)
Bricks & mortar (see page 6) % $20 $ ……….  to thanksgiving contribution (left hand side)
TOTAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE PARISH $66 $ …….. .. to thanksgiving contribution (left hand side)
As well, I/We contribute in a planned way to other charitable activities
Name of charity % $20 per week to a designated charity (Note)  
Note: You should make your contributions to charities such as St Vincent de Paul, Jesuit Missions etc. directly to these charities and religious purposes, separately from your parish thanksgiving contributions.

 

Page 11.

Step 3: How to give to Immaculate Conception Parish
We ask that you consider two things:
  • Organise your giving so that your giving is consistent and regular;
  • Notify us of what you give.

Ways of organising your Giving
You can organise your regular giving as follows:

1. By credit card:  You can fill out the card available in the church and arrange for a monthly thanksgiving contribution to be paid via your Visa or Mastercard.

2. Directly from your salary:   Your giving occurs by direct debit to the Immaculate Conception Parish bank account from your salary payments. To do this, you will need to request your employer to pay the appropriate amount directly to the Immaculate Conception Parish bank account.

Details of the Immaculate Conception Parish bank account are:

 

Bank:    National Australia Bank
BSB No:    083-618
Account No:    04679-3296

3. Planned giving envelopes: You can obtain planned thanksgiving envelopes by filling out the form overleaf or by request from the parish office. You can then use the planned giving envelopes by placing them into the collection bowls circulated at Sunday masses. 

4. Cash or cheque in collection: Your giving can be made into the collection bowls at mass, by cash or cheque (made payable to "Immaculate Conception Parish). 

5. Post a cheque: You can send cheques (made payable to "Immaculate Conception Parish") to the Immaculate Conception Parish office (c/ o Liz Frazer, Office Manager) with a note indicating the amounts to be allocated to the various purposes.

Notification of amounts, and confidentiality
Whatever method of giving you choose to use, we request that you advise the amount you are giving by filling in the Thanksgiving slip at the end of this brochure.
Whatever method you choose, your giving will be kept confidential. Only the administrative assistant has access to giving information.

Who To Contact About Thanksgiving contributions
Liz Frazer
Immaculate Conception Parish 
Tel: 8862 4000
or email us at:  lizfrazer@pacific.net.au

To facilitate your giving, we have included a separate form which can be printed and used.  Do not try to make a payment via this site as we are not set up for online contributions.  To access the printable form, click here.

 

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