Greetings from the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas,
I think there is a common belief that the Church has lots of money. I have yet to find a pot of gold anywhere near the Bishop’s house. Interest rates are so low. At the same time many of the people and places we have previously received financial support from can now offer less and less. This has meant that in the year 2014 our revenue dropped by over $500,000 and yet our expenses did not, leaving us with a $493,000 shortfall. These expenses are due mostly to salary, travel and heating. This year, 2015, is looking like it will be much the same. Obviously we cannot go on like this.
Despite this, many things are going well in the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas. We have many good and experienced Lay Leaders working in their home communities often leading Sunday and Funeral services for their people. There are 14 Priests serving our 47 parishes and 4 Sisters working in various communities. We have seven of our people taking Year II of Lay Formation in Saskatoon. Also, we have a fairly young Archbishop who has pretty good health (God willing)! For more information about our Archdiocese, please see the brochure that is included. All in all, there is much to be thankful for but financially we are no longer able to even cover the salaries of our Priests and Sisters.
We have eliminated two positions in our Diocesan Office in order to save costs leaving a total of five staff. We are not taking on any new projects and are reducing our heating costs every way that we can. We are approaching all the Parishes and Band Councils where appropriate to see what can be done. Every place is trying. Some have greatly increased the expenses they pay for. One Chief and Council is deducting $10 a month from everyone on salary for the Band to help pay the priests salary. We have made some significant progress but we remain in need of your help. Our need and hope is to raise $200,000 in this campaign.
We would like to invite you to make a donation to our Archdiocese to help support these Priests and Sisters and the generous work that they are doing. They have accepted to live and serve God in some of the most isolated places in Canada.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to make a contribution is through the automatic deduction plan. You can contribute monthly or weekly and a tax receipt is issued yearly. We encourage you to consider contributing in this manner. It is an easy way to support the Priests and Sisters of our Archdiocese and the people that they serve.
I know that you have many requests to sort through and many of you are also experiencing your own financial challenges, but we would sincerely appreciate it if you would consider donating to our Archdiocese. Your support will enable our Priests and Sisters to continue their ministry of service in our north.
May God bless you and all your family,
Archbishop Murray Chatlain
Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas
“Everything we gain comes from what we give.” St. Teresa of Avila