I pray that your summer is off to a good start and that you are able to enjoy the warm weather, even if we can’t get out and do all the things we normally would due to the pandemic.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier communications, the COVID-19 crisis has had a serious financial impact on our parish. For the fiscal year ending June 30th, we are projected to be down $215,396 in revenue as compared to the previous fiscal year. This is due to a dramatic decline in weekly offerings since mid-March. While we have seen a small increase in weekly giving in recent weeks, it will take months and potentially years for us to fully recover financially.
As you know, we had to lay off many parish staff this spring to help reduce costs. As a part of these cost-saving reductions, we had to lay off Deacon Ramon Garcia, who has led Latino Ministry at St. Stephen’s for 12 years. Archbishop Hebda has assigned Deacon Garcia to Holy Rosary Parish in Minneapolis. Our Latino Ministry will continue under the leadership of Fr. Louie Floeder and Suzanne Garcia. In addition, we won’t be able to take on a second assistant priest to replace Fr. Matthew Quail when he is assigned to Shakopee starting July 1st. We will all miss Deacon Garcia and Fr. Quail.
With the reduction in priest staff, we will discontinue the Saturday 8:00 a.m. morning Mass and the 9:30 a.m. Sunday confessions. A reminder that weekend Masses are celebrated in the church on Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. in English and on Sundays at 12:30 p.m. in Spanish and 6:00 p.m. in English. We will continue to offer Masses in the school parking lot at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Sundays in English for those unable or uncomfortable coming to Mass inside the church. We will continue to celebrate Daily Mass at 8:00 a.m. Monday to Friday in the church. We will continue to offer Sunday and daily Masses online, as well. You can see live-streams and recordings on the St. Stephen’s YouTube Channel and on our Facebook page.
As we work to resume parish ministries under the new normal, any financial support you are able to offer is greatly appreciated. You can give to St. Stephen’s online via the parish website or call the parish office at 763-421-2471 and we will be glad to work out a convenient way for you to help support our parish during this difficult time.