The Financial Death of Parishes: Closer than We Think?

In my most recent blog post I shared a response I sent to the chancery office of my diocese. Reading between the lines, I essentially stated that they were cowards for banning Holy Communion on the tongue, for nearly every person in any occupation is in as much danger, or far more (e.g. dentists) of contracting COVID while at work. 

Do I really think the diocese has been acting out of cowardice? Not at all. While their excuses are cowardly, I believe what they say is ideologically driven. Holy Communion on the tongue is a sore spot for modernists. But that's an essay to write for another time. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to read Dr. Peter Kwasniewski's fantastic new book, The Holy Bread of Eternal Life: Restoring Eucharistic Reverence in an Age of Impiety.

Recall that I said I would take my family (and my money) elsewhere for Mass while this diocese bans Communion on the tongue. Money will not be given to a diocese that refuses to do its job, and by "job" I mean literally providing Christ reverently to its spiritually-starved members. Since I wrote this, I was able to pick up a public financial update provided from my parish. It seems I am not the only one refusing to give money.

I always told my wife that our parish had about twenty years left before it would be shut down. This was based on dwindling numbers, and its overall financial viability. Well, thanks to COVID, or rather the response to COVID, we have an update. Our parish is bleeding money, to the tune of $2000-3000 a month. There is enough money in the bank to go at this pace for about two years. Afterwards, it will be time to sell off investments and certain capital. This will allow the church another 2-3 years. Therefore, at this rate, our parish has approximately five years left before it goes bankrupt.

But, you may say, things could change! That's right, they could. Things could improve. However, realistically, they're trending downwards, to the point that five years might be too optimistic of a number.

How many parishes are in a similar position? Or worse off? Does the diocese even care about this? Why the continued and stubborn path towards insipid modernism? Why not take a chance on working towards the beauty and traditions of the faith? It is as Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit. They sit on a great treasure, and allow no one to access it. At this point, they would rather die miserably than see this treasure shared. 

But perhaps this is all in God's plan. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom before we can build up again. And build up again we shall. For as I said last time, "So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings."


  1. Sad.

    My parish did nothing to ban communion on the tongue despite Cupich. Our weekly offering has averaged $1,000 better than pre-COVID. Many new faces have discovered our orthodox Ars.

    1. It seems many places would rather die out than give way to tradition and reverence. Glad your parish is going strong.


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