We have 16 (count 'em) paid employees at All Saints Parish. Lest you think I am exaggerating, that is the number that the pastoral administrator mentioned at a recent parish gathering. We have one individual retiring this month. Now, the parish is advertising for one full-time (faith formation director) and one part-time position (coordinator of children's faith formation). That will bring the number of paid staff to 17, plus two deacons.
UPDATE: The May 13, 2012 bulletin clarifies that though the parish is advertising two positions, there will only be one position filled, which may or may not be full time. So, paid staff will remain at 16, not 17. Still six or more positions too many.
Most parishes of our size have 10 or less paid staff.
This is not stewardship. It is fiscal insanity.
And while I'm ranting, how much does it cost to send out three (or is it now four) parish fundraising letters using 45-cent stamps? With over 2,000 enrolled households, postage alone is about a thousand bucks. Why aren't they using their bulk rate for a non-profit? I don't get it. Imagine what the cost to print these appeals must be!
I moseyed on over to the Victory Highway website. Guess how many staff they have? Yep. Seventeen. Don't know if they are all paid or not (they have 10 pastors, God bless 'em) and seven administrative staff people. Their website says they currently serve about 1,500 people weekly.
Who'd a thunk it...Catholics were the first mega-churches...and didn't even know it. They just went about their business with a couple holy priests, a couple of paid staff, and a bunch of lay volunteers. The community of believers pitched in according to their God-given talents and inclinations, and it all worked.
Not to take anything away from the 10 pastors at Victory Highway, but our two priests are priceless. I wouldn't trade them for anything or anyone. In persona Christi. It makes all the difference in the world.