In Your Midst

Parish Annual Report 2003-2004

November 2004

Cathedral Parish

The Cathedral parish has changed over the years in response to changes in the Church, in the city, and in the First Hill neighborhood. The following figures reveal the huge fluctuations in the community over the last hundred years. Figures are not available for all years.

The most infant baptisms
1960: 247

The fewest infant baptisms
1972: 37

The most adults entering the Church
1959: 147

The most confessions heard
1963: 82,000

The most sick calls made
1960: 26,800

The most weddings performed
1942: 329

The fewest weddings performed
1974: 21

The most funerals
1948: 202

The fewest funerals
1998: 27

The greatest average Sunday Mass attendance (7 Masses)
1959: 5,444

The greatest number of parishioners
1958: 5,100

The fewest number of parishioners
1982: 800

Amount collected for
St. Vincent de Paul Society
1921: $2,395.77
2003-2004: $95,298.79

Number of priests assigned
full-time to the parish
1958: 6
2004: 1

Every year St. James Cathedral parish issues an annual report on the financial condition of the parish. As we celebrate our 100th birthday as a parish, it is good to look back at the past year, not merely at the dollars and cents, but at the rich array of activities and ministries made possible by your financial support. (This statement reflects only the regular operating budget for the parish. Funds raised for the Centennial Capital Campaign are accounted for separately.)

We continue to be a dynamic and growing parish with 2,563 registered households, comprising nearly 5,000 individual members.

Our fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004, our total parish income was $2,800,492. This was comprised of $1,731,721 in Sunday and other collections, $919,388 in gifts, bequests and fundraisers and $149,383 in business income (rentals, bookstore, etc.). An improved economy meant an increase in collections. However, bequest income was somewhat less than projected as two anticipated bequests were received after the end of the fiscal year.

Total expenses for the year were $2,804,065, almost exactly as projected. The delayed bequest income combined with repairs and capital improvements to the Cathedral which exceeded projections resulted in a deficit of $3,573, which was covered from parish reserves.

Salaries, benefits and other personnel-related expenses accounted for $1,533,576 or approximately 55% of income. We are very happy to report that we were able again this year to continue our pledge of keeping staff compensation at a level comparable with the rest of the Seattle area.

Each year a percentage of our ordinary income is assessed by the Archdiocese to allow the Archbishop to run the many offices, ministries and programs of the greater Church family in Western Washington. Our assessments this year totaled $136,172.

St. James Cathedral Parish participates in the Rainbow Schools Coalition, a program whereby several parishes contribute to the support of the five Catholic Elementary Schools in the central area of the city. Our participation not only makes it possible for Catholic education to continue in this area, it also allows children from our parish to attend one of the schools at “parishioner” tuition rates. Our contribution to the Rainbow Schools program this year was $204,658. Approximately 50 of our children are presently enrolled in one or another of these fine schools. Nineteen of these children were able to attend Catholic Schools as a result of our parish scholarship program, which continues to grow.

How did all your contributions translate into services for the parishioners of St. James and the larger community? During the fiscal year, almost 1,300 Sunday and regular daily liturgies were celebrated, not counting special liturgies for Holy Days, the Sacred Triduum, and ecumenical and interfaith services. 154 infants and children were baptized and 30 catechumens were welcomed into the Church. 37 confirmations were celebrated; 32 children received their First Eucharist. During the year 50 weddings and 33 funerals were conducted. Numerous Archdiocesan liturgies were held, including the Chrism Mass, Ordinations to the Priesthood, the Madre de las Americas celebration with the Hispanic community and the traditional Filipino Advent celebration, Simbang Gabi. The Cathedral was also privileged to host Baccalaureate Masses for Holy Names Academy, O’Dea High School and Seattle University. Over the course of the year, there were more than 20 special concerts, recitals and other musical events held in the Cathedral, including our annual unique music event, Great Music for Great Cathedrals, involving color, light, costume, and hundreds of musicians and other volunteers.

The English as a Second Language program (ESL) provided over 12,000 hours of tutoring to 150 refugees and immigrants. This program continues to be one of the most highly regarded ESL programs in the state. The Family Kitchen, serving every weeknight out of Cathedral Hall, provided more than 39,000 free meals to our needy neighbors and the Winter Shelter provided overnight shelter to 10 to 15 men for 120 nights. Over 15,000 sandwiches were prepared by our parishioners and distributed through St. Martin de Porres Shelter and Operation Nightwatch. New ministries are being developed in response to the need of the community, including ministry to pregnant mothers and to AIDS sufferers.

Our outreach programs to the elderly transported approximately 35 parishioners to Mass each Sunday and conducted monthly “senior trips” to places like Vancouver and Hurricane Ridge for an average of 20 parishioners. About 15 of our shut-in parishioners received an audiotape of the 10:00 Mass every week and about 25 of our homebound received communion in their homes, allowing them to remain connected to the liturgical life of St. James. In addition, regular communion services were conducted by our ministers at Hilltop House, Heritage House and the First Hill Care Center which reach more than 100 of our elderly. Finally, about 35 of our seniors were regularly assisted in their homes by the Volunteer Chore Program. Cabrini Ministers visited many others in hospitals, nursing homes and retirement centers.

And the list goes on. None of these efforts could have been undertaken without the generous financial support of our parishioners and friends. We want you to know that there has been careful and competent stewardship of the financial resources of the parish. We look forward to accomplishing even more with you and with the help of God’s grace.

Sacrificial Giving THEN & NOW

Monsignor James G. Stafford introduced the Sunday envelope system at St. James Cathedral in fall of 1926. The Sunday bulletin on February 26, 1927 noted (rather smugly): “The number of weekly envelope users and the amount contributed by them show a steady gain. The number of those not using the envelopes has steadily decreased, so that their contribution is not worth considering. We hope they will see the light soon. Let us pray for them that God will give them the Grace of an obedient and generous heart.”

All attending the Mass were carefully instructed: “Before taking up the collection, ushers will give envelope and pencil to visitors, newcomers and to those who forgot to bring theirs. Thus it will be seen that there can be no excuse for man, woman or child for not using the envelope.”

The ushers were given the onerous task of enforcing the new system. To anyone who refused to use an envelope, they presented a card whose contents we can only guess at! “Their rule is to deal with all alike, without regard to persons... even if the party be well known to them and even if a member of one’s own family. This is the rule.” A report was published for the parish not only listing all those who had complied with the new system, but actually printing the amount of their weekly donation!

Some food for thought: in 1926 more than 50 percent of Cathedral parishioners had begun to use their Sunday envelopes—well over 1,200 households. This compares to just over 800 households using the envelopes today—32% of those registered!


Other articles in the November 2004

Celebrating the Human Part of this Great Place

One Hundred Years Ago

The Century at St. James

The Pew Next to You

The Cathedral in Cyberspace

Image of the Divine

Cathedral Almanac

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