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Finance Council

June 26,2010

Dear Parishioners of St. Joseph Parish:

Due to recent publications in the local media, we, as members of St. Joseph Finance Council, wish to assure you that controls are in place to ensure proper accounting for the weekly collection as well as donations eannarked for specific purposes by parishioners and estates.

The Finance Council has been in existence since it was formed in the late 1980's by Fr. Leary according to Archdiocesan guidelines. Over the years there have been a number of parishioners on the Council. Presently the Council is made up of the following parishioners:

Diana Barlow

Brian Brady

Dennis Callnan

Susan Casey, Lay Trustee (Bank Manager)

Paul Contrastano, Lay Trustee

Ellen Robbins, CPA

Michael Samartino, CPA

Murdo Smith

The members serve a term of three years and can be re-appointed. The Lay Trustees are nominated by the Pastor and approved by the Archbishop.

Each year the Pastor is required to give a financial picture to the parish. We have done that in many forms-a written letter to individual parishioners with their financial contributions for the year, a presentation annually at the close of Mass, as well as presenting the weekly comparison of budget-to-actual amounts in the bulletin.

The Finance Council meets quarterly with the Pastor to go over income and expenses, as well as review the annual budget. Financial issues are discussed such as capital improvements and repair and maintenance projects as well as how to finance the payment of such projects. Finance Council members are also kept informed via email.

The Finance Council monitors the savings and investment accounts and meets annually with financial advisors from the Bank of America Philanthropic Management to ensure that the Parish Common Trust Fund (PACT) is earning income, as well as being invested in a socially conscious manner.

The Archdiocese of Hartford regularly holds training and best practices sessions for Council members, staff and priests. Members of our Finance Council have made an effort to attend these sessions so that we keep current with Archdiocesan accounting issues, recommendations and requirements. Fr. Joe and Katherine Young, who prepares the budget, attend these training sessions on a regular basis.

As with every business, our greatest exposure is cash collections. Last year, the Archdiocesan Finance Office requested that all parishes institute a system of placing the collection from each individual Mass in tamper proof bags. The bags are labeled and sealed by the ushers prior to being brought to the Altar in the offertory. The collection is counted by four different teams of parishioners. The teams are rotated weekly; using different teams assures dual or quality controls. These accounting controls are in place to minimize the risk of loss of parish funds.

We believe the accounting controls put in place during Fr. Leary's tenure as pastor, and the continued review and enhancement of those controls during Fr. DiSciacca's tenure as pastor, have minimized the potential for misappropriation of funds.

Additionally, our parish has undergone a management review to be certain we are in compliance with all of the recommended policies and regularly submit all required financial reports to the Archdiocese of Hartford in a timely manner.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding parish finances, each of us would be happy to talk about them with you.

Very truly yours,
St. Joseph Church Finance Council

(Document signed by above mentioned Finance Council Members)


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