My parish has been struggling financially. Decreased attendance (half of what it was 15 years ago), a troubled economy, lots of seniors on fixed incomes, the diocese suddenly closing the parish school and upsetting a lot of people (the diocese took over all the schools for a while, a failed plan), a pastor who is a good man but doesn't always connect with people, and so on.
If the parish were a little more traditional and observant of the rules, that might help; it would certainly set us apart from the other parishes in our area, and might draw more people. It might fire people up.
But that's another issue. Or series of issues.
After avoiding "money talk" for a long time, the pastor has had to talk about finances in the bulletin and at Mass recently.
It has resulted in a slight increase in the collections, but not enough.
So now we are going with a cash raffle.
I don't object to raffles and pools per se. They can be fun - like the Super Bowl pool at work. But it's sad when a parish has to turn to them to pay its bills.
The Christian school where I used to teach was supported by the members of a small Christian sect who gave generously to the school and to their church. It's too bad Catholics don't seem to have that same sense of commitment any more.
(Or maybe that gets us back to being more traditional in orientation!)
I bought tickets. I'll support the parish. But it all gives me a sense of being in a death spiral. In our diocese, parishes have been clustering due to lack of priests. We avoided that in the last go round, but what about next time?
Hey, maybe we should have a raffle about when we'll have to cluster!
Pax et bonum