By LINDA MOSS
St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish has a deficit, but one of its houses of worship, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, has been blessed with what is now a $113,000 nest egg.
The head of the Save Our Lady of Mount Carmel Committee informed the new administrator of St. Teresa about the fund, which is specifically earmarked for repairs at the Pine Street church, in a letter earlier this month.
In the Sept. 13 letter, the Rev. Amilcar Benito Prado was told that he will be receiving a check made payable to OLMC for roughly $2,000 from Buckeye Petroleum. That money is the quarterly revenue from a portfolio of stock donated to the church about 10 years ago by parishioner Aline Beauchamp, Frank Cardell wrote to Prado.
Cardell is chairman of the Save OLMC committee.
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“These are restricted funds that are to be used to repair or replace the heating system or air conditioner system at OLMC,” Cardell said in the letter.
He explained that he set up an OLMC endowment a decade ago with 2,000 shares of Buckeye Petroleum stock from Beauchamp, shares that have increased in worth to $113,000 from $46,000.
In a phone interview, Cardell said the stock pays about 8 percent, or between $8,000 and $9,000 annually, in dividends, or roughly $2,000 a quarter. In the past, that money had paid for a new furnace in OLMC’s CCD building, a new furnace in the church and new furnace in the rectory, according to Cardell.
He also told Prado that OLMC’s prior pastor oversaw and approved everything that he did. As of this week, Cardell said that he hadn’t received any response from Prado, who is known as Father Benny.
Earlier this month in the parish bulletin Prado set forth a 10-point plan for the future of St. Teresa, a parish that was created a year ago through the divisive merger of OLMC and the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on North Fullerton Avenue.
A number of Prado’s initiatives center around the parish’s finances, with a new bookkeeper now reviewing bills and contracts; an assessment of staff and resources under way; and a 2017-2018 budget that will show parishioners that there is a need to “work hard to reduce expenses and increase revenues.”
He wrote “Shortly, we will publish our 2017-2018 parish budget, which you will quickly see presents a $300,000 deficit. This means that each week we begin $6,000 in the red before one dollar is collected. Clearly, we will need to work hard to reduce expenses and increase revenues.”
Cardell, who ran a successful financial-planning company in the 1980s, volunteered his services to advise St. Teresa on financial matters.
“I would like to help you create a St. Teresa of Calcutta that is strong both religiously and sound financially,” Cardell wrote to Prado.