Last week we all heard the good news that an agreement had been reached to resolve the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese. As you know, the agreement establishes a trust fund of approximately $210 million for the victims/survivors. Some of the money for the settlement fund came in the form of voluntary pledges of financial support from parishes and priests of our Archdiocese. I believe this is a wonderful statement of our compassion and support for our brothers and sisters who were seriously wounded and hurt by my brother priests and by others in our church.
With this letter I would like to inform you that The Basilica of Saint Mary was one of the parishes that made a confidential pledge of financial support to the settlement fund. This decision was made in consultation with our Parish Council and Finance committee. After setting a range for this contribution they directed that our Parish Trustees and I make the final decision as to the amount of the contribution. The money for this pledge came from our parish reserves, which are funded by the rental income from our school building. Our financial pledge won’t be payable until the details of the settlement are finalized. It is our hope that making this pledge of financial support will send a strong message of solidarity and support to the victims/survivors.
While the settlement will resolve the Archdiocesan bankruptcy we need to continue to follow up with prayer and outreach to the victims/survivors. This needs to be and must be an ongoing effort. I hope you will join in prayer for those who have been so grievously wounded by members of our Church.
It is my firm and abiding belief that God’s Spirit continues to lead and guide our Church and our parish. If we are open to the gentle guidance of the Spirit, I believe it will lead us into a future full of hope.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
John M. Bauer
Pastor, The Basilica of Saint Mary