Empty Pews, Canceled Fish Fries Double Financial Blow
ST. CLOUD -- With gatherings not allowed right now, churches are having to take their services online, which makes it difficult to pass the collection plate.
Father Scott Pogatchnik is the Priest at St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Augustine's in St. Cloud. He says it's definitely impacting their budgets.
Because people maybe don't realize that 90 percent of the income that the church depends on to do her mission and ministry really comes from the collection plate.
He says the Easter collections are their largest collections of the entire year, so he's reminding their congregations to still send in their offerings.
People have collection envelops we invite them to mail them in as a first option. Option two is to sign up online for online giving.
Meanwhile, a good church fish fry during the Lenten season is something a lot of us look forward to, unfortunately, the coronavirus cut that season short this year. Pogatchnik says they only have two big fish fries and they had to make a last-minute adjustment to the first one a few weeks ago.
And they're usually really big. We'll serve anywhere from 2,000 to 2,500 meals, and when we did the drive-through, praise God, we served 1,400 meals. But because of the restrictions on gathering, we can't even gather that, we probably had 30 people in the kitchen that were assisting to make the fish.
Pogatchnik says that means their second fish fry, scheduled for this Friday, has been canceled. He says that cuts their fundraising dollars by more than half. The money raised from the fish fry goes to the St. Katherine Drexel School.
Pogatchnik says they are looking at creative ways to support their staff, but if they have to keep their church doors closed for an extended period of time it could have a devastating effect on the church financially.