The Grand Annual Parish, aka G.A.P., is an annual appeal by the pastor of St. Augustine Parish for specific purposes. This appeal is sent out to all the active registered families in the parish either by email or by a mailed letter. Donations to the GAP can be made several ways:
- by check to "St Augustine Church", write "GAP" in the memo and mail or bring to the parish office at 35 Essex St., Andover, MA 01810
- by credit card at the parish office
- online through your account at "Online Giving"
- directly through PayPal with a credit card or through your PayPal account using the "Donate GAP" button at the right (or below on a mobile device)
This year's G.A.P. letter is shown below:
May 22, 2019
Feast of Saint Rita of Cascia, O.S.A.
Please help close the GAP!
How very welcome is spring! One of its now familiar signs is this annual GAP letter.
The Grand Annual Parish Collection is a very long-standing practice in the parishes of the Archdiocese of Boston, dating back to the time of the beloved Cardinal Cushing. When I was assigned here to St. Augustine’s the last time it was to fill the gap between the departure of Fr. Bill Cleary and the arrival of our current pastor, Fr. Peter. When he arrived, Father Peter found another gap, the one between our parish offertory income and our expenses including the debt left from the construction of the parish center. That gap, in 2009, was over $800,000 and you pulled together to close it. A big part of the success was due to the resumption of the “Grand Annual” by Father Peter and Brother John with the guidance of the parish Finance Council. Usually, the proceeds from the GAP are needed for special projects or repairs beyond the annual income/expense budget. It has worked very well, thanks to your generous support. Let’s keep the progress going. Thank you!
Cardinal Séan has recently instructed that all parishes strive to not only pay their bills, but also to establish designated savings funds for longevity. A prime example of this is a fund for the current and future care of the parish’s physical facilities. We have nine buildings here, some of which date back to the 19th century, like our two beautiful churches, friary and garage. The boiler in St. Joseph church needs to be replaced this year. (Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but we are thinking of air conditioning St. Joseph’s at the same time.) With the guidance of the Finance Council, Fr. Peter has already established the kind of designated savings fund for property maintenance that Cardinal Séan is asking for. After the extraordinary expense for the St. Joseph project the remainder will go into this fund.
As usual, we ask that everyone who earns a paycheck consider a contribution of at least $100 to help fill the GAP. Some can and will give more, even much more; some less. Everyone’s help is both needed and appreciated to help assure the viability and longevity of St. Augustine and our shared mission. Please consider using Online Giving for your weekly offertory and the GAP. Visit the parish website for this and many other reasons; click on the Online Giving logo. Setup is easy and you can always call the parish office for assistance.
Thank you for your usual generosity and may God bless you always and in all ways,
Fr. Arthur D. Johnson, O.S.A.