Did you know that American churches used to be funded by the government, some up until 1833? And in some European countries, Catholic churches still receive money from the government? (I just learned that recently! I
f you're interested in some history about how churches have funded themselves over the years, take a look at this article .) The bottom line is that by 1900, most American churches "passed the plate" at Sunday services.
Almost since then, Catholic churches have used weekly pre-printed envelopes with parish families' registration numbers and names printed on them. In fact, the envelopes we use today look pretty much the same as those our parents and grandparents used 50 years ago.
In the past 15 years, electronic giving has gained popularity for several reasons, mostly because it makes it easier for the donor and for the churches, and it promotes regular giving, which makes budgeting much easier. We use GiveCentral.org at St. Josaphat, as does a quorum of other parishes in the Archdiocese.
Here at St. Josaphat, we have about 223 families who choose to make their Sunday donation through electronic giving, and 287 families who prefer using weekly envelopes. Every two months, those on weekly envelopes have been receiving a packet with about 12-15 envelopes, one for each Sunday, and others for special funds and Archdiocese-wide collections. These envelopes can be cumbersome - both for our parishioners and for the parish staff and volunteers who are responsible for managing the collections.
To make it more convenient for all involved, as well as to minimize waste and reduce cost, with the bi-monthly period starting in January, we will be providing only 2 envelopes in the packet - one envelope per month. See the sample here: