Q&A about CARES Act and PPP loan

Why is our parish receiving CARES Act loans through the Paycheck Protection Program?

Our parish has experienced a significant decrease in operating income resulting from the absence of regular offertory contributions due to the suspension of weekend Masses and public liturgies. Additionally, our parish has experienced financial losses from the absence of an Easter collection, which provides an important part of our overall annual offertory. The uncertainty related to the economic situation of our parish made the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan necessary for the ongoing operations of our parish. In accordance with the provisions of the CARES Act, our parish must only use the PPP funds to pay for payroll and utility expenses over the next two months.


With public Masses suspended, what has been the financial impact on our parish?

Sunday offertory is 30% below the weekly average since March 15.  Because our parish already operates on thin margins, any reduction in offertory is significant and negatively impacts our ability to meet payroll.


What services is our parish providing during this time?

Our parish employees are providing a significant number of services and resources during this time, including but not limited to:

  • Providing virtual Masses and liturgies;

  • Facilitating virtual prayer groups and faith formation opportunities online;

  • Conducting outreach to parish families and senior citizens, such as collecting food drives and supporting food pantries at St. Anastasia and Holy Family providing emotional and spiritual support, ensuring that the most vulnerable have access to vital resources; and

  • Educating close to 700 students in our religious education programs


Do faith-based organizations such as the parishes and schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago qualify for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan?

Yes. The CARES Act contained specific provisions which make the parishes and schools of the Archdiocese eligible for PPP loans.  Each parish and school maintain its own budget for staff payroll and operating expenses. Given the current economic uncertainty and long-term negative financial impact of COVID-19, the PPP loan request is necessary to support ongoing operations of our parishes and schools within the Archdiocese.


Are we using any parish savings?

Yes, our parish has had no choice but to access available savings to address operating expenses.  In addition, the Paycheck Protection Program loan was sought because of current economic uncertainty about our ability to satisfy payroll and other operating expenses, as well as the uncertainty surrounding the long-term negative financial impact resulting from decreased offertory and the cancellation of fundraising events over the coming months.


How much money did our parish receive through the Paycheck Protection Program loan?

Based on the rules of the CARES Act, all PPP loan applications are based on a 2.5 month multiple of our average payroll expenses for the previous 12 months, which for our parish equates to $128,300. This money is to be used for payroll and utility expenses only. If there are any excess loan proceeds that cannot be applied to payroll and utilities within the 8-week loan period, those loan proceeds will be promptly returned.