By Emily Drooby
With churches in the Diocese of Brooklyn closed, the collections basket isn’t being passed around.
But the bills aren’t stopping.
“Gas bills and electric bills and phone bills…without Sunday collections, which is the main source of our income, it’s almost just impossible,” explained Monsignor John Maloney, pastor of Saint Anselm Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
On a normal weekend, the church gathers an average of about $5,500 in the collection baskets, and an additional $2,500 through an online platform called FaithDirect.
Concerned for his church, parishioner and diocesan employee John Quaglione set up a GoFundMe page for St. Anselm. It has raised over $1,400, money that will help to keep the church and its many programs afloat now and in the future.
“It came to me as I was watching Mass that the collections are going to be depleted tremendously because there are no people inside of the church,” Quaglione explained.
“The food pantry, the blood drives, the Catholic education programs, all of that must go on when this is over.”
Churches all over are implementing ways to donate online. Saint Mary’s Church in Queens is sending out links to online fundraising platform GiveCentral if you text their parish number.
Other churches are putting links to the online platform FaithDirect right on their website, like Saint Patrick’s in Bay Ridge.
“I’m not asking anyone for money but I am grateful” said Father Gerard Sauer, pastor of St. Patrick’s Church. “I am grateful to every person who has switched to online giving. I’m grateful to every person who has slipped their envelopes through the door this week. I’m grateful to every single envelope that has showed up in the mail.”
Fr. Sauer is grateful for his parishioners help, because like at St. Anselm the bills are still coming, including for their employees’ medical insurance.
Our Lady of Angels parish in Bay Ridge generally sees mostly in-person donations, but even they’re making a change.
“We are going to try to encourage more people to give or donate electronically,” explained pastor Monsignor Kevin Noone.
The church is considering setting up a Venmo account — an app that easily allows for the transferring of money.
If you want help, check out your parish’s website and learn if they have electronic giving.