Faux Network’s religious reporter, Mathew Mark Lukejohn wrote this report after attending a press conference with the Bishop of the Diocese of Weehawken, NJ. A small, middle-class town across the Hudson River from Manhattan, the Diocese is known for its fiscal innovations.
Bishop Alteri stated the Church faced a financial crisis caused by the many multi-million dollar settlements in sex abuse cases. These payments are threatening the priests’ standard of living and the diocese’s investment portfolio.
“In these trying times, the Church must rely on the faithful to dig deeper to prevent the dollar drain from harming the diocese,” Bishop Auteri said.
He went on to explain his new financial rescue program. “Many, indeed most, of the parishioners are not giving as much money as they could be giving. Therefore, I am ordering all families to provide a copy of their latest tax return to their parish church.”
According to the Bishop, one priest in each parish has been trained to examine the returns and to determine the level of giving the family must adhere to. Any family who doesn’t hand over a copy of their tax return by June 15 will have their name put on a Wall of Shame which will be installed in each church’s vestibule. If a family fails to meet the weekly level of giving assigned to them, their name will be read out from the pulpit at Sunday Mass and will be listed in the parish bulletin. As an alternative to the increased weekly giving, a family may elect to turn over their tax refund provided it is large enough.
Mr. Lukejohn plans to interview parishioners to get their reaction to the new financial relief plan.
For vacations, Hank and Pat usually visit distant parts of the galaxy. Occasionally, they also time-travel.
Besides writing novels, Hank lectures on fiction writing, publishing and book marketing. He is most proud of his talk showing grammar school kids how to create a short story. He used these lectures to create an advanced ebook with embedded videos to coach the students on how to create characters, plots and settings. The target audience is 4th to 7th graders. The book’s title is Fiction Writing Workshop for Kids.