News From St. Joseph’s Welfare Center
Our new Administrator since the death of Rose 2019 has been Irin Mary Seelan who was previously an assistant to Rose for 9 years before 2019. We are happy that Irin will be able to continue the work started by Fr. Joseph so many years ago. Irin Mary is 49 years old and started on January 10, 2010. She is assisted by Adrin, her son, with the IT work. She had been the Manager who took care of all St Joseph’s projects like orphanage, elders, lepers, widows, self help groups. She takes care of banking and all administrative jobs. She is now in-charge and is the liaison to the government officials. She works round the clock for the welfare of the orphanage. She is proud to carry forward the legacy handed over to her with the blessings of Fr Joseph.
Also our Board Member and Grants Coordinator, Robert Kelly, died suddenly on August 2, 2019. He was such a generous force in obtaining donors, and spreading the word about our mission. We will miss him terribly. We also will be seeking new Board members as we continue the work started by Fr. Joseph.
The Center in Vellamadam always sends a monthly report to let our donors know how their donation are being used. Below are the latest Monthly Reports:
Lynch foundation Provides $10,562 Grant for Adivasi Programs
Fr. Caesar in Assam was transferred to St. Francis of Assisi parish, Rajabari as pastor in the month of January 2022. This is one of the parishes of our Dibrugarh diocese. We have 13 Adivasi tribal villages. Our total number of Catholics are about 4000 and there are 560 catholic families. Each village is about 22 miles distance. We have a village school catering the education of our tribal people. This parish is 36 years old and too many problem to solve. The people of this parish are the Adivasi tribals who live and work in the tea plantation and in the villages. Most of them work in the tea plantation for a low wage of Rs. 205 ( 2.5 USD) per day. Some of the people work in their rice fields and many men and women travel 15 miles to work in the town area on daily basis. Thus, they are economically very poor and each family will have at least 6 to 7 members to feed.
Accordingly, he initiated several programs for the parish including Training of village lay leaders, Village retreats, Training of catechists, Family Renewal seminars, educational materials, and Children’s Programs.
The Lynch Foundation generously provided a grant in 2022 to support these programs.
SJMF Officers and Annual Meeting
We plan a 2022 Board meeting in early 2023. Below are the minutes from our last Board meeting.
Minutes for the Annual Board Meeting- March 11, 2021
Zoom attendees: Peter Kilcullen, Michelle Czernia, Ann Mundell, Holley Kilcullen, and John Ferman
2020 Donations increased from $120,000 to $138,000. The number of donors decreased from 161 in 2019, to 102 in 2020, due primarily to the one time donors who remembered Bob Kelly in 2019. 27 donors gave more than $1,000. The income gifts that Bob Kelly secured are called third party grants. There were income third party grants received in 2020.
2020 SJMF Grants: The outgoing money grants given by SJMF decreased to $134,000, down from $146,000 in 2019. Irin has kept the monthly requests to $10,000, except for special events like Christmas gifts and stipends and school uniforms.
Michelle said she would put a notice in the Holy Spirit bulletin to ask if someone might be interested in seeking grants for SJMF. She will wait until people have returned to Church after the pandemic.
Tax returns: John asked at what financial point would SJMF no longer be able to use the Form 990 EZ for a tax return. Michelle said when the gross receipts are over $200,000 and the assets are over $500,000.
A donor, Janet Heithaus, wrote a note with her donation recently. Here is an excerpt: “Having met him (Fr. Joseph) and Rose several times, they had an impact on my 5 children as they were growing up.” Fr. Joseph and Rose’s influence reached beyond the needy of Tamil Nadu!
Holley brought up the possible situation of health problems which would prevent them from doing the Board work for SJMF. It was mentioned that possible replacements might be found. If that is unsuccessful, the funds in the Vanguard Account, $180,000, could be given to the Mission. The Mission there has a Board of Directors so that the work there would continue.
Michelle closed with a prayer, the Memorare of St. Joseph.
IRS Form 990 for the last 3 years and our 501(c)(3) ruling are linked below.