November 12, 2005

Fall in donations is taking toll at church


By MARIA VOGEL-SHORT Staff Writer 11/11/2005

MENDHAM —- Weekly contributions are down by 30 percent and St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church officials said Monday the church is having trouble meeting its operating expenses.

In a Oct. 17 letter to church members, Monsignor Joseph T. Anginoli asked parishioners to give 25 percent more to the church each week to offset the cost of a new addition to the school, a dwindling surplus and increased energy, staffing and roof charges.

The request for greater giving comes at a time when most Roman Catholic churches across the area are having a difficult time managing expenses. Weekly contributions are not keeping up with the expenses of running a church, K-8school and parish, church officials said.

But in affluent Mendham, it is unusual for a church located near some of the wealthiest homes in the county to have money problems. ...

Dolan and Thompson said past problems with priests at Mendham is another factor behind the financial woes. A former pastor at St. Joseph’s, James Hanley, was embroiled in a church scandal for allegations of sexual abuse. The diocese paid out $5 million to alleged victims to settle that lawsuit.

Later, the Rev. Philip Briganti, a former military chaplain who was appointed after Monsignor Kenneth Lasch retired last year, was quickly removed from the church with little explanation after police were advised that someone wanted to extort money from Briganti for photos he sent over the Internet.

Posted by kshaw at November 12, 2005 07:06 AM