It is the desire of the Our Lady of Mercy School Board to create an environment which heightens one's appreciation of the critical importance of our Catholic faith, of attending Mass on a regular basis and of supporting the Parish with your time, talent, prayer, and offering. Toward that end, we have defined the standard for granting in-parish status to families for the purpose of tuition rate for their Catholic children.
Only those families who are deemed to be registered, active and contributing parishioners will receive the in-parish tuition rate for their Catholic children. These three criteria are defined as follows:
1. Registered: A family must be formally registered with Our Lady of Mercy Church and meet the guidelines for Parish membership set forth by the Diocese of Baton Rouge.
2. Active: The standard for this criterion is regular Sunday Mass attendance and active participation in the life of the Parish. One is encouraged to become involved in one or more of the many ministries offered through the school and the church. The Parish holds an annual "Stewardship of Ministries" campaign where each ministry is explained and an opportunity to enroll is provided. It is also recommended that each family develop a daily prayer life which incorporates prayers for the Mercy community.
3. Contributing: The Parish provides a substantial amount of financial support to the school on an annual basis. Without that support, the tuition rates would be much higher and the programs offered would be severely limited. In an effort to distribute justly the responsibilities of operating Our Lady of Mercy School, each family receiving in-parish tuition status will be required to make a financial commitment to the church, giving in a regular and consistent manner, weekly or monthly, where a minimum threshold of $5.00 a week is necessary to satisfy this criterion. Furthermore, a one time gift of $260.00 ($5.00 x 52 weeks) is not acceptable because giving regularly and consistently shows not only one's financial commitment, but also that one is satisfying the school's spiritual covenant. The offertory envelopes provided by the church or other identifiable means should be used in order for the family to receive proper recognition for their gifts.
The family’s tuition status will be based on their record of giving for the previous calendar year (January 1 - December 31). At the end of each calendar year, the pastor will receive a full offertory financial report on all registered school families. This report will detail how frequently and what amount each family has contributed to the church. After the pastor has reviewed this report and applies the criteria of this policy, the principal will be notified of those families who qualify for in-parish tuition status. All other families will be required to pay the out-of-parish tuition rate. In cases of extreme financial hardship, one may submit a completed request form to the Pastor by the specified date to seek dispensation.