As Cathy Bellis starts her third year at St Boniface as the Finance and Facilities Manager, she takes a little time for us to get to know her better and to discuss her job with the community.
I can’t believe that it’s already been two years since I accepted the job at St. Boniface.
Q. What is my work week like?
A. I can honestly say that each day is different. Usually two to three hours a day are spent on issues that I had no clue I would be dealing with at the beginning of the day … a bird in the sanctuary; roof leaks; lawn irrigation issues; fire inspections; people climbing in our dumpsters. Normal daily items can include working with vendors on maintenance issues, reviewing policies and procedures (especially for safety and liability issues), and researching posts on new items needed. In addition to managing the facilities, I oversee the church financial information. This includes reviewing contracts, approving payments, analyzing monthly statements, and reporting those results to the Finance Council. I also prepare the annual budget and coordinate requests and requirements sent to us from the diocese.
Q. Any special projects stand out?
A. There were two projects this past year that I’ve really enjoyed working on. The first is the south entrance. It has been exciting overseeing this renovation. It was a project I proposed to Father Vince due to some water and landscape issues. With a generous donation we were able to not only correct the problems, but revamp the entire entrance. From helping design the area, working with the vendors, picking out new lighting, physically helping to install three 800 pound granite walls. The end results made the hard work very rewarding. The other project was being the staff liaison for The Fire and The Mercy dinner theater. With the show being a sellout, we wanted the dinner to reflect how special the evening would be. The evening was a huge success. What is one of my odd jobs? I pour water down the HVAC and bathroom drains every couple of weeks so they don’t dry out. St. Boniface has over 30 drains, and it means climbing ladders, and going up in attic spaces and crawling around and under pipes.
Q. What would I like the parishioners to know?
A. I am truly blessed to be overseeing such a beautiful and well-maintained property. Because we are a large facility, certain basic maintenance costs are expensive. To keep our HVAC units in good repair we pay $20,000 a year for quarterly maintenance and repair. Our snow removal runs $16,000 a year. We have a large parking lot, and the vendor is very conscious of keeping our walks cleared off between Masses. As a frugal person I’m always looking for ways to keep our costs down. This year I was able to reduce our copier costs by about $7,000 a year.
I’m a lifelong resident of the Des Moines area. I attended St. Theresa, Dowling Catholic, Grand View University, and Drake University. My husband Bryan and I will be celebrating our 30th Anniversary this spring. We have three children; Aaron, Brianna and Nicole. I’m a huge football fan… Go Notre Dame and KC Chiefs! I also enjoy movie nights with the family, traveling … especially places where I can snorkel.