by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann
Dear Friends in Christ,
I am pleased to present to you once again the Archdiocesan Annual Financial report in an abbreviated form. Again, I encourage those who have an interest to visit our website in order to review the complete audited statements. I continue to be edified by your generosity in supporting the charitable, pastoral and educational ministries that are so important to the Church in Northeast Kansas.
Last year, despite the difficult financial times, the number of donors as well as the actual dollars given to our annual archdiocesan campaign – Call to Share – grew. The sacrificial gifts of so many helped the Church to respond better to the increased needs created by the eco- nomic downturn. In 2010, Call to Share pledges totaled more than $5 million for the first time in the history of this annual appeal.
I express gratitude to every member of the Archdiocese for both your prayers and sacrificial donations to Call to Share. Thank you for providing the Archdiocese the resources to bring the love and the truth of the Gospel to so many though the ministries funded by Call to Share.
At the same time, we have continued to control our expenses. For the second consecutive year, the salaries for chancery employees remained flat, except for modest increases given to those on the lowest end of the pay scale.
Our Archdiocesan Loan and Deposit Fund is able to provide affordable loans to parishes and schools. This is particularly helpful to parishes in areas of the Archdiocese where our Catholic population is growing. Last year, in this report I wrote about the significant number of church buildings that were under construction. This year, with construction for these projects completed, the amounts of our outstanding loans have actually decreased as parishes and schools begin to pay down their debt.
Another positive indicator for the Archdiocese is the increase in parish deposits that are the funding source for financing loans. These increases in deposits also reveal that parishes are conscious of maintaining an adequate level of reserves. Prudent administration requires the Church, both at the archdiocesan and parish level, to balance the desire to make available the maximum amount of financial resources to fund current needs with the obligation to maintain adequate reserves to insure the long-term sustainability of our programs and ministries.
During the past year, every member of the Archdiocese was invited to provide feedback on the case for a proposed capital campaign. I am very grateful to everyone who took the time to share their insights about the advisability of such an endeavor.
The case for the campaign focused primarily on the Church’s future – our youth. A major component of the case is to help make Catholic secondary education accessible financially to more families. The proposed campaign would seek to do this in two ways: 1) by reducing and in some cases eliminating the debt of some high schools and 2) by making more scholarship funds available for students at all of our high schools.
Without the assistance of a capital campaign the debt of our high schools has to be funded either by the parishes of the region or incorporating loan repayment into the tuition. Paying down debt through a capital campaign will keep tuition costs lower.
The case for the campaign also proposed to create a scholarship endowment increasing the amount of scholarship money available for students in all our secondary schools. The previous archdiocesan capital campaign, Future Full of Hope, helped to strengthen significantly our elementary schools by creating an endowment that contributes to the scholarship dollars provided by the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) to parochial schools in financially stressed rural and urban areas. With the proceeds of this endowment, a grant from Call to Share, and its own very effective fundraising efforts, CEF provides annually scholarships for elementary school students in excess of $750,000. CEF scholarships combined with heroic sacrifices by parents are making the critical difference in keeping many students in our schools.
The proposed campaign would also create an endowment to fund additional youth ministry staff dedicated to strengthening the programs in rural communities where Catholic secondary education is not geographically accessible to families. Also the campaign proposed to fund the creation of a Youth Ministry Center in Kansas City, Kansas that would engage youth in positive activities keeping them out of gangs and connected closely with the Church.
The proposed Campaign would also make a major donation to Donnelly College – one of the best kept secrets in the Archdiocese. Donnelly College is primarily a Junior College established more than 60 years ago by the Archdiocese in partnership with the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica. Donnelly is unique amongst Catholic Colleges in the United States because almost all of its graduates are the first in their family to receive a degree in higher education.
The Campaign also proposed to create an endowment to help sustain parishes and parochial schools in poor areas of the Archdiocese where the presence of the Church is so vital. Finally, the Campaign would return 30% of all donations to parishes to help reduce parish debt where needed and to fund other parochial and regional needs.
The Feasibility Study results showed the necessary support for the elements of the campaign case. At the same time, the Feasibility Study recommended that a year of education and dialogue with priests and lay leaders throughout the Archdiocese about the case would be beneficial. Taking the time to receive suggestions and input from the leadership will help us refine and improve the Campaign case. At the same time providing the people of the Archdiocese with more information about each element of the case will help to strengthen support if we go forward with a Campaign. After consultation with the Priests, Pastoral and Finance Councils, I have accepted this recommendation.
On behalf of the priests and people of the Archdiocese, I want to thank our Chief Financial Officer, Jerry Mayne, as well as the members of our Archdiocesan Finance Council for their assistance to me in fulfilling my responsibility for the administration of the Church in Northeast Kansas. The Archdiocese is indeed very blessed with the wisdom and expertise of the men and women who serve on our Finance Council.
Finally, I give thanks to God for the abundant blessings He continues to provide to our Archdiocese. I renew my pledge to be a vigilant steward of the precious resources that the Lord, through the sacrificial gifts of His people, has entrusted to the Church. Together with you, I look forward to continuing the beautiful legacy of those who have gone before us in proclaiming with boldness the truth of the Gospel and in making the love of Jesus tangible and vibrant throughout Northeast Kansas.
Sincerely yours in Jesus, the Lord of Life,
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann
Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas