by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A blue-ribbon task force has been created by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann to review the needs identified in the recent feasibility study of a capital campaign. It is then tasked with making recommendations on the next steps required to better articulate and address those needs.
The 12-person case review task force, consisting of six laypeople and six priests, was created in response to a recommendation made after completion of a capital campaign feasibility study done by The Steier Group, a development firm based in Omaha, Neb.
“I am humbled by the archbishop’s request that I serve as chairman of this group of impressive lay and clergy leaders who comprise this task force,” said Mike Morrissey, member of the Church of the Nativity Parish in Leawood. “I firmly believe that by gathering this group of intelligent people, that over the course of the next several months, we can successfully chart the best way for the archdiocese to move forward.”
The task force will meet for the first time on March 15, and then monthly until the end of the year. Its members will review information about archdiocesan priorities, research potential solutions, and form final recommendations, said John Haske, associate vice president of The Steier Group.
Periodically, the task force will report its progress to the archdiocesan presbyteral council, and the archbishop’s lay case review advisory council. The council is a group of 25 to 30 lay leaders from throughout the archdiocese. John Gillcrist, a member of Holy Spirit Parish in Overland Park, is the council’s chairman.
More than 1,500 archdiocesan Catholics participated in the feasibility study, which was conducted in summer and fall of 2010. Those surveyed represent a broad spectrum of archdiocesan Catholics.
“In that study there was positive support, but some confusion as to the needs described,” said Haske.
“It sort of prompted a healthy debate about the best way to move forward,” he continued. “We recommended the archbishop and the archdiocesan leadership elect to spend the next year taking a fresh look at the identified needs and make a recommendation about the best path forward.”
The task force will look at the six elements of the capital campaign outlined in the feasibility study. The campaign would seek to:
• Make Catholic high school education more affordable by reducing or eliminating debt and increasing scholarship funds.
• Create an endowment to fund youth ministry in rural areas not served by Catholic secondary education.
• Create a Youth Ministry Center in Kansas City, Kan.
• Make major contributions to Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kan.
• Create an endowment to help parishes and parochial schools in poor areas of the archdiocese.
• Return 30 percent of donations to the parishes for their needs.
“This is an exciting time for all of us,” said Haske. “We are extremely grateful to these leaders — both the lay leaders and the priests — who are willing to give so much of their time and talent on behalf of the archdiocese. We pray that their work will complement the work already being done by so many throughout the archdiocese.”