ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO ISSUED
Strong Contributions and Expense Controls Lead to Improved Results
Chicago, IL ( December 22, 2006 ) - The report for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2006, indicates that the financial condition of the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has improved. The parishes and the ministries operating out of the Pastoral Center benefited from record contributions to both the Annual Catholic Appeal and to Sunday collections. Additional benefits have also been realized through improved expense control.
“The goodness and generosity of the people in the Archdiocese of Chicago are testament to the history of dedication and stewardship exhibited by generations of Catholics in Cook and Lake counties,” said Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago. “As the 2006 Year of Evangelization concludes, it is gratifying to learn that, along with the great spiritual gifts that Jesus gave to our Church for our salvation, Christ also endowed His people with the gift of sharing. Without this commitment, the Church would not be able to carry out her mission from Christ to minister to those in need of his love.”
The annual financial report for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, indicates that the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center ended the year with $28 million more in assets than liabilities, which represents an $87 million improvement from last year. The Pastoral Center includes administration, ministries and services ranging from the Office of Evangelization, to the Office of Catholic Schools, to Katolik Polish language newspaper, the newest addition in the New World Publications family.
“Much of the change on the Archdiocesan balance sheet came from a reduction in pension liabilities, a result of rising interest rates and, to a lesser extent, changes in the pension program,” said Tom Brennan, the Archdiocese’s Finance Director. “Importantly, the financial situation of parishes and the archdiocese as a whole, were buoyed by record contributions to the Annual Catholic Appeal and rising Mass collections.”
Taken as a group, Archdiocesan parishes showed improved results and had an operating surplus of $21.7 million.
Weekend and holy day Mass collections rose by 2.3 percent, while contributions to the Annual Catholic Appeal more than doubled with parishioners pledging $12.6 million to the 2006 Appeal. The Archdiocese anticipates that next year will likely see continued high levels of contributions to the Annual Appeal.
On the cost-saving side, more than 80 percent of the 365 parishes, as well as the Pastoral Center, now participate in the Resource Renewal Project, an effort coordinated by the Coleman Group management consultants. The project allows the Pastoral Center, parishes and schools to work together on purchasing, leveraging high volume for larger discounts. “The project, which started in 2004 with about a dozen pilot parishes along with the Pastoral Center, now saves members a total of about $400,000 a month on products and services from office supplies to cleaning,” remarked Brennan.
Other factors, such as continuing costs related to the settlement of sexual misconduct claims, a revision in the estimates of the cost of the pension program and new accounting rules that required estimating the costs related to the future retirement of older buildings, all had large impacts on the Archdiocese’s financial position.
“We thank the priests, religious, staff, volunteers and all parishioners and donors for their continuing commitment and generosity to the Church of Chicago,” Brennan stated.
The complete Annual Report of the Archdiocese of Chicago is an insert in the December 24 edition of the Catholic New World and can also be accessed through the official web site of the Archdiocese of Chicago at www.archchicago.org.
The Archdiocese of Chicago serves approximately 2.4 million baptized Catholics who live in Cook and Lake counties in northeastern Illinois. The Archdiocese is headed by Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago. It employs 14,300 people in its parishes, schools, charities, seminaries, cemeteries and administrative offices.