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Increased Contributions Lead to Improved Financial Position

Chicago, IL (December 20, 2007) - The report for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, 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. Other factors such as continuing costs related to the settlement of sexual misconduct claims, changes to the lay employee benefits and contribution plan, and new accounting rules that required the Archdiocese to recognize costs related to medical benefits provided to retired priests, all had large financial impacts.

“The continued generosity of the people of the Archdiocese of Chicago is a clear demonstration of their faith and commitment to the mission of the parishes and our Church,” said Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago. “The significant improvement in this year’s financial report is extremely gratifying and provides us with a strengthened position to support the work of our Archdiocesan agencies and ministries throughout the Cook and Lake county areas. I am deeply grateful to everyone who contributes their time, talent and treasure to help fulfill the mission of Christ to pass on our faith and to serve those in need.”

The annual financial report for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, indicates that the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center increased its net assets by $151.1 million more in assets than liabilities, to $179.2 million. The Pastoral Center includes administration, ministries and services ranging from the Office of Evangelization, to the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth and the newly structured Vocations Office.

“The major contributors to the growth on the Archdiocesan balance sheet include a twelve-percent increase in donor numbers to the Annual Catholic Appeal, substantial improvements in investment income because of favorable market conditions, and most significantly, a non-cash gain of $118.8 million related to changes in our pension plan,” said Tom Brennan, the Archdiocese’s Finance Director.

The Archdiocesan pension plan’s large, positive impact on the Pastoral Center’s financial position was achieved when on July 1, 2007 the Archdiocesan defined benefit plan was amended to freeze benefits while enhancing the defined contribution plan. These and other factors combined to give a one-time, non-cash gain of approximately $118.8 million.

Weekend and holy day Mass collections rose by 2.5 percent to $202.9 million, while at the same time individual contributions grew by 4.6 percent which is almost 50 percent faster than current inflation figures.

On the cost-saving side, more than 90 percent of the 363 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, has saved approximately $4.6 million on office supplies, shipping, cleaning and phone services, as well as digital copiers,” remarked Brennan.

The Archdiocese continues to be accountable to parishioners in numerous ways including strengthening its ‘Best Practice’ program that works to ensure each parish has an active finance council that reports its financial condition to parishioners at least annually. Additionally, EthicsPoint maintains a hot-line that enables employees, vendors, volunteers, parishioners and others to report suspected cases of financial misconduct. Cases may be reported via a web-link on the Archdiocesan home page ( or by calling 1-866-294-5256.

The Archdiocese of Chicago Annual Report highlights is published as an insert in the December 23, 2007 edition of the Catholic New World. A complete copy of the accountant’s reports for the Pastoral Center, Parishes and the Consolidated Archdiocese can be found on the Archdiocesan web site,

T he Archdiocese of Chicago serves approximately 2.3 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 approximately 14,000 people in its parishes, schools, charities, seminaries, cemeteries and administrative offices.

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