Grateful for Funds, Time and Expertise

This column from Archbishop Bernard Hebda was featured in The Catholic Spirit as part of the Archdiocesan Chancery Corporation Annual Financial Report for FY 2019. View the Management Discussion and Analysis and Financial Statements. 

Published this year in the middle of Advent, the 2019 Annual Archdiocesan Financial Report is infused with the hope of the season. It serves as a reminder of the many ways in which Jesus continues to provide for this local Church through the extraordinary generosity of her faithful. I am deeply thankful to all who have supported the Archdiocese this year.

While Archdiocesan staffing and programming remain at the low level once necessitated by our bankruptcy, I am grateful that the good work of the Church nevertheless continues.

This year’s report clearly reflects our awareness of the five-year commitment we made to provide $1 million annually to survivors of abuse. We take seriously our commitment to them and will continue to look for ways to set aside resources to ensure that the obligation will be met in each of the next four years.

I continue to be grateful for the generous collaboration of those who share their professional expertise and assist the Archdiocese in charting a course forward. I have been assisted not only by a competent professional staff at the Archdiocese, but also by the extraordinarily well prepared laity and clerics who serve on the Archdiocesan Finance Council and Corporate Board. Working in tandem with the priests serving on the College of Consultors and Presbyteral Council, they have been valued collaborators in restoring stability to the Archdiocese.

When I had arrived here as Diocesan Administrator in 2015, I asked the Archdiocesan Finance Council (required by canon law) and Corporate Board (required by Minnesota civil law) to meet jointly until we would emerge from bankruptcy, with the hope of making sure that key leaders would all be on the same page. I also asked them to stay on beyond the conclusion of their terms so that there would be continuity in decision-making, and they graciously agreed.

I believe that the greater stability reflected in the 2019 Report reflects the generosity of those board members and their careful review of our financial data, as well as their invaluable input into the other decisions that fall to me as archbishop, matters that often have financial consequences. I will always be grateful to them, not only for their collaboration in navigating through particularly rough waters but also for their creativity in both institutionalizing the closest of collaborations between the Finance Council and the Corporate Board and identifying worthy successors to ensure that this good work continues. As you review this report, I hope that you share my assessment that the Archdiocese has indeed been blessed.