Dear Friends in Christ,
The Catholics of this local Church are generous with their time, talent and treasure, and your giving spirit makes possible the many faith-filled good works carried out across our archdiocese. This sense of stewardship shines again in the annual financial summary report for the archdiocese, which I am pleased to present to you.
This report covers the 2012 fiscal year, which ended June 30. The financial statements depict a steadily improving financial condition. Thanks to you, support for ministry across this great archdiocese remains strong.
I am grateful to all local Catholics for their continuing and generous support not only to the Catholic Services Appeal, but also to their parishes in 2012. This generous support allowed our total revenue for the past fiscal year to slightly exceed revenue for the previous year, despite the persistent economic uncertainty. Parish assessments grew by 6 percent in fiscal 2012 as compared to fiscal 2011, and gifts to the Catholic Services Appeal grew by 11 percent in fiscal 2012 as compared to the previous year.
Operating expenses increased 1.7 percent in 2012 over the previous year. This was due in part to continued improvements to data and accounting systems at the archdiocesan level that benefit parishes and schools across the archdiocese. The increase also reflects streamlining and augmentation of communications functions, enhancement of Catholic schools marketing efforts and foundational work for our Rediscover: evangelization and catechesis initiative. Your support made all of this and more possible.
In addition to recent high-profile programs and initiatives of the archdiocese, there are the continued efforts to support our ongoing obligations to our entire faith community:
- Support for clergy who attend to your sacramental and spiritual needs;
- Support for the Catholic schools, as well as organizational support for faith formation and youth ministry programs that build up the faith of our young people;
- Support for Latino ministry outreach to support the needs of local Spanish-speaking Catholics — including a new catechetical institute, a biblical institute and a leadership institute;
- Support for the work of Catholic Charities to help the needy, the elderly, immigrants and at-risk youth;
- Support for the many marriage, family, and life programs and events that serve to strengthen marriage, build up families and promote the dignity of life from conception to natural death;
- Support for retired priests and religious after a life of dedication to others.
There remains a certain level of risk associated with the sustainability of parish and school operations. Parish assessments support essential functions, so financial instability at the parish level can threaten this essential support. We are working with parishes and schools to improve sustainability through ongoing evaluation, greater accountability and improved collaboration as outlined in the 2010 Strategic Plan. We’ve made significant progress in this area.
I wish to especially thank members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council for their continued diligence in financial oversight.
And I wish to thank you for your continued support.
Together, we are making this local Church stronger and more responsive to the pastoral needs of all of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Together, we can ensure a sustainable and vibrant future for the parishes, schools and other Catholic institutions across the 12 counties of the archdiocese.
Together, we are making the name of Christ and his Church known and loved through our community united in faith, hope and love.
Cordially yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis