Staff reduction part of archdiocese’s budget cuts

| November 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Chancery Corporation has cut nearly $5 million in expenses, almost 20 percent of the Fiscal Year 2015 operating budget, in order to forge sustainable operations. That included the elimination of 11 positions in the Chancery offices.

Archdiocesan leadership worked with department heads to develop a plan to determine where reductions would be made. Archbishop John Nienstedt approved the plan last week.

The archdiocese’s Chancery Corporation is made up of 10 departments with approximately 160 staff members.

At an Oct. 16 meeting for all staff members, Vicar General Father Charles Lachowitzer said departments will reorder their services in a way that provides “the greatest value to the mission of the archdiocese and of proved benefit to our parishes.” He said the outcome won’t directly affect the budgets of parishes, Catholic schools and other local Catholic entities, which are separately incorporated and have their own budgets.

Departmental budgets and staffing were increased in recent years to provide needed resources for parishes, Catholic schools and other archdiocesan initiatives. In a statement, Father Lachowitzer wrote: “However, these increases have made our current budget unsustainable. To be clear, the two recent settlements in clergy sexual abuse cases did not cause the need to make reductions to balance the Chancery Corporation budget. However, we have experienced significant expenses in connection with the overall claims made against the archdiocese and can no longer draw from remaining archdiocesan reserves so that they may be potentially available for future restitution and resolution. Therefore, our goal is to get to a balanced budget.”

A hiring freeze has been in effect with the exception of the archdiocese’s new Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, which is responsible for improving how the archdiocese handles claims of clergy sexual abuse. The office and its staff is part of the recommendations made by the independent task force earlier this year.

Each affected employee received a severance package that includes job transition assistance.

In an email to staff, Father Lachowitzer wrote: “We are thankful for the talents these employees have shared with the archdiocese. Please join us in praying for all affected during this difficult time.”

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Category: Local News