Some Diocesan Stewardship FAQs

What does “stewardship” mean?

It is defined as the acts of a disciple of Christ who “receives God’s gifts gratefully, cultivates them responsibly, shares them lovingly in justice with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord.” It is a way of life for a Christian.

What is Diocesan Stewardship?

It is a pledging of time, talent, and treasure to support the ministries of the Diocese.

Which diocesan ministries and programs are funded by this Annual Appeal?

Included inthese are the Bishop’s Ministry, the VocationsOffice and Seminarian Education, and thePermanent Diaconate Office. Education servicesencompass oversight of the Catholic schoolsystem, Youth and Young Adult Ministry, parishReligious Education, College Campus Ministry,Lay Ministry Formation, and the Respect LifeOffice. Our Family Life Office is funded throughthis appeal as are many social services offeredthrough Catholic Charities. There are a numberof others.

How is each year’s Diocesan Stewardship goal determined?

Each year in January andFebruary, the diocesan budget process occurs.Each diocesan office presents their financialneeds for the next fiscal year starting on July 1of that year and ending on June 30 of the nextyear. Those budget proposals are reviewed bythe Diocesan Director of Finance andAdministration. His recommendations are taken to the Diocesan Finance Council and to the College of DiocesanConsultors. These consultative bodies make their recommendations to the Bishop. The Bishop finalizes the process bymaking the final decision. The total of next year’s fiscal year budget becomes the goal for Diocesan Stewardship. Thediocesan budget is published in the diocesan newspaper, The Observer.

How is a parish’s goal constructed?

Each parish is assigned a mandatory goal for the appeal. The goal is determined by using a formula based on the parish’s Ordinary Income and other rules developed through diocesan-wide consultations that occurred in 1992 and 1998. If the people’s gifts exceed their parish goal, the parish receives 100% of any monies raised over goal. If the people’s gifts fall short of the goal, the parish must make up the difference between the people’s gifts and the parish goal.

Has the Diocese taken into consideration that it’s a tough economy?

The Bishop and the Finance Council are very much aware of our country’s economic struggles and how they are impacting many parishioners. After lengthy discussions the Bishop accepted the principle that the diocesan budget which becomes the diocesan goal will be limited to the growth of total parish ordinary income or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. For the past few years, the diocesan budget has decreased as well as the diocesan goal.

Are Diocesan Stewardship funds used to pay legal fees or settlements from sexual abuse cases?

Absolutely not! In fact, money contributed to Diocesan Stewardship helps to fund programs to prevent sexual misconduct in any form. The Protecting God’s Children Program and the Safe Environment program are two examples.

Are two appeals going on at once?

Yes and no. Yes – we are asking you for a pledge for FY12-13 while we are finishing up our pledging for FY11-12 which ends May 31st. Please honor your commitment. No – your new pledge is for FY12-13 and any pledge down payment is for that year. You have our gratitude.

Holy Cross Reflections are articles which were previously published in the Holy Cross bulletin.