From Bishop Conley: About this Report
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am very pleased to present a summary of the Diocese of Lincoln’s annual financial statement for the fiscal year completed on June 30, 2015. This statement is audited by an independent public accounting firm to ensure that it contains accurate information about the financial administration of the Diocese of Lincoln. I share this information with you so that you can review and understand the financial stewardship of the Catholic Church in southern Nebraska.
The financial report addresses the central administration and ministry offices of the Diocese of Lincoln. It includes the Office of the Bishop, and the Offices of Vocations, Family Life and Evangelization, Education, Finance, Hispanic Ministry, and many others. This report does not include the financial information for related ecclesiastical entities such as parishes and Catholic schools, Catholic Social Services, St. Gregory the Great Seminary, or the Catholic Foundation. Each of these entities, which are administered separately from the Diocese of Lincoln, manage their finances individually, and are subject to the review of the bishop.
I share this report with you because your generous financial stewardship makes the ministries of the Diocese of Lincoln possible. In the past fiscal year, many of you have given generously to support the mission of the Church across our diocese. You have been especially generous to the Joy of the Gospel Campaign, and to the successful Bishop’s Appeal for Vocations campaign.
This financial report offers several important points for reflection. You might note, for example, that the Diocese of Lincoln expended more than $1.5 million to support our seminarians. You contributed nearly $900,000 to the Bishop’s Appeal for Vocations last year, helping to support our future priests. As the Diocese of Lincoln continues to receive the blessing of many seminarians, your support for the Bishop’s Appeal for Vocations this year remains critical.
You might also note that the Joy of the Gospel campaign has been very blessed. At the conclusion of the last fiscal year, the Joy of the Gospel had received more than $42 million in contributions and pledges. I am awed by your support. As the campaign continues, I am grateful for those who are now considering a pledge. Thank you.
As I mentioned in last year’s financial report, the financial situation of the Diocese of Lincoln is at an important crossroads. Reserve funds, which for many years supported our expenses and obligations, are no longer a sustainable source of funding. The diocesan finance council, in consultation with Kevin Fitzpatrick, CFO, have worked to implement and develop cost-saving measures and new sources of funding to support Church ministries. With the finance council’s help, we have begun a multi-year effort toward a fiscally-sustainable model of operations.
We work to continue to implement best practices of financial administration, and to prudently manage the resources the Lord has given us. Your support for the Joy of the Gospel, for the Charity and Stewardship Appeal, for the Bishop’s Appeal for Vocations, and for the ministries of your parishes and schools, enables the Diocese of Lincoln to proclaim the Gospel—the mercy of the Lord— to every soul in search of Jesus Christ.
Please review this financial report carefully. I pray that our witness of good and prudent stewardship will imbue you with confidence in the ministry of the Diocese of Lincoln, and I pray that you will consider increasing your support for our ministry, on the local and diocesan level. I am most grateful for all that you have done to build the Body of Christ. May we work together to continue to proclaim salvation in Jesus Christ.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend James D. Conley, STL
Bishop of Lincoln
Finance Council members:
Fr. John Sullivan, Chairman, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Lincoln
Monsignor Timothy Thorburn, Vicar General
Fr. Michael McCabe, St. Mary Parish, Nebraska City
Alan Slattery, Cathedral of the Risen Christ Parish, Lincoln
Dan Muhleisen, St. Joseph Parish, Lincoln
Doris Robertson, St. Joseph Parish, Lincoln
Monica Balters, St. Peter Parish, Lincoln
Tony Fulton, St. Peter Parish, Lincoln
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Chief Financial Officer: Kevin Fitzpatrick, St. Teresa Parish, Lincoln