July 21, 2015 // Local

Diocese accounts for financial operations

Dear Friends in Christ:

Click here for the PDF file of the accounting.

Once again, we are publishing an accounting of the financial operations of our diocese for the fiscal year which ended June 30, 2014. As we have done in past years, we have also included a consolidated financial report of our high schools and parishes. This is done in the spirit of accountability and transparency.

For the fiscal year ended 06/30/14, our total gain was $2,521,449 (from our audited financial statements), which you see on the attached. This is only for the central operations of the diocese. It does not include the activity of the parishes, schools or missions in the diocese. Investments gained 11.2 percent versus a budgeted amount of 6 percent. Our health insurance fund gained $2,027,255.


The diocese is audited every year by Leonard J. Andorfer and Company, a certified public accounting firm, and, as in the past, no exceptions were noted. This means that the diocesan books, records and accounting policies are conducted in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. This audit, along with the management letter, is presented not only to the Audit Committee, but to the entire Diocesan Finance Council; and the council is given time alone with the auditor, without the presence of diocesan officials, to be sure that they were given full access to all appropriate financial records.

For the past several years, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has required that the Diocesan Finance Council sign a report indicating the following: 1) that the council has met quarterly; 2) that the audit and the management letter have been reviewed; 3) that the budget has been reviewed. This report and certification must then be sent to the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Province, which, in this case, is the Archbishop of Indianapolis. We require similar reporting from our parishes to the diocese.


It is also important that there be accountability and transparency in parishes. According to Canon Law, every parish must have a Parish Finance Council. We have two retired accountants who do a financial review of every parish every two years; in addition, every parish is audited at the time of a pastoral change. During the past seven years, we have sent this financial report, done by our two auditors, to each member of the Parish Finance Council. This enables the review to be discussed at a regular meeting. As indicated above, controls have now been established similar to the accountability of each diocese.

It is important to understand how the Annual Bishop’s Appeal has sustained the parishes. It was the hope of our lay leadership prior to the institution of the appeal that the parishes would benefit. This has become a reality. The appeal has increased the incentive of parishes to seek funds. During the 28 years since the appeal began, our parishes have engaged in major capital fund drives. Since the appeal began, fund drives for parishes have brought in over $152 million for new buildings and renovations approved by the Diocesan Finance Council. This includes parish initiatives linked to the Legacy of Faith. Also, over $172,000,000, which would have been paid to the diocese under the previous system, now remains in the parishes. In addition, $5.6 million from the appeal has been given in grants to parishes in need. The 28th Annual Bishop’s Appeal attained $6,502,645.


A number of parishes have agreed to twin with certain targeted parishes to help them provide a full Catholic education. From January 1999 thru May 2015, a total of $2,613,406 has been received by 16 parishes. This is true Christian stewardship; and most of the parishes making these contributions do it as part of their parish stewardship effort. These parishes give a proportionate gift to other parishes in need. This twinning program has saved several parish schools.


Over $84 million has been raised for building projects in our four high schools. The four high schools continue to flourish; but not without challenges. The Annual Bishop’s Appeal gives $1.7 million to the high schools every year, which has created a sense of stability. Next year, tuition will increase by $200- $400 in our high schools. Our high schools are audited every year by an independent CPA firm. Each high school has presented a balanced budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015. Two high schools have debts to the diocese and are paying on those debts.


Both the Development Office and the Business Office helped put in place the Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana, which enables parishes, high schools and other diocesan institutions to raise funds for an ongoing endowment. Currently, there are 130 endowments in the Catholic Community Foundation. Talk to your pastor or school board about establishing an endowment for your parish and/or parish school. To establish an endowment and experience endowment growth involves planned giving — bequests, annuities, remainder trusts, as well as gifts and other creative ways by which you can make contributions. Funds placed in this trust will remain there and grow, and the interest realized will continue to fund the designated purpose for years to come. These are gifts that keep on giving. Those who contribute will determine the area where these funds are to be restricted. Regular annual reports and semi-annual newsletters are sent to the donors. The Catholic Community Foundation now contains $44,763,018.


Our investments are overseen by Slocum & Associates of St. Paul, Minnesota. Investments are placed carefully so as to avoid excessive risk. We have a very diversified portfolio, fully in keeping with Catholic moral teaching. Slocum & Associates meet with our Investment Committee on a quarterly basis. In the fiscal year in question here, investments gained 11.2 percent. The current asset allocation is detailed in the pie chart below.

These are exciting and vibrant times for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. We can offer opportunities to students who could not otherwise attend our schools, with the enhanced School Choice/SGO legislation. We have over 35 enrolled in the seminary, which is also a challenge, but a challenge we welcome and embrace. We expect and plan on continued volatility in the investment markets. Current health insurance fund will show a gain for 2015 as we look to get the fund on solid footing. The 28th Annual Bishop’s Appeal was the most successful ever. Offertory income for the diocese was up 2 percent. We have much to be thankful for and we look forward to the challenges and opportunities that the new year brings. May God continue to bless us in our ministries.

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph G. Ryan, Chief Financial Officer


Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades
Msgr. Robert Schulte
Deacon James Fitzpatrick
Mr. Arthur Decio
Mr. Thomas Skiba
Mr. Jerry Kearns
Mr. Albert Gutierrez
Sister Jane Marie Klein, OSF
Mr. Jerry Hammes
Mr. George Witwer
Mr. Michael Hammes
Ms. Linda Teeters
Mr. Christopher Murphy
Mr. Vincent Tippmann
Mr. Joseph Ryan
Mr. Timothy Dolezal

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