The Diocese of Worcester finished the 2016 fiscal year with a surplus of $210,373, or 0.8 percent, on total expenses of $26,002,905, Bishop McManus reported in a letter to the diocese this week.
Last year the diocese had an operating deficit of $1,192,704.
The bishop’s report comes after a complete audit of the financial accounting of the diocese. The diocese has issued online financial statements and online and printed editions of the annual report on Financial Activities for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2016.
The bishop said he was pleased to report the surplus, which is attributed in great part to “the fiscally conservative operations of our agencies and ministries, most notably Central Administration.”
The annual report showed that the Central Administration had revenues of $4,126,475 and expenses of $3,131,005 plus depreciation of $121,865, leaving revenue over expenses of $873,605. The bishop also reported a surplus of $791,737 in the Diocesan Expansion Fund (DEF).
He cited a reduction by $960,583 of uncollected receivables due from parishes compared to the previous fiscal year. He also noted that the credit line balance was reduced by $300,928 and Priests’ Retirement experienced a smaller deficit, $327,960 less than the previous year, “thanks in great part to the successful Celebrate Priesthood initiative.” Celebrate Priesthood is a diocesan fundraiser to benefit the Priests’ Retirement Fund.
The Partners in Charity Appeal received gifts and pledges of $4,881,860 in 2015. According to the annual report, $175,597 was uncollected. That left $4,706,263 available for distribution among agencies and ministries in the diocese. Distributions included $165,028 to cover expenses over revenue for the St. John Cemetery System, which includes 13 cemeteries; $339,409 to Central Catholic Schools and $550,000 to Priests’ Retirement. The Central Catholic Schools are St. Peter Elementary, St. Peter-Marian Junior/Senior High School, and Holy Name Junior-Senior High School, all of Worcester, and St. Bernard High School, Fitchburg.
The Priests’ Retirement Fund, which had expenditures of $2,958,784, finished the fiscal year with a deficit of $902,287.
“Our support for Catholic education with our Central Catholic Schools includes addressing instability in enrollment with more widespread marketing of the benefits of a Catholic education,” the bishop wrote. “And our commitment to the formation of seminarians to the priesthood continues to be fruitful for our diocese as we were once again blessed with two priests ordained last June and one in December 2016.”
The Catholic Free Press finished the year with a deficit of $119,096, which was covered by a diocesan subsidy, which the bishop said was smaller than in previous years.
Bishop McManus called the 2016 Partners in Charity Appeal, which raised more than $5 million, one of the diocese’s “many positive signs last year.” That money will help fund agencies and ministries this year.
“I thank God for the many clergy and laypeople who volunteer their expertise and advice on so many advisory boards , including the diocesan Finance Committee, diocesan Investment Committee, DEF Board of Governors, Partners in Charity Advisory Board, St. Paul Catholic School Consortium and the Celebrate Priesthood advisory committee,” the bishop wrote.
“Above all, I thank you, our donors and volunteers who, through your donations and talents, support the mission of the Catholic Church in Central Massachusetts.
“At the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in November 2016, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, wrote these words: ‘Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the Church; it constitutes her very existence.’
“Together we are the face of mercy, acting through the efforts of our agencies and ministries, working together with your parish. In so doing, we are called by faith to offer hope to all we encounter, thereby extending Good News to all,” the bishop wrote.
The complete text of the bishop’s letter accompanies the Annual Report on Financial Activities for fiscal year 2016 prepared by the diocesan Office for Fiscal Affairs as well as an impact report for many of the diocesan agencies The report is being distributed as a supplement to parishes this weekend. It is posted on line at www.worcesterdiocese.org.
Questions about the report may be directed to Paul Schasel, diocesan director of Fiscal Affairs, at 508-929-4333, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The diocese was audited by O’Connor, Maloney & Company, P.C., of Worcester.