The Diocese of Belleville has completed the audit of its financial reports for the Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2016. We are presenting the summary reports that display the financial position and statement of activities for each Fund of the Diocese for the Fiscal Year. Supplemental discussions will explain the composition of each operating entity. (Please click on this link for the numbers.) finance 2015-16
The General Fund consists of the administrative, operational and day-to-day activities of the Diocese. Included within are costs related to departments such as Human Resources, Accounting and Finance, Property Management, Clerical and Administrative support and Information Technology. Additional responsibilities falling within the General Fund include the coordination of the Diocesan Risk Management and legal activity.
The General Fund’s net assets increased $645,843 for the current year. This increase was due to slight increases in revenues of the Fund due to increases in programs and associated participant fees as well as reductions in our long term liabilities for Post-Retirement Benefits and Pension Benefits of $577,944 due to program changes for retired clergy health care that improved coverages and costs to the priests yet reduced the long term costs to the Diocese. However, the General Fund still has a negative net asset position of $(2,237,293) at the end of the Fiscal Year.
The Catholic Service & Ministry Appeal (CSMA) Fund reflects the status and activity of the annual appeal of the Diocese. Under the direction of the independent CSMA Board representing all the Vicariates of the Diocese, funds are solicited throughout the year and distributed upon receipt of cash to charitable agencies and departments on the basis of need. The Board consists of lay volunteers, religious, deacons and priests who serve three (3) year terms. (1) Note: the financial results reported for CSMA are as of February 29, 2016 in order to coincide with the appeal year which is conducted from March of each year through the following February.
Through the generosity of many parishioners of the Diocese, the Appeal received $1,094,743 that was distributed to multiple agencies and departments during the fiscal year. This was $57,916 over budgeted projections. The excess funds were distributed directly to the Catholic Urban Programs, Daystar and programs for the needy in each Vicariate.
The Parish and Agency Resource Fund (formerly the Deposit and Loan Fund) was established to maximize the financial resources and needs of the parishes and agencies within the Diocese. Acting as a conduit, the fund provides an alternative for short-term investing while providing a ready source of funds for parishes for short and intermediate term projects. Both the returns offered to investors and the borrowing rate charged on loans are usually superior to the current rates offered by outside financial institutions.
The PARF currently has $8.3M on deposit and loans outstanding of $5.5M as of June 30, 2016. The Fund has $2.3M invested in the Catholic Community Foundation and other marketable securities. This holding will be liquidated in December 2016 to allow for funding of a new parish grade school. The Fund is implementing strategies to introduce planned giving programs to the parishes as a tool in reduction of their debt service costs on loans.
The Ministry Formation Fund was created as a resource for expanding the number of clergy serving the Diocese and to provide assistance for the formation of those answering God’s call. Through the generous donations of many current and past contributors The Fund has been able to provide financial assistance to those discerning and studying to be ordained, who otherwise would be unable to meet the monetary obligations of that education. Diocesan departments benefiting from this Fund’s resources include the offices of Vocations, the Permanent Diaconate and Deacon Formation.
The Diocese currently has seven men in the seminary studying for the priesthood and one individual in the priestly discernment program. The Ministry Formation Fund currently has $1.8M in assets; an increase of $115,273 from the prior year and incurred $270,896 in seminarian expenses. This Fund benefitted from an increase of $356,584 in bequests for seminarian education as well as a special Diocese collection that raised $81,506. These gifts will help defray the anticipated costs of $1.4M in education costs for our seminarians over the next six years.
The Property Insurance Fund is responsible for the management and coordination of the Diocese’s insurance coverage and unemployment benefit obligations. The activities within this area of responsibility include property, personal liability, workmen’s compensation and auto liability coverage for all Diocesan parishes and agencies. By consolidating this function into a single negotiating entity, the Diocese is able to minimize premiums, maximize coverage and diversify risk.
The Diocese continues to review programs that will lower costs for property and liability coverages to our parishes and schools while still retaining existing coverages and policy terms.
The Catholic Community Foundation is a separate not-for-profit corporation utilizing outside investment consultants and has a focus on long term investment strategies. The Fund in under the direction of an independent Board comprised of clergy and lay volunteers with investment management experience. Parishes, agencies and related organizations investing with the Foundation are benefitting from equity and fixed income market returns at significantly lower overall costs. The investments in the Foundation are managed in accordance with Catholic moral screens.
Today, the Foundation has over $20M in deposits and investments.
In conjunction with the Bishop’s cabinet, separate independent boards and committees participate in the monitoring and coordination of activities of the Funds of the Diocese. The members of the Boards and committees consist of lay individuals and clergy throughout the geographical boundaries of the Diocese representing all Vicariates of the Diocese. Meetings are generally held quarterly and decisions rendered by majority vote. Annual separate independent outside audits are conducted for the General Fund, the Catholic Services & Ministry Appeal, the Parish and Agency Resource Fund, the Ministry Formation Fund and the Catholic Community Foundation.