Sharing the Light

Sharing the Light

Frequently Asked Questions about Parish Finances

FAQ about Parish Finances

  1. What is the relationship between parishes, their diocese, and their bishop?
  2. What are the sources of financial support for a parish?
  3. What happens with funds contributed in the parish weekly offertory collection?
  4. What services to parishes are provided by the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Central Services?
  5. Is the assessment unique to the Archdiocese of Detroit? How often does it change?
  6. How is the archdiocesan assessment different from the Catholic Services Appeal?
  7. How much has been contributed to the Catholic Services Appeal in recent years?
  8. How is the CSA goal determined for each parish?
  9. How does Changing Lives Together affect parish finances?
  10. How do special collections work in the Archdiocese of Detroit?
  11. What are the primary sources of financial support for archdiocesan Central Services operations?
  12. Does the Archdiocese own the buildings and grounds of parishes? What role does the Archdiocese have in parish finances and facilities?
  13. Who develops and administers parish budgets? Are these budgets compared to actual financial activity and results?
  14. What is a financially challenged parish? How many are there in the Archdiocese of Detroit?
  15. When a parish is identified as financially challenged, what happens?
  16. What permissions must be obtained by pastors and parishes on capital expenditures?
  17. Are parishes required to report their finances to parishioners?
  18. Are parishes audited? Who does the audits and on what basis?
  19. What safeguards are in place to prevent embezzlement situations from arising in parishes?
  20. Where do parishes keep their funds?
  21. Does the Archdiocese of Detroit offer financial assistance to parishes?

1. What is the relationship between parishes, their diocese, and their bishop?

The current administrative and hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church originated during the apostolic age following the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Multiple passages in the New Testament refer to the body of the Church, including its leadership and roles, including 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11-16. St. Clement of Rome, the fourth pope after (and including) Peter, later affirmed the authority and responsibilities of bishops, priests, and deacons in Church matters. About 1,600 years ago, ecclesiastical (Church) provinces were formed. These geographic jurisdictions were named provinces because they existed in the Roman provinces in which the early Christians lived.

An ecclesiastical province now consists of an archdiocese led by a metropolitan, better known as an archbishop. The ecclesiastical province of Michigan includes the Archdiocese of Detroit, led by Archbishop Allen Vigneron, whose role is to provide pastoral governance. According to the Second Vatican Council:

"A diocese is a section of the People of God entrusted to a bishop to be guided by him with the assistance of his clergy so that, loyal to its pastor and formed by him into one community in the Holy Spirit through the Gospel and the Eucharist, it constitutes one particular church in which the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and active."

An archbishop may be assisted by auxiliary bishops, of which there are four active in the Detroit Archdiocese. Bishops, in turn, are assisted by priests and deacons in ministering to the lay faithful. Parishes within a diocese are led by a priest known as the pastor. According to the Code of Canon Law that governs the Catholic Church:

"He exercises the pastoral care of the community entrusted to him under the authority of the Diocesan Bishop, whose ministry of Christ he is called to share, so that for this community he may carry out the offices of teaching, sanctifying and ruling with the cooperation of other priests or deacons and with the assistance of lay members of the Christian faithful, in accordance with the law."

Church law (canon law) regards parish goods as belonging to the parish. While parishes have a right in canon law to acquire, administer, and dispose of parish goods, since these goods are also goods for the benefit of the entire Church, when parishes want to make significant decisions concerning parish goods, the Archbishop must be consulted and approve what is proposed.

2. What are the sources of financial support for a parish?

The most important source of parish income is the Sunday offering. Through envelopes provided to registered households, cash in the collection basket, or electronic deposits arranged by parishioners, the weekly offertory is the most consistent and largest source of income for parishes. The offertory is intended to address the operational costs of the parish. The weekly offertory should pay the parish expenses including staff salaries and benefits, programs and ministries such as religious education and Christian service, as well as building and grounds operations, maintenance, and repairs.

Many parishes augment their offertory collections with festivals, dinners, and other fundraising events. Some parishes have launched fundraising campaigns to fund specific projects such as those prioritized through the archdiocesan-wide Changing Lives Together capital stewardship initiative through which parishes keep a minimum of 70 percent of the proceeds received through the campaign. When parishes surpass their archdiocesan fundraising targets for Changing Lives Together, they keep 100 percent of the proceeds beyond their goal.

Parishes operating Catholic schools receive revenue from tuition and fees. While this revenue is designated to the school, it is offset by school operating expenses which often exceed revenues and require parish subsidies.

More than half of the 259 parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit exceeded their Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) fundraising target in 2012, thereby keeping 100 percent of the funds they received above their goal. The CSA is an annual archdiocesan-wide collection supporting the operational expenses for dozens of Church ministries in southeast Michigan, including those provided through archdiocesan Central Services. Because all parishes benefit from the programs and services funded by the CSA, parish participation and fulfilling the parish target are mandatory.

Some parishes participate in legacy giving, which involves parishioner bequests, wills, charitable trusts, estate planning, and other means of planned giving through which the lay faithful provide an additional depth of financial support. Other parishes engage in retailer rewards and scrip programs in which parishioners register with a retailer to rebate a percentage of purchases to the parish.

3. What happens with funds contributed in the parish weekly offertory collection?

The parish keeps 93 percent of the funds and seven percent is allocated to archdiocesan Central Services. For example, if a parishioner makes a $20 contribution to the Sunday offertory, the parish keeps $18.60, typically used by the parish for operating expenses. The remaining $1.40 fulfills the parish assessment to the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Central Services. All parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit set aside seven percent of their annual offertory collections to provide this assessment, known in Latin as the cathedraticum. In the Detroit Archdiocese, the assessment supports the programs and services coordinated through Central Services. Christmas collections are not subject to the seven percent assessment. Parishes keep 100 percent of their Christmas offertory, typically the most generous collection of the year.

4. What services to parishes are provided by the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Central Services?

Beyond pastoral leadership, archdiocesan Central Services offers direct support to parishes for ministries and programs that would be beyond the resources of any one parish to establish and sustain. Central Services support to parishes includes:

  • Financial services such as administering the archdiocesan Loan Deposit Program, the archdiocesan Endowment Fund, the archdiocesan Priests’ Pension Fund; reviewing and tracking the financial health of each parish, and conducting parish audits.
  • Facilities support such as building, property, and physical plant condition analyses; coordinating property sales and leases; and consulting on church building and renovation projects.
  • Finance and administration works with the Michigan Catholic Conference on behalf of parishes to structure employee benefit programs and workers’ compensation coverage as well as property and liability insurance, and liability claims coverage.
  • Together in Faith pastoral planning services including consulting on parish clustering, merging, and closing transitions.
  • Evangelization, catechesis, and religious education ministries support, including Rite of Christian Adult Initiation (RCIA) programs.
  • Helping men discern the priesthood and permanent diaconate in metro Detroit.
  • Marriage and family life resources, including marriage preparation ministries.
  • Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women (Endow) study groups and other women’s ministries
  • Music ministry support and resources; formation for choirs, cantors, and choir directors
  • Decree of nullity (annulment) consideration for divorced Catholics through the Metropolitan Tribunal
  • Canon (Church) law consultations and opinions
  • Fundraising and stewardship consulting
  • Ministerial training and certification, as well as programmatic consultation for lay leaders in virtually every parish ministry, including youth and young adult ministries
  • Parish nursing support
  • Parish Empowerment Fund grants administration ($825,675 awarded in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012)

5. Is the assessment unique to the Archdiocese of Detroit? How often does it change?

Virtually all Catholic dioceses have an assessment, which is generally used to fund diocesan operations and services to parishes. Usually based on a percentage of the annual revenue of a parish, the assessment is sometimes adjusted to reflect area incomes, parish operating costs, and other factors. The Detroit Archdiocese assessment is based on parish operating revenue, including offertory collections (except Christmas), net fundraising income, net rental income, bequests and donations to the parish.

Among several recommendations to Archbishop Vigneron in 2009 to stabilize and improve archdiocesan finances, the archdiocesan assessment was increased in 2010 from six percent to seven percent, the first assessment increase in more than 30 years. The Archdiocese simultaneously eliminated the “net debt credit” on parish assessments, which had previously reduced the parish assessment if its Loan Deposit Program (LDP) debt was greater than its LDP savings. The “net debt credit” was determined to be a disincentive for parishes to reduce their debt and weakened the LDP, so it was eliminated.

The seven percent assessment in the Detroit Archdiocese is lower than most dioceses of comparable size in the United States, some of which have rates as high as 17 percent. The relatively low parish assessment rate in the Archdiocese of Detroit is due in part to the consistent success of the CSA, which is the largest annual campaign of its kind in the nation.

6. How is the archdiocesan assessment different from the Catholic Services Appeal?

Introduced in the early 1980s, the CSA funds most of the ministries of the Archdiocese of Detroit. The assessment supports Central Services operations. In other words, the assessment primarily covers the administrative expenses of the archdiocese, whereas the CSA funds ministries.

Numerous parish ministries benefit from CSA-supported archdiocesan departments and institutions, including Evangelization, Catechesis and Schools, and Parish Life and Services. The Office of Priestly VocationsSacred Heart Major Seminary, archdiocesan-wide Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) programs, and the long-running, locally-produced televised Mass for Shut-Ins receive CSA funding. Because gifts to the CSA enable the Detroit Archdiocese to offer these ministries, programs, and services, parishes do not need to self-fund these efforts, which would be beyond the resources of any one parish to establish and sustain.

The CSA also funds contributions from the Detroit Archdiocese to six national and international Catholic ministries, which benefit from annual appeals issued by the Holy See and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Because contributions to these ministries are made through the CSA, special collections for these ministries are not conducted in parishes of the Detroit Archdiocese, as they are in some other dioceses nationwide:

Ministries National Dates for Collection Appeal
Church in Latin America January 27, 2013 / January 26, 2014
Black and Indian Missions February 17, 2013 / March 9, 2014
Holy Land March 29, 2013 / April 18, 2014
Catholic Home Missions Appeal April 28, 2013 / April 27, 2014
Catholic Communication Campaign May 12, 2013 / June 1, 2014
The Catholic University of America September 1 or 8, 2013 / September 7 or 14, 2014

7. How much has been contributed to the Catholic Services Appeal in recent years?

Despite the recession, population losses in southeast Michigan, and a weak regional economy, parishioners in the Detroit Archdiocese provide exceptional support for their parishes and the CSA, consistently exceeding the archdiocesan CSA goal, even amid the Changing Lives Together capital stewardship initiative. According to a five-year study by the International Catholic Stewardship Council, the CSA is the largest, most successful such appeal in the nation.

Year CSA Goal Total Cash Received
2008 $17,575,542 $25,270,201
2009 $17,839,175 $23,503,471
2010 $17,839,175 $22,627,818
2011 $17,839,175 $20,800,620
2012 $17,839,175 $21,706,134 (as of May 29, 2013)
2013 $17,839,175

The $17,839,175 overall goal for the 2013 Catholic Services Appeal has remained unchanged since 2009, reflecting Archbishop Vigneron’s commitment to not increase the CSA goal during the active fundraising phase of the Changing Lives Together campaign, and in consideration of the one percent archdiocesan assessment increase in 2010.

8. How is the CSA goal determined for each parish?

Each parish is assigned a formula-based target, established by the Archdiocese. If contributions exceed the parish target, the parish receives 100 percent of those funds without any assessment.  If a parish CSA collection falls short, the parish has to cover the difference. Parishes are thereby incentivized to conduct energetic CSA campaigns.

The starting point for calculating parish CSA targets is determining the funds needed to implement archdiocesan ministries and programs in the coming year including those supporting parish ministries. The archdiocesan Finance and Administration Department collaborates with the Development and Stewardship Department to decide the annual CSA goal.

While the overall CSA goal has remained the same since 2009, individual parish targets may change from year to year, depending on fluctuations in parish offertories and changes in the number of parishes. In calculating a parish CSA target, the most important factor is the parish’s annual offertory collection, including Christmas, specified in the parish annual financial report submitted to the Archdiocese. Parish CSA targets for 2013 were based on parish financial reports submitted for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

Credits can reduce the amount of annual parish offertory considered in the CSA calculation. Parishes operating schools and parishes providing Catholic school tuition assistance can have reduced CSA targets. The CSA target formula also includes an economic adjustment factor to address the variance in parishioner incomes in different areas of the archdiocese. The number of registered households, parish debt, or the prior year CSA collection are not included in the parish CSA target formula.

9. How does Changing Lives Together affect parish finances?

While weekly parish offertory collections fund day-to-day parish operations, the primary goal of Changing Lives Together is to strengthen parishes through a $135 million, five-year capital stewardship initiative. A minimum of 70 percent of the funds received in each parish stay in the parish to fulfill priorities identified by and unique to that parish. Parish priorities determined through the Changing Lives Together planning process are typically more long term with parishes often deciding to use Changing Lives Together for building repair or expansion projects, deferred maintenance, or to expand parish ministries. Some parishes are retiring parish debt as part of their campaign. By campaign policy, where parish debt exists, 75 percent of the parish share of campaign proceeds is allocated to pay down debt.

The remaining 30 percent of Changing Lives Together gifts will help fulfill Archbishop Vigneron’s vision to address archdiocesan-wide priorities including elevating the amount of tuition assistance available to Catholic students attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese, providing  more support for priestly formation and lay leadership training, supporting the presence of the Church in the core city (Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park) and to meet the expenses involved in supporting approximately 250 distinct, parish campaigns.

Because the CSA addresses different needs than Changing Lives Together, the CSA is continuing during parish-based Changing Lives Together fundraising activities.

10. How do special collections work in the Archdiocese of Detroit?

In consultation with archdiocesan advisory councils, and based on annual appeals issued by the Holy See and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Vigneron decides on the special collections to be taken at parishes in the Detroit Archdiocese. When natural disasters or humanitarian crises occur, the Archbishop may authorize special appeals.

In 2013-14, parishes are required to participate in the following collections by announcing them at weekend Masses and providing parishioners the opportunity to contribute. Proceeds from these collections are forwarded by parishes within six weeks of the collection weekend to the archdiocesan department of Finance and Administration, which then remits the funds to the Catholic organizations engaged in these specific ministries:

Special Collections for 2013-2014 Date
Aid for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe February 17, 2013 / March 9, 2014
Catholic Relief Services March 10, 2013 / March 30, 2014
Peter’s Pence June 30, 2013 / June 29, 2014
Propagation of the Faith (World Mission Sunday) October 20, 2013 / October 19, 2014
Campaign for Human Development November 24, 2013 / November 23, 2014
Retirement Fund for Religious December 8, 2013 / December 14, 2014

Some parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit take up a special collection in September to support the Archdiocese of Detroit Priests' Pension Fund, which is different from the Retirement Fund for Religious, a national program supporting retired men and women of religious orders, rather than diocesan priests. This special collection, With Thanks for Their Service in Christ, is generally held in late September. Rather than take up a special collection, most parishes pay the priest pension assessment from their operating budgets.

Participation in Operation Rice Bowl is optional and determined by each parish in the Detroit Archdiocese.

11. What are the primary sources of financial support for archdiocesan Central Services operations?

The Archdiocese of Detroit’s Central Services is primarily funded through archdiocesan assessment revenue from parishes, and the annual Catholic Services Appeal. In the fiscal year that closed June 30, 2012, assessment revenue to Central Services was $11,225,209. CSA revenue in the same fiscal year totaled $17,749,094. Funds for archdiocesan-wide initiatives in the Changing Lives Together campaign are held in separate, segregated accounts.

12. Does the Archdiocese own the buildings and grounds of parishes? What role does the Archdiocese have in parish finances and facilities?

Under civil (Michigan) law, the Archdiocese of Detroit is a “corporation sole” in which the Archbishop is the legal owner of all parish properties. While archdiocesan property in the Archdiocese of Detroit is titled and deeded in the Archbishop’s name, canon law considers parish assets as belonging to the parish and to be administered for the good of the entire Church. Under canon law, parishes can obtain, administer, and dispose of parish assets; however, because these assets are for the benefit of the entire Church, before parishes make significant decisions concerning parish assets, the Archbishop must be consulted and approve what is proposed.

13. Who develops and administers parish budgets? Are these budgets compared to actual financial activity and results?

Parish budgets originate with the pastor in collaboration with parish staff, the parish finance council, and the parish pastoral council. Decisions on parish budgets, building campaigns, and renovations should be reviewed by the parish pastoral council. In 2011, after consulting with the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (APC) and Presbyteral Council, Archbishop Vigneron promulgated new guidelines for parish pastoral councils and new statutes for parish finance councils. In January 2012, these and other measures were communicated a new Parish, Vicariate and Archdiocesan Councils Handbook. In his foreword to the new handbook, Archbishop Vigneron states:

“I am convinced that with your leadership, these documents and the organizational structures that flow out of them will assist you in providing for the necessary accountability and transparency for their governance.”

The updated statutes call for a parish finance council appointed by the pastor to review finance and administrative matters with the pastor. The parish finance council is also tasked with preparing the parish budget, which is formally submitted by the pastor and the parish finance council chair to the parish pastoral council. Implementation of the Parish Finance Council Statues took effect April 1, 2012 with each parish expected to establish a fully functioning finance council on that date.

Parishes are expected to submit a balanced budget to Central Services annually in May. Parish financial reports are to be filed annually in August. Parish budgets are reviewed and potentially amended by Central Services. The Central Services Finance and Administration Department reviews budgets submitted by every parish in the Archdiocese, comparing them to the financial reports provided by each parish over the five previous years to determine if the budgeted amounts appear reasonable.

If a parish budget reflects a deficit or budgeted amounts appear significantly different from trends over the previous five years of activity, the archdiocesan Finance and Administration Department contacts the parish for clarification or a revised budget. Finance and Administration also reviews every financial report submitted by parishes. If information is missing, inaccuracies are found, or items do not comply with archdiocesan policies, requests are made of parishes to provide the missing information or resubmit a revised financial report.

As part of the Together in Faith pastoral planning process, several parishes have been required to submit debt repayment plans based on their being identified as financially challenged.

14. What is a financially challenged parish? How many are there in the Archdiocese of Detroit?

Central Services monitors financial indicators for every parish in the Archdiocese of Detroit in part to identify parishes in stressed financial circumstances. Areas tracked include unpaid bills, current and projected operating surpluses or deficits, capital expenditures, Loan Deposit Program debt and savings, and cash. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, a parish is considered financially challenged if its net savings after subtracting unpaid bills is less than $50,000 or if the parish is unable to meet its Loan Deposit Program payments, or discharge its loan in a reasonable amount of time, generally five to 10 years. Financially challenged parishes generally have accumulated unpaid bills over several years because of ongoing operating deficits.

Of the 259 parishes in the Archdiocese, 71 are financially challenged. The Central Services Finance and Administration Department and the Parish Life and Services Department collaborate in working with parishes required to prepare and implement debt repayment plans required through the Together in Faith pastoral planning process.

Formulating a debt repayment plan for a financially challenged parish involves a detailed review by the parish and archdiocesan Parish Support Services staff of how the parish can potentially eliminate its annual losses and schedule debt payments over time.

15. When a parish is identified as financially challenged, what happens?

Central Services works with parishes having trouble servicing their payables or LDP loans to consider options including changes in loan terms; recommendations for reducing expenses, increasing revenues, or both; and other measures to become more financially stable.  

The Changing Lives Together capital stewardship initiative includes a requirement that parishes with payables or LDP debt allocate 75 percent of the parish campaign proceeds to fulfill overdue financial obligations. 

Beyond requiring neighboring parishes to develop specific plans for cooperation and collaboration in ministries, the Together in Faith pastoral planning process also resulted in several parishes being directed to submit financial and debt management plans, which may determine the future viability of those parishes.

16. What permissions must be obtained by pastors and parishes on capital expenditures?

Pastors can approve parish capital expenditures of up to $10,000. For capital projects costing from $10,000 to $25,000 the pastor must consult with the parish finance council prior to commencing the project and record the consultation in the finance council meeting minutes.  For projects ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 the pastor must consult with the parish finance council prior to commencing the project, record the consultation in the finance council meeting minutes, and report the transaction to the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Detroit by submitting an Expenditure Approval Request Form and a copy of the minutes. For projects exceeding $100,000 the pastor must first receive the consent of the parish finance council and written approval from the Archbishop prior to commencing the project, regardless of whether the parish has funding for the project in place. The Archbishop routinely consults the College of Consultors before approving such transactions as pastorally desirable. If the Consultors deem the project pastorally desirable, the request the goes to Loan Deposit Program (LDP) administrators, who intensively study each loan request for financial feasibility before referring the request back to the Consultors with a recommendation. The financial thresholds apply to the entire project and cannot be lowered by dividing deposits or payments. In all circumstances regarding parish capital expenditures, the pastor is encouraged to consult with the parish pastoral council.

It is generally expected that parishes have the necessary funds in place for major projects before seeking approval. This is to help ensure such projects are associated with a comprehensive fundraising plan, and are not underfinanced. The Changing Lives Together capital stewardship initiative is providing parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit with a mechanism to fund major capital projects, facility repairs, and upgrades.

All capital projects at parishes are subject to these approval guidelines, including those initiated through the Changing Lives Together campaign such as facility renovations, property upgrades, and expenditures for land, equipment, furnishings, technology, and other capital expenditures.

17. Are parishes required to report their finances to parishioners?

Archdiocesan policy calls for parishioners to receive a report of parish financial activity on an annual basis. Some parishes publish in their bulletins an annual financial report summary. Other parishes provide weekly summaries of offertory income in the bulletin. Consistent with Archbishop Vigneron’s commitment to accountability and transparency, parishes are expected to demonstrate good governance and stewardship by informing parishioners of parish finances. As stated in the Parish, Vicariate, and Archdiocesan Councils Handbook, parishes are expected to:

“Communicate regularly, but not less than annually, the financial condition of the parish, including sources and amounts of income, parish debt, unpaid bills, and parish savings and investments. The annual report is provided first to the Parish Pastoral Council, which communicates the information to the parish, and then to the Archbishop through the Department of Finance and Administration. A comprehensive report is an important element of accountability and transparency. Accountability completes the circle of stewardship and directly impacts parishioners’ willingness to give of their time, talents and treasures.”

18. Are parishes audited? Who does the audits and on what basis?

The archdiocesan Audit Services office manages a limited scope audit program focusing on parish financial and internal controls. Through this, a snapshot of parish financial activity is examined, including an analysis of the parish financial report. In situations where potential irregularities or procedural inconsistencies are identified, the financial review is expanded. Audit Services annually conducts approximately 60 parish and school audits, with the goal to routinely examine the books of every parish and school once every four years. Audit resources are prioritized on parishes that have not been reviewed in recent years, and when prompted by special circumstances such as reports received through the archdiocesan EthicsPoint portal, through which suspicions of misuse of Church funds and property can be reported.

The archdiocesan Financial Services office also annually analyzes every parish financial report and budget. For selected financially challenged parishes, or parishes required to submit a debt repayment plan, archdiocesan Parish Support Services will perform a detailed financial analysis or cash flow analysis including projected financial results and recommendations to reduce projected deficits.

19. What safeguards are in place to prevent embezzlement situations from arising in parishes?

The Detroit Archdiocese encourages and facilitates the reporting of suspicions of misuse of Church funds or property. Pastors, parishioners, and members of parish councils share this responsibility. While parish finance councils are charged with monitoring parish accounts, policies and procedures are in place to minimize opportunities for inappropriate use of parish funds. For example, offertory collections should be transferred from Mass by two parishioners to a secure room and counted in the presence of at least two parishioners, then immediately transferred by two parishioners to the parish safe or deposited in the parish’s bank. The collection count should match the amount deposited in the parish bank account and the amount shown on the deposit slip. In addition, no parish checks are to be issued to “cash”. Details are specified in The Policy and Procedures Manual for Parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The Archdiocese encourages any staff member, volunteer, or parishioner to report possible financial misconduct. The Archdiocese uses EthicsPoint, an independent third party company, to administer the archdiocesan financial misconduct hotline. Reports may be filed electronically or by phone at 855-234-9774. In the words of Archbishop Vigneron,

“We are grateful for your willingness to work with us to ensure the highest ethical and professional standards in all of our ministries as we are committed to being accountable to members of the Catholic community. The parishes, schools, and other entities of the Archdiocese of Detroit are dedicated to practicing sound stewardship with the gifts that are shared with us. All members of the church are responsible for ensuring that the funds we receive are used for the benefit of people we serve and for protecting our financial and physical assets from theft or misuse. The financial misconduct hotline is yet another way to ensure responsible stewardship. The hotline makes it easier for employees, parishioners, volunteers, vendors, and other parties to report confidentially any concerns related to financial matters. Neither the Archdiocese of Detroit, nor any affiliated entity, will retaliate or take any action against a person who makes a report. Every effort will be made to protect his or her identity and interests.”

20. Where do parishes keep their funds?

Parishes are authorized and expected to keep 60 days of cash in local bank or credit union accounts. Parishes are required to deposit and maintain their savings in the archdiocesan Loan Deposit Program (LDP). These funds are held in interest-bearing accounts. Parish investment accounts are restricted to the archdiocesan Endowment Fund. Parish savings accounts or investment accounts outside the LDP or the archdiocesan Endowment Fund are not permitted.

21. Does the Archdiocese of Detroit offer financial assistance to parishes?

Funds are available to qualified parishes and vicariates through the archdiocesan Parish Empowerment Fund (PEF), which awarded $825,675 in fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012.

Parishes eligible for PEF grants minister a primarily at-risk or ethnic minority population; have less than $25,000 in regular savings and no more than an additional $50,000 in designated special savings. PEF funds can only be used for salaries or programs, and cannot be used for other operating expenses, capital improvements, or for the purchase of equipment or vehicles. PEF grants are typically awarded to parishes with staff needs, such as salaries for directors of religious education, bilingual administrative staff, and business managers shared by multiple parishes. If a salary is granted, the parish or vicariate must pay all appropriate benefits. PEF-eligible parishes must have current and approved budgets and financial reports filed with the archdiocesan Department of Finance and Administration.

Parishes receive priority PEF consideration by having an approved Together in Faith pastoral plan with neighboring parishes. The PEF is funded through parishioner contributions to the Annual Catholic Services Appeal.

The archdiocesan Urban Capital Fund (UCF) grant program provides funds for emergency, unbudgeted, and unfunded capital needs, primarily to parishes in urban areas of the Archdiocese. For example, a church roof may begin leaking and require immediate repair exceeding parish funds. The UCF program is administered through the chancellor’s office. Grants are recommended to the College of Consultors, which makes recommendations to the Archbishop. The maximum per parish UCF grant is $25,000 per fiscal year. In the fiscal year that closed June 30, 2012, seven UCF grants totaling $109,006 were awarded.