Sunday, June 14, 2009

CMA Final(?)

The 2008-09 Catholic Ministries Appeal was slated to end on May 31 and any payments received after that date were supposed to be credited to next year's drive. DOR, however, has thus far posted two updates this month, the first dated June 9 and the second June 11. A $1,000 pledge (and, presumably, payment) received from a parishioner in Wayne County is the only difference between the two.

The Big Picture

Overall, the 2008-09 CMA has raised 90.72% of its goal, meaning that it has fallen some $502,138 short of its target.

The June 11 update also contains information not seen before. In addition to the total pledges recorded for each parish, this update for the first time reports the total dollar amount actually collected from each parish.

This new information shows that 36* out of 130* parishes have actually met or exceeded their CMA assessments, with the other 94 parishes coming up short.

Of those 36 parishes in the plus column, 7 exceeded their assessments by 10% or more, and 2 exceeded their assessments by $10,000 or more. Overall, those 36 parishes gave $81,273 more than their combined assessments.

Of the 94 parishes that came up short, 76 missed by at least 10% and 29 still owe DOR $10,000 or more. Overall, those 94 parishes fell some $709,837 short of their combined assessments.

Excluding Peace of Christ Parish, 33,451 parishioners in 129 parishes pledged a total of $4,745,937 and all but $79,764 of that amount was actually collected. The average parishioner pledge was $141.88 and the average parishioner actual payment was $139.46

Finally, 468 individuals and members of non-parish faith communities donated another $126,426, for an average gift from this group of $270.14.

Monroe County parishes that kept their schools have outperformed those that did not

The Monroe County parishes that lost their schools last June lagged significantly behind those that kept theirs. Overall, the "Kept Schools" group had pledges running at 99.5% of CMA assessment while the "Lost Schools" group's pledges were at 84.8%. Had the latter group been pledging at the same rate as the former their overall pledges would have been about $112,900 higher than they actually were.

Individual MCCS parishes

Data for 10 of the 11 Monroe County parishes that kept their schools were reported by DOR. (Peace of Christ Parish was not included, as explained below*.) Half of these parishes reached their CMA assessments and pledges at all but 2 were at or above the diocesan average. In addition, only 1 of these parishes was $10,000 or more short of its assessment: Christ the King ($11,283 short).

12 of the 13 Monroe County parishes that lost their schools are still in existence. Only 2 of this group reached their CMA assessments and all but 2 were below the diocesan average. Furthermore, 7 of these parishes were $10,000 or more short of their assessments. These parishes (and their shortages) were St. Margaret Mary ($10,030), St. Andrew ($10,682), Good Shepherd ($11,008), St. Theodore ($11,505), St. John the Evangelist ($11,585), Holy Trinity ($17,941) and St. John of Rochester ($24,113).


*Data for Peace of Christ Parish is not being reported by DOR but is included here. The parish has combined its CMA drive with a parish fund drive, which means that the parish turns over the full amount of its assessment and is credited with reaching 100.00%. Although Peace of Christ has been dropped as a line item, it was included in a couple of the early Parish-by-Parish reports and its assessment was then listed as $118,381.


Anonymous said...
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Genjlcgettys said...

Our Lady of Victory got the 100% mark. In fact, they were 22 cents over! Now the bishop can get something really, really nice for the "cathedral."

Anonymous said...

They say that the financial books in the Diocese of Rochester are "cooked".

I called the IRS and talked to an agent about the situation.

If you want to see Bishop Clark cringe, just mention that the Diocese of Rochester should have "forensic audit" by the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State Attorney General's office.

A trained eye will notice the reaction of the facial features of somebody that has something to hide.

Anonymous said...

I really don't know what goes on with the DoR and their books, though I would been interested to know for sure. It is our money after all.

RochChaCha said...

As much as the Bishop imposes his taxes on the parishes via the CMA, it seems rather unfounded to claim that the DOR cooks its books. Granted Bishop Clark is running the DOR into the ground, but I do not support such a claim without any evidence.

Mike said...


I've made this point before but it's worth making again, as Anon. 6:13 keeps insisting on throwing out allegations he/she either cannot or will not substantiate.

I strongly doubt that there is any serious book-cooking going on in DOR.

I do not base this belief on my faith in the honesty of those overseeing DOR's financial operations.

Rather, I base it on a healthy sense of self-preservation among those in the auditing community.

You see, DOR' annual financial statement is audited by a CPA firm. That firm has certified that DOR's financial statements "present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of The Diocese of Rochester Pastoral Center Operations and Associated Funds as of June 30, 2008, and the change in its net assets and its cash flows for the year then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States."

A few years back one of the largest CPA firms in the United States, Arthur Anderson LLP, did a shoddy job in auditing Enron's books and certifying its financial statements. The full weight of the law soon came down on Arthur Anderson, to the point that it was convicted of a felony and driven out of business.

That lesson has not been lost on the rest of the auditing community. No CPA firm is about to risk its very existence by not taking every reasonable step to ensure that the financial reports it certifies as accurate are, indeed, accurate.

That's why I reject Anon.'s urban legend that DOR is cooking its books.

Anonymous said...

"That's why I reject Anon.'s urban legend that DOR is cooking its books."

The only cooking go on is of the Catholic faith. All we're left with is something bland that tastes terrible.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree with you Mike, but I stand by my statement of financial mismanagement in the Diocese of Rochester.

A local professional had to drop off of Bishop Clark's diocesan financial committee, because he would no longer be involved with or have his good reputation tarnished, if the financial mismanagement was exposed. His exact words were "the books are cooked".

This person makes more money than me and you put together and knows what he is talking about, since he is paid mega bucks for his professional opinion each day. You can't argue with financial success.

This conversation now has me thinking about sifting through the boxes for the documentation to file a complaint with the IRS and the New York State Attorney General's Office, regarding the money trail of a few parishes that were closed and sold.

Connecticut Bill #1098 would like to take the financial control away from the Bishops and give it to the parishioners.

Mike said...

Anon. 10:13,

Up until your last comment all I've read from you were unsubstantiated allegations.

However, if you do have the documentation to back up your claims, if the guy who told you privately that he knows that the books are cooked will say the same thing in a sworn affidavit, then that's a different story.

Dig out your documentation and file your complaints. Go for it.