The Diocese of Phoenix Parish Incorporation: Shaping the Future of the Diocese Welcome! Greetings/Introduction of Diocesan officials Fr. Fred Adamson, Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia Message from Bishop Olmsted The Plan Parishes • Every parish will be separately incorporated by 7/1/08. Schools • Elementary schools/preschools will become a part of their parish corporation. • Schools will continue to be a ministry of the parish. • Each high school will be separately incorporated. Governance Parish Board of Directors will be formed. • Comprised of Diocesan leaders & parish leaders Pastor will oversee parish operations. • With direction from Parish Board • In consultation with Parish Finance Council & Pastoral Council Pastor will oversee parochial school operations. • With direction from Parish Board • In consultation with Principal & School Board Why Now? We have evaluated parish incorporation for many years. • Clergy have given us ecclesiological/canonical reasons for doing so. • Laity have pointed out civil advantages of doing so. We have watched other dioceses reorganize. Some, including Tucson, within the context of a bankruptcy. Others, such as Detroit, to resolve civil/canonical conflict. No financial pressures or court proceedings against the Diocese of Phoenix are forcing this change. • After years of study and prayer, we simply believe the time is right. Brief History 1969 – Diocese of Phoenix was formed (civilly) as an Arizona “corporate sole.” • Corporate sole model is several centuries old. • Was created to allow church leaders (Bishops) to hold parish property as a form of trust, for the benefit of the Church • Model runs contrary to the 1911 Directive from Rome (recommending separate incorporation of parishes) Since 1969, many dioceses and archdioceses have changed from the corporate sole model to a new civil structure: separately incorporated parishes. We Are Not Alone! Other dioceses who have separately incorporated (or are incorporating) their parishes: Archdiocese of New York ● Diocese of Austin, TX Archdiocese of St. Louis ● Archdiocese of Milwaukee Archdiocese of Detroit ● Diocese of Portland, OR Archdiocese of Miami ● Diocese of Spokane, WA Diocese of Stockton, CA ● Diocese of San Bernardino Diocese of Des Moines ● Diocese of Brooklyn, NY Diocese of Rochester, NY ● Diocese of Syracuse, NY Diocese of Lincoln, NE ● Diocese of Wichita, KS Diocese of Tucson, AZ The Seeds of Change 2004/2005 – Bishop Olmsted questions Diocese’s civil structure • Appoints Task Force to study the issue • 2006 – Task Force Retains Outside Civil/Canonical Counsel • Counsel begins restructuring analysis 2007 – Bishop receives Final Recommendations from Counsel • Bishop consults with Presbyteral Council and Finance Council August 2007 – Bishop approves restructuring • Appoints Core Management Group to initiate reorganization Our Ecclesiology is the Foundation for Everything that We Do “Deus Caritas Est” – Pope Benedict XVI: “Love of neighbor, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful … … but it is also a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community at every level: from the local community to the particular Church and to the Church universal in its entirety. As a community, the Church must practice love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community.” The Ecclesial Teachings that Inspired and Guided this Reorganization The Theology of Communio The Principle of Subsidiarity The Responsibility of Stewardship Theology of Communio Communio is the foundation for understanding: (1) who we are as a Church, and (2) the mission we share of promoting unity and cooperation among the faithful. Communio is a way of understanding the Church in relation to God and one another. God is Trinity, and the nature of God is defined in terms of relationships of union and communion. We are invited to participate in the life of the Trinity through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Each baptized person contributes to communio according to their canonical condition or state in life (i.e., the lay state, consecrated life, or Holy Orders). Communio (John Paul II – Novo Millenio Ineunte) “Communion must be cultivated and extended day by day and at every level in the structures of each Church's life. … Relations between Bishops, priests and deacons, between Pastors and the entire People of God, between Clergy and Religious … must all be clearly characterized by communion. To this end, the structures of participation envisaged by Canon Law, such as … the Pastoral Council [for example], must be ever more highly valued. The theology and spirituality of communion encourage a fruitful dialogue between Pastors and faithful.” Principle of Subsidiarity Subsidiarity – authorities at a higher level of an organization (such as a diocese) determine the appropriate duties to be performed by authorities at other levels (such as a parish). For Catholics, Canon law defines each of our roles, from the Bishop, to Pastor, to Parish Councils, to each parishioner. A certain degree of freedom is given to authorities at each level of the Church structure to perform those duties which are specifically reserved for them under Canon law. The principle of subsidiarity provides those authority figures with the opportunity to fulfill their specific role in Church operations, and the performance of their duties enhances our communion with Christ and with one another. Consultation is Critical to the Successful Implementation of Communio in a Parish (Pope John Paul II) We need to adopt the ancient pastoral wisdom which, without prejudice to their authority, encouraged Pastors to listen more widely to the entire People of God. As Saint Paulinus of Nola urges: "Let us listen to what all the faithful say, because in every one of them the Spirit of God breathes.” The wisdom of the law provides precise rules for participation, and attests to the hierarchical structure of the Church But the spirituality of communion, by prompting a trust and openness wholly in accord with the dignity and responsibility of every member of the People of God, gives a soul to that institutional reality. Responsibility of Stewardship What identifies a steward? Safeguarding material and human resources and using them responsibly are one answer; so is the generous giving of time, talent and treasure. But being a Christian steward means more. As Christian stewards: we receive God’s gifts gratefully we cultivate them responsibly we share them lovingly in justice with others we return them with increase to the Lord Parish Incorporation What is a Civil Corporation? • A legal entity, formed by individuals who unite under the law for some specific purpose (R, E, C). • Has a separate and distinct civil status and can act according to its bylaws to the same extent as any individual. • Can buy, hold and sell property. • Can enter into contracts. • Can sue to protect its interests. • Has perpetual duration. How Will Civil Incorporation Affect Day-to-Day Operations? No Name Change for the Parish or School No change in relationship between the Bishop, the Diocese, the Pastors, Clergy and Parishioners No change in the important functions that are served by our existing parish-based organizations (Parish Finance Council, Pastoral Council, School Board, Committees) No change in the employment status of any of our staff No change in the support provided by the Diocese Administrative Issues Some Initial One-Time Costs • Filing fee, Publication fee, Title report, etc. Some additional responsibilities: Corporate procedure must be strictly followed at the local level (i.e., by each parish corporation) • Annual meetings must be held. • Annual reports must be timely filed. • Corporate records must be kept by each parish. Advantages of Incorporation Parishes today - unincorporated associations • no independent legal status • no recognized identity under civil law. Parishes after July 1 - non-profit corporations • recognized (under civil law) as separate from Diocese Parish incorporation accomplishes two goals: (1) it will better express our existing ecclesiology; and (2) it will offer our parishes (and our Diocese) greater protection within the context of civil litigation Incorporation Process Step #1 – Create and File Articles of Incorporation ● Standard forms created by Bishop’s office and circulated for signature ● Corporate name: “(Holy Cross) Roman Catholic Church of (Mesa)” ● Gives corporate address, statutory agent, etc. Step #2 – Create and Adopt Corporate By-laws for Parish ● Bylaws provide guidelines for management of the affairs of the parish ● Bylaws identify Board of Directors, Officers, and terms of office ● Bylaws establish rules for voting, notice, annual meeting process, etc. ● Bylaws provide indemnification rights to officers/directors Step #3: Confirm Continuing Tax Exempt Status ● No need for separate 501(c)(3) filing with the IRS ● Non-profit status already exists by virtue of IRS Group Ruling and the parish’s listing in the Official (Kenedy) Catholic Directory ● Parish corporation will be recognized as non-profit, tax-exempt entity Step #4: Create and Adopt Parish Services Agreement ● Specifies administrative services to be provided by Bishop’s Office in its continuing support of parish operations ● Services provided by Human Resources, Finance & Accounting, Legal, Buildings & Properties, Education & Evangelization Division, etc. ● For Parishes with schools, Agreements will outline parish’s relationship with Catholic Schools Office ● No “fee for service” – just a nominal annual fee provided in the contract Step #5: Create and Adopt Corporate Resolutions ● Vehicle by which each parish’s Board acts ● Through Resolutions, Board adopts Diocesan plans and programs - Safe Environment program - Personnel programs, pension and health plans, and handbooks - Property and Liability insurance programs - Building and Maintenance programs - Fiscal Policy guidelines, etc. - School Regulations Step #6: Hold the Initial Corporate Organizational Board Meeting Meetings to be held at Pastoral Center on 9/19/08 or 9/29/08 Entire Board Must Attend Board will adopt Bylaws, sign Corporate Resolutions, sign Parish Service Agreements, appoint Officers, etc. Meeting will be memorialized with photograph of Board Minutes will be recorded by Diocese Corporate Record Book will be provided to parish •Step #7: Transfer Parish Property to Parishes ● Transfer Real Estate (by deed) from Diocese ● Personal Property and Sacred Items ● Transfer Title to Automobiles, other vehicles ● Transfer Leasehold Interests ● Transfer Contract Rights (and Obligations) Key Question for the Diocese (regarding Parish Corporation Board of Directors) Can lay persons be included on parish boards? Answer: YES According to Canon law, • the power of governance over a parish or its property is reserved to Pastors and the Local Ordinary • Lay Faithful, however, are encouraged to cooperate in the exercise of governance. • Pastors are required to consult with the Laity. This model satisfies canon and civil law. Board of Directors of Parish Corporation Pastor Bishop Vicar General Finance Pastoral (Chair) Council Chair Council Chair (Consultative) (Consultative) Role of the Parish Board ● Meets once annually, unless a special meeting is required ● Accepts recommendations of Parish Finance Council on parish annual budget and recommendations of School Finance Committee on school’s annual budget ● Accepts recommendations of Parish Finance Council on purchase or sale of parish or school property – in compliance with Diocesan finance policy and canon law ● Allows laity with particular experience in law/finance to participate in board discussions on key parish issues ● Respects canonical roles of Bishop, Pastor and Laity Requirements of Board Members Laity who are members of a parish board must be registered parishioners of that parish and must be in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Officers of the Parish Corporation Pastor Bishop Vicar General FC Chair PC Chair President Vice President Treasurer Secretary Timeline Jan./Feb 2008 – Parish Meetings May 1, 2008 – Articles of Incorporation distributed to parishes June 1, 2008 – Signed Articles returned by pastors July 1, 2008 – Articles filed with Arizona Corp. Commission Sept. 19/20, 2008 – Initial Board Meetings to be held at Diocese • Parish boards will attend • By-laws, service agreements, etc. will be signed and adopted Nov. 15, 2008 - All property and assets will be transferred from Diocese to parishes Communication Plan • From the Diocese: • Meetings with Parish Leadership • Monthly articles in The Catholic Sun • Updates on the Diocesan Website • Copy of Parish Presentation • Frequently Asked Questions and Answers • From the Parish (suggested): • Meetings Led By Pastor and Parish Leadership Final Thoughts: Why is parish incorporation so important? • Because civil incorporation encourages greater involvement and cooperation among the faithful of a parish, which builds the unity of the parish and which enhances the communion of the parish with the Diocese and the Holy See (communio) • Because civil incorporation reflects the reality that a parish is and always has been a separate entity comprised of individual decision-makers exercising appropriate levels of authority (subsidiarity) • Because civil incorporation helps to support the parish’s obligation (shared by clergy and laity) to responsibly manage and protect the parish’s assets (stewardship) The Diocese of Phoenix Shaping the Future of the Diocese Thank you for your time, for your leadership, and for your devotion to the Church.