Financial Report: The numbers reflect the diocese’s blessings
By Mary Beth Koenig
Chief Financial Officer
Thank you for your faith and continuing generosity to the Diocese of Austin. Our ability to carry out the mission of Christ in Central Texas is dependent on your support. This annual report provides a summary of the financial results of our activities and ministries.
The accompanying financial statements are those of the Central Administrative Office (CAO) of the Diocese of Austin. The CAO provides programs and services to parishes, schools and other Catholic organizations in Central Texas. The accompanying financial statements have been extracted from the audited financial statements of the CAO. The financial statements do not include the parishes, missions, schools and certain other diocesan activities. The financial statements of the parishes can be found on page 16 of this insert.
The activities of the CAO include general operations for the support of parish and diocesan programs, centralized insurance programs for property/liability/workers’ compensation and health insurance for all parish and school facilities and employees, a centralized diocesan investment and loan program (DIAL) for parishes and schools and management of diocesan investments.
As an entity that provides programs and services to parishes and schools within the diocese, the CAO generally operates on a breakeven basis. For the fiscal years ended June 30, 2016, and 2015, revenues were greater than expenses and net assets increased.
Total revenues increased in 2016, primarily due to the gain on sale of land held by the diocese, combined with increases in the Catholic Services Appeal, investment income and insurance premiums. A parcel of land held by the diocese for future development was sold as the site was determined unusable for ministries. Increases in the Catholic Services Appeal coincide with increases in the overall population and number of Catholics in the diocese. Increases in investment income were due to a larger investment portfolio and stronger returns in the broad financial markets. Insurance premiums increased primarily due to increases in values of insured properties at parishes and schools related to construction and increases in appraised values. Additionally, the number of employees and dependents covered by the group health insurance plan continues to increase. These increases in revenue were somewhat offset by decreases in contributions and bequests. In 2015, a large gift of property was received that is being used in various ministries. Revenues in other categories were fairly constant.
Total expenses increased in 2016 largely due to increases in total costs in the centralized insurance programs, and gifts and grants provided to parishes and schools within the Diocese. Overall costs of insurance increased due to a few large claims in both programs and increased costs in the programs. Additional properties and increasing values of properties in the property program and additional employees and dependents in the health program contributed to the increases. A $1.5 million gift was made to San Juan Diego Catholic High School in 2016 for the construction of a new school building. Additionally, several parishes and schools were assisted in 2016 with smaller grants toward construction of new buildings and ministries. Expenses in other categories were fairly constant.
In the Diocese of Austin, we continue to be blessed with increasing levels of giving at the parishes. Sunday and Holy Day collections at parishes in our diocese continue to rise and funds collected for building campaigns remain strong. These revenues correlate with the growing Catholic population in Central Texas. Many parishes are building and expanding their campuses in order to meet the increasing demands for services and ministries. The generosity of Catholics in our diocese to respond to these demands is truly remarkable.
As we look to the future, we are working to meet the needs of our growing diocese. We are implementing the Pastoral Plan that was launched in 2015, “Encounter that leads to Transformation.” The parishes and schools that are experiencing the most significant growth within the diocese are those serving the immigrant Hispanic population. Due to gentrification and demographic changes in the city of Austin, small parishes that once served small communities on the outskirts of the city are now serving large immigrant populations. Funds are needed to purchase larger parcels of land and/or relocate parishes to existing undeveloped land owned by the diocese and construct larger churches and buildings to serve these large Catholic communities. We have also launched a program to provide tuition assistance for families that cannot afford the full tuition at our Catholic schools. Our goal is to help every family that wishes to send their child to Catholic school the financial assistance needed to be able to do so. Many newcomers continue to move to Central Texas from all over the country to retire as well as to work and raise their families. While all of these trends are positive and reflect the vibrant growing Catholic population in the diocese, they represent financial challenges. We will continue to need your financial support to meet the needs of our growing diocese.
This annual financial report is one way the diocese reports on the financial results of its activities and ministries. Accountability is an important part of our stewardship responsibilities.
Each year, the diocese subjects itself to the scrutiny of an independent audit. The audited financial statements are available at www.austindiocese.org. Diocesan leadership has established and regularly confers with the diocesan Finance Council. The council, whose existence is required by Canon Law, focuses on financial policies, procedures and activities of the church in Central Texas. Current members of the Finance Council are also listed on the website.
As our diocese continues to grow, we remain thankful for our many blessings. While these blessings present a significant financial challenge, we remain hopeful that the generosity of Catholics will continue to provide for these needs. We are thankful for your financial support. Your sacrificial gifts allow us to meet the needs of our growing population. May God bless you for your gifts to expand the Catholic Church and its ministries in Central Texas.
Mary Beth Koenig has served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Austin Diocese since 2002. She can be reached at (512) 949-2400. For more information about the Diocese of Austin, visit www.austindiocese.org.
For complete financial audit information, visit http://www.austindiocese.org/sites/default/files/Fiscal%20Year%202016%20CAO%20Audited%20Financial%20Statements.pdf