|August 6, 2012 • VOL. 50, NO. 13 • Oakland, CA|
Aug. 9: (Evening) FACE Board of Directors
Lately, we have spoken a great deal about our 50th anniversary as a diocese. We have also, on many occasions, promoted the principles of Stewardship as they apply to the needs of the wider Church. It has been our practice to publish the financial statements of the central services of the diocese for many, many years. These statements report the cumulative results of your generosity and that of your predecessors since our origins in 1962. I present these statements to show our responsible use of your generous gifts and to assure you we are well positioned to meet the needs of this diocese for the next 50 years.
Thanks principally to the support of our parishes, cemeteries and your generous contributions to the Bishop's Annual Appeal; we have spent no more than has been received for the support of diocesan ministries and administration. Despite our diligence, you may note that the activities of the diocese for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011 reflect a $4 million loss. Two factors led to the deficit.
As with so many cities and large businesses in these times, we are not immune to reflecting the present value of anticipated future compensation for our retired priests. Because of lowered expectations for future investment returns, The Priest Retirement Plan was forced to recognize an additional need of approximately $2 million in funding to provide retired priest compensation in years to come.
The second factor which contributed the remaining $2 million to the deficit was the recording of the decline in the value of our investment portfolio. These investments are held for the purpose of supporting diocesan ministries. Just as we rely heavily on the direct support of our parishes, cemeteries and the Bishop's Appeal, we rely very heavily on what have been extraordinarily volatile markets for a portion of our income. Despite the best efforts of our very talented Diocesan Investment Committee and Diocesan Finance Council, investment results reflected a negative return during 2011.
These results in no way hamper our ability to flourish in future. In fact, the recovery of investment markets in 2012 has overtaken losses we experienced in 2011. But as they say, "past performance is no guarantee of future results." We, therefore, continue to rely on you for support.
The financial statements reflect the good stewardship of the people of the Diocese of Oakland in contributing to the support of our Church, our Universal Church.
Thank you for your long and faithful attention to our needs. May God bless you and all those you have helped to find God's Divine Mercy, not only within the confines of your local parishes, but in a much broader sense, for those you've touched in the wider church during these last 50 years.
Rev. David Staal has moved from the position of priest secretary to the bishop to the Department of Canon Law. Father Staal served both Bishops Allen H. Vigneron and Salvatore J. Cordileone. Father Staal is now a Tribunal judge.
Rev. Paul Coleman, most recently associate pastor at St. Isidore Parish in Danville, is the new priest secretary to the bishop and the director of Office of Worship.
Rev. Paul Minnihan will be leaving the position of director of the Office of Worship at the end of August to assume full-time responsibilities as pastor of St. Paschal Parish in Oakland.
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CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE LIGHT
Summer mixers back
Come enjoy the sounds of jazz from Soul Mechanix, complimentary appetizers and the beautiful Lake Merritt view. The free Twilight by the Lake mixers are back for the third Thursday of each month in August, September and October at Plaza of the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. The first one is from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16.
Praises for House bill
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities praised lawmakers for including two conscience provisions in the House version of the 2013 appropriations bill for the federal departments of Labor and Health and Human Services. "Our government has a long history of respecting rights of conscience in health care, and the time is long overdue to reaffirm this laudable tradition in the face of today's growing threats," Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said in a July 17 letter to members of the House Subcommittee on Labor/HHS. Cardinal DiNardo said the provision called the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, which had 124 co-sponsors from both parties, "will reaffirm the basic principle that no health care entity should be forced by government to perform, participate in or pay for abortions." The other provision is the Respect for Right of Conscience Act, which Cardinal DiNardo said would "counter a policy that poses the most direct federal threat to religious freedom in recent memory," a reference to the "HHS mandate" requiring most religious organizations to include sterilizations and contraceptive coverage — including those that could cause early abortions — in their employee health care plans.
Appeal for Syrian peace
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — Pope Benedict XVI renewed his appeal for peace in Syria and humanitarian assistance for civilians threatened by the ongoing fighting or seeking refuge far from home. After reciting the Angelus with visitors gathered in the courtyard of the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo, July 29, Pope Benedict told the crowd that he hoped that suffering Syrians would be guaranteed the necessary humanitarian assistance. Asking for an end to "all violence and bloodshed," he prayed that God would guide leaders in Syria and in the international community to a negotiated settlement to the fighting.
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