ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO APPROVES PROGRAM AND BUDGET PLAN
TO REDUCE SPENDING AND BETTER COORDINATE SERVICES
CHICAGO (May 26, 2005) The Archdiocese of Chicago has reorganized its Pastoral Center services in an effort to better serve the needs of Catholics in Cook and Lake counties, and to reduce the Pastoral Center operating budget in order to improve the Archdiocese’s financial health.
“We spent significant time over the past four months examining our programs and agencies to determine what is essential and necessary to the ministry of the Archbishop of Chicago and the mission of the Archdiocese,” noted Archdiocesan Chancellor Jimmy Lago. “Responsible stewardship requires prudent use of resources and dynamic models of service to meet the needs of the practicing Catholics of the Archdiocese. We also looked at infrastructure and support services. In addition, financial realities warrant an allocation of resources to support parishes, schools and ministerial programs that have long-term viability.”
Part of the plan for fiscal year (FY) 2006 calls for 40 staff reductions. These reductions will take place through retirement, attrition and job elimination. In addition, the job titles of those positions being eliminated will be provided to other Catholic organizations to help these employees find new positions.
“The Archdiocese closed schools and parishes in recent years. Likewise, the Pastoral Center and the central service agencies must continue to streamline to enable us to divert more resources to existing parishes, schools and essential ministries,” Lago said. “Our process has been designed to realign, restructure and, where necessary, reduce services in a fashion that enhances ministry, increases collaboration and reduces duplication.”
Chancellor Lago emphasized that the plan for FY 2006 is expected to significantly trim the operating deficit while sustaining all services integral to the ministry of the Archdiocese. The process also resulted in a proactive plan for maintaining future financial accountability.
“We regret the loss of jobs that this plan requires. However, we believe that the mission of the Archdiocese of Chicago will be strengthened by this program and budget plan for FY 2006,” Lago stated. “Our mission remains the same…that is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The Archdiocese of Chicago serves approximately 2.4 million baptized Catholics who live in Cook and Lake counties in northeastern Illinois. The Archdiocese is headed by Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago. It employs approximately 15,590 people in its parishes, schools, charities, seminaries, cemeteries and administrative offices, and is the 11 th largest employer in the six-country Chicago metropolitan area.