On December 10, 2020 we hosted a webinar on Financial Transparency in the Church: Now More Than Ever, in partnership with the Global Institute of Church Management. The webinar is part of the series of webinars Building a Transparent & Accountable Church.
More than in any other organization, the Church has a moral duty to model financial transparency. Yet studies show that we have yet to achieve it. One 2006 publication by Villanova University found that 85% of Catholic dioceses had discovered embezzlement of Church money within the previous five years, with 11% reporting that more than $500,000 had been stolen. In this webinar, we discussed:
• The need for a standard model of financial transparency tailored to Catholic Church organizations
• What developing a standard model might look like
• How to foster efficient processes, reliable financial statements, sound financial controls, and audit processes.
Our guests for this webinar were:
Charles Zech, PhD
Professor Emeritus, Villanova University
Dr. Charles Zech is Emeritus Professor at Villanova University and a foremost US expert on financial management in the Catholic Church. He founded the Villanova School of Business Center for Church Management. He received his B.A. in Economics from St. Thomas University (MN) and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Notre Dame University. Dr. Zech is the author or co-author of 50 articles and 12 books on the topic of Church management.
Ms. Kerry Alys Robinson is partner of Leadership Roundtable, an organization dedicated to promoting excellence and best practices in the management, finances and human resource development of the Catholic Church. Previously she was the founding executive director of the same organization. Ms. Robinson is a trustee of the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities and a member of FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities). She is the prizewinning author of Imagining Abundance: Fundraising, Philanthropy and a Spiritual Call to Service. She has been an advisor to grantmaking foundations, charitable nonprofits and family philanthropies since 1990.
John Levins, AM, MBE
United Nations Official, World Food Program and UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
John Levins is an Irish-born Australian Chartered Accountant presently serving with a major United Nations Agency and as Vice-Chair (previously Chair) of the UN’s pension fund. His extensive experience on four continents over as many decades includes statutory auditing and consulting roles with major public accounting firms. He helped lead the implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards in several UN organizations, thus contributing to transforming the UN into a more transparent, accountable and ultimately more effective and trusted organization and has held senior UN Treasury Operations and Donor Financial Reporting roles. A practicing Catholic with experience as Treasurer in a Parish Council, he is both a Member of the Order of Australia and a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services inside Iraqi-occupied Kuwait during the 1990-91 Gulf Crisis.
On October 8, 2020 we hosted a webinar on Recovering our Mission, in partnership with the Global Institute of Church Management. The webinar is part of a series of webinars on Building a Transparent & Accountable Church.
Many parishes have lost their missionary orientation and are no longer structured to meet the needs of the faithful. In light of the recently distributed instruction from the Congregation for Clergy, this webinar looks at movements like focolarini, charismatic, and others for inspiration. These movements are at the forefront of evangelizing the faithful and currently live and thrive across parish territories. In this webinar, we discussed:
What can we learn from these movements?
How can we transform parishes into “communities of communities”?
What is the new role of pastors in guiding the people of God in its entirety (priests, deacons, consecrated men and women, and the lay faithful) as the driving force of evangelization?
Our guests were:
Rev. Fr. Anthony Stoeppel
Vice-Rector and Director of Pastoral Year
St. Patrick's Seminary & University, CA
Formerly, Rev. Fr. Anthony Stoeppel served as Vicar General of the Diocese of Tyler and also as Chairman of the Parish & Mission Assistance Program and President of Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic Schools, as well as pastor of Our Lady of Victory parish, a largely Spanish-speaking parish in the Diocese of Tyler. Fr. Stoeppel attended Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, and holds a Doctorate of Sacred Theology in the field of bioethics from Pontifical University of Santa Croce.
President and CEO
Michel Therrien is President and CEO of Preambula Group, a lay apostolate serving the work of the New Evangelization in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. He served as the President of the Institute for Pastoral Leadership in the Diocese of Pittsburgh as well as the Director of Evangelization. Prior to this, he served as a professor moral theology at the Augustine Institute in Denver, CO. He taught for seven years at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA, also serving as Academic Dean from 2008-2012. He holds a B.A. in Theology from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, an M.A. in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria, and a Doctorate in Fundamental Moral Theology from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.
Pia de Solenni
President and Executive Director
Global Institute of Church Management
Pia de Solenni, SThD, is a theologian, ethicist, and cultural analyst. She recently served as Chancellor of the Diocese of Orange, California, and Theological Advisor to the Bishop. Her work has appeared in various publications including The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor, and National Review Online. She is also a consultant member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.