Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT



Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has declared the first Sunday in December will now serve as Accountability Sunday.

All parishes, schools and certain entities across the diocese will use a standardized accounting reporting model to issue their financial reports to the faithful.

“In short, the purpose of Accountability Sunday is to ensure financial transparency, to communicate to all parishioners and donors that good stewardship is being practiced, and to provide a standard report that is consistent and straightforward,” said Bishop Caggiano.

2022
2022 Accountability Sunday – Diocesan Operations
2022 Accountability Sunday – Cemetery Operations

2021
2021 Accountability Sunday – Diocesan Operations
2021 Accountability Sunday – Cemetery Operations


The new updated Parish Finance Manual has been published!

The promulgation date of this manual is January 31, 2021.

The mission of the diocesan finance office is to provide parishes with direction and support on accounting and financial matters to assist them in the stewardship of their resources and transparency in financial reporting.

Over the past year, volunteers representing parishes throughout the Diocese and Diocesan leadership employees have spent many hours reviewing and updating sections of the previous version issued in January 2008. The new parish finance manual seeks to improve and enhance support to parishes financial reporting matters and best practices.

The manual is available to read and to download below. If you have difficulty accessing and or printing it, please call:

Cynthia Mahony
Parish Financial Accountant
Tel: (203) 416-1621

Read or download the parish Finance Manual.

The annual Cathedraticum assessment imposed on parishes is utilized to support the administrative function of the curia.  This assessment supports the following departments and functions including administration and operations; financial services; technology services; the offices of the Bishop and Vicars; the offices of education and development.

 


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How to Report Your Concerns

All Priests, Deacons, Religious, Lay Employees, Volunteers, and Parishioners of the Diocese of Bridgeport with concerns about financial activity at their parish should report these concerns to the designated representatives as indicated below.All concerns about financial matters will be investigated promptly and thoroughly. The investigation shall remain confidential, and those conducting the investigation shall respect the privacy of all persons involved. No adverse action shall be taken or permitted against anyone for communicating legitimate concerns to the appropriate representatives.The following steps represent the reporting sequence:
Step 1:
Speak to your Pastor.If this step is not appropriate, or if your concerns remain unanswered, proceed to Step 2.Step 2: Speak to the Chairperson of your Parish Finance Council, whose name is published in your Sunday parish bulletin. If this step is not appropriate, or if your concerns remain unanswered, proceed to Step 3.Step 3: Contact Michael Hanlon, Chief Financial Officer of the Diocese of Bridgeport at (203) 416-1390 or michael.hanlon@diobpt.org.

Please note: It is always appropriate to proceed directly to Step 3 if the circumstances warrant it.

Download the Parish Finance Program in English (PDF)

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Como Reportar Sus Inquietudes
Todos los sacerdotes, diáconos, religiosos/as, empleados laicos, voluntarios y parroquianos de la diócesis de Bridgeport, que tengan inquietudes sobre la actividad financiera en su parroquia deben reportar estas inquietudes a sus representantes designados como se indica a continuación.Todas las inquietudes sobre asuntos financieros van a ser investigadas prontamente y a profundidad. La investigación va a permanecer confidencial y aquellos que conduzcan la investigación deben respetar la privacidad de las personas involucradas. No se va a tomar o permitir ninguna acción contra alguien por comunicar preocupaciones legítimas a sus apropiados representantes.

Los siguientes pasos representan la secuencia a seguir en caso que requiera hacer un reporte:

Paso 1: Hable con su párroco. Si este paso no es apropiado, o si sus inquietudes no son solucionadas satisfactoriamente, continúe con el Paso 2.

Paso 2: Hable con el presidente del Consejo Financiero de la parroquia, el nombre de esta persona lo encontrará publicado en su Boletín parroquial. Si este paso no es apropiado, o si sus inquietudes no son solucionadas satisfactoriamente, continúe con el Paso 3.

Paso 3: Contacte Michael Hanlon, de la Diócesis de Bridgeport: Usted lo puede llamar al Tel: (203) 416-1390 or michael.hanlon@diobpt.org.

Nota importante: Siempre es apropiado proceder directamente al Paso 3 si las circunstancias lo justifican.

Download the Parish Finance Program in Spanish (PDF)

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Como Reportar As Suas Preocupacoes
Todos os Padres, Diáconos, Religiosos, Funcionários Leigos, Voluntários e Paroquianos da Diocese de Bridgeport com preocupações sobre atividades financeiras na sua paróquia devem comunicar estas preocupações ao representante como indicado abaixo. Todas as preocupações sobre as finanças da paróquia serão investigadas imediata e meticulosamente. A investigação permanecerá confidencial, e os encarregados da investigação respeitarão a privacidade de todas as pessoas envolvidas. Não será admitida nenhuma reação negativa contra uma pessoa que comunique uma legítima preocupação aos representantes.

Os seguintes passos deverão ser seguidos ao comunicar uma preocupação:

Passo 1: Falar com o seu Pároco. Se esse passo não é adequado, ou se as suas preocupações não são respondidas, passar ao passo 2.

Passo 2: Falar com o Presidente do Conselho Financeiro da sua Paróquia, cujo nome é publicado aos domingos no boletim da paróquia. Se esse passo não é adequado, ou se as suas preocupações não são respondidas, passar ao passo 3.

Passo 3: Contate Michael Hanlon, da Diocese de Bridgeport: Ligue (203) 416-1390 or michael.hanlon@diobpt.org.

Importante: Deve-se sempre, começar pelo 3ro passo se as circunstâncias se justifiquem.

Download the Parish Finance Program in Portuguese (PDF)

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Tout pè, diak, religyèz, layik, moun kap travay, moun ki travay kòm volontè e tout pawasyen nan diyozèz Bridjpòt la ki gen yon bagay ki konsène yo sou zafè aktivite finansyè nan pawas ou dwe rapòte sa-a bay moun ki delege pou sa jan nou indike sa-a. Tout sa ki konsène, ki ta revele kòm yon pwoblèm pral investige rapidman e san tolerans. Investigasyon sa yo ap rete konfidansyèl, e moun kap menmen envestigasyon-an dwe respekte espas prive tout moun ki angaje yo nan kòz sa-a.

Pa gen anyen ki dwe rive yon moun ki rapòte yon aksyon lejitim nan zafè sa ki konsène-l Men etap pou sekans yon rapò:

Etap 1: Pale avèk Kire-w. Si sa pa mache oubyen si-w pa gen yon rezilta nan sa ki konsène-w la, ou kapab pase nan etap 2.

Etap 2: Pale ak moun ki responsab finans nan pawas la, non li pibliye nan bilten dimanch yo. Si sa pa mache oubyen si sa pa gen rezilta nan sa ki konsène-w la, ou kapab pase nan etap 3.

Etap 3: Kontakte Michael Hanlon, diyosèz Brijpòt la ke non-l se: Ou ka telefòne-l nan(203) 416-1390 or michael.hanlon@diobpt.org.

Souple: li toujou bon pou pase dirèteman Twazièm etap la si sikonstans mande sa-a.

Download the Parish Finance Program in French Creole (PDF)

Overview

The disaggregated financial statements for The Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation (the Diocese) are provided to allow a concentrated analysis of the “ordinary” operations within the Diocese separately from the impact of the Pension Plans and Retired Priests Healthcare obligations.

The Diocese continues to meet all of its ongoing pension and retired priest obligations (defined benefit obligation) and fully anticipates continuing to meet these obligations in the future. Defined benefit obligations are required to be reported in the combined statement of financial position based on the amounts the Diocese would have to pay a third party to assume those obligations. The Bridgeport Diocesan Pension Plan for (lay employees) was frozen effective July 31, 2010, i.e. participants earn no further benefits under the plan after that date. This plan is part of the defined benefit obligation mentioned above. A new plan, called the defined contribution plan, replaced the old one and based on certain qualifiers, a set percentage of an employee’s salary is contributed for their retirement benefit. Since the Diocese has no intention of transferring the defined benefit obligations to a third party and these obligations are of a long-term nature, this commentary evaluates the current position of the Diocese with the defined benefit obligation presented separately.

Results of Activities Revenues and gains

Overall revenue and gains improved in 2012 compared to 2011 by $1.6M, primarily driven by investment income. The investment returns in 2012, $1.8M, were dramatically improved from the volatile market and subsequent loss of $80K for the Diocese during 2011.

  • ANNUAL BISHOP’S APPEAL:
    The Annual Bishop’s Appeal, along with other contributions and bequests, has remained steady over the past three years at approximately $11M, with a one time increase of $1.1M in 2011 for contributions related to the future expansion of the Catherine Dennis Keefe Queen of Clergy retirement home for Diocesan priests. When combined with Appeal contributions that are not included in the Diocesan financial statements, (that go directly to Catholic Charities and Diocesan schools), the total for the Appeal and other contributions and bequests was $12.4M in 2012, $14.4M in 2011 and $12.3M in 2010.
  • EMPLOYEE BENEFIT & INSURANCE PROGRAMS:
    The Diocesan employee benefit and insurance programs is a reimbursable arrangement between the Diocese and most Diocesan entities. It is also the largest source of funds to the Diocese. The employee benefit programs (health, pensions, and workers compensation) cover all lay and clergy employees of the Diocese and most Diocesan entities (parishes, schools, Catholic Charities, Cardinal Shehan Center) who work the required minimum hours per week. The insurance program is for property, casualty and liability insurance for Diocesan entities.The reimbursement revenues from those programs represent amounts billed to the other Diocesan entities to cover their portion of the related expenses with the objective of “breaking even.” Unfortunately, those revenues were reduced by approximately $1.7M in 2012, $2M in 2011 and $2.3M in 2010 for uncollectible amounts, primarily from parishes and schools unable to pay the amounts due for the good and dedicated people who serve you and your families in parish and school offices and ministries. Through concerted efforts and focus on the underlying problems that created this situation of uncollected revenue, the Diocese has been able to reduce those amounts each year.
  • CATHOLIC CEMETERIES:
    Cemeteries and other operating revenues have declined approximately $1M each year since 2010. New construction of mausoleums in 2010, and the revenue streams created by those projects increased typical sales revenue over a two-year period of time. No new large construction occurred during 2012, which reduced revenue as compared to earlier periods. Evaluations of new opportunities within Diocesan cemeteries are underway, with a focus on creating increased revenue streams for the future.

chart-fy2012-revenueandgains

In addition to the parishes contributions to the Diocese through Cathedraticum, our parishes continue to provide financial support to achieve our goals through an additional offertory contribution that has translated into an annual contribution of $100,000 for each of the 25 elementary schools not located in Bridgeport. Although the Diocese facilitates the collection of these monies, it is not included in the Revenue and Gains of the Diocesan Statement of Activities since it is an asset of the Bridgeport Diocesan Schools Corporation. The Bridgeport Catholic Academies receives support from the Bridgeport parishes and other contributions specifically directed to those schools.

Expenses

Including expenses related to pensions and retired priest’s healthcare, the Diocese has reduced its expenses from $54.6M in 2010 to $48.1M in 2012, with almost $4M in regular operations savings alone. The largest savings, over $2.5M, comes from the employee benefit and insurance programs. During the past three years, the Diocese has recognized savings from:

  • Annual review of benefits, both healthcare and other, along with fostering employee participation in wellness to keep expenses manageable.
  • Sexual abuse claim settlement payments were made as follows: 2010 – $0K, 2011 – $595K and 2012 – $920K. Expense accruals for future payments were reduced from almost $2M in 2010 to $1.45M in 2011 to $1M in 2012. Portions of revenue from property sales, both past and ongoing, have been held in reserve and used to fund settlements.

chart-abuseclaim2010-2012

Other expenses were reduced continuously over the past three years in Administration and General, down over $700K, and services and contributions to other Diocesan entities and other parties, down over $500K. The Diocese has taken measures each year to cut payroll and benefit expenses, along with evaluating each program’s administrative costs to operate as efficiently, yet effectively, as possible.

Financial Position

ASSETS
Total assets declined in 2012 by approximately $4M as compared to 2010 and by approximately $3M as compared to 2011. There are two main reasons for this reduction: investments and property and equipment. Investments, principally representing the Faith in the Future Fund, declined by approximately $3.5M in 2011. Advances from the Faith in the Future Fund were made to the Diocese to fund excess expenses over revenue largely brought on by the uncollectibility of schools’ and parishes’ employee benefit insurance programs. As schools and parishes are able to pay down their amounts due to the Diocese for these benefits, or other revenue streams increase, the Diocese has in turn, returned the funds to Faith in the Future for the benefit of the schools affected. During FY2013, the Diocese has been able to return all but $1.7M to Faith in the Future from property sales completed in the current year. Collection of owed monies and proceeds from future property sales will assist in repaying the remaining outstanding balance.

The second cause for the decline in assets is depreciation expense related to property and equipment. Approximately $1.8M in depreciation expense is recognized annually. Typically, about $800K in new assets, primarily related to construction in cemeteries, is added to property and equipment each year, leaving a net reduction in property and equipment of about $1M each year.

Receivables in 2012 grew approximately $1.5M over 2011, solely due to workers compensation insurance due from excess carriers to cover claims recognized in Diocesan liabilities (see further notation under heading of Promissory Note section below).

In 2012, cash and cash equivalents, while consistent with 2010 levels, grew about $4M during 2011 due to proceeds from a financial institution loan (see Liabilities below) that were not yet fully utilized.

Liabilities

The largest growth in Diocesan obligations occurred from the following:

  • Pension and other Retirement obligations
  • Notes payable to financial institutions
  • Payables due to other Diocesan entities
  • PENSION AND OTHER RETIREMENT OBLIGATIONS:
    Pension and other retirement obligations continue to be the largest Diocesan liability. The original decline in pension assets initially arose in the eighteen- month period ended December 31, 2009, primarily from investment losses incurred in the global economic downturn between September 2008 and March 2009. Compounding those losses, as previously discussed, defined benefit obligations are required to be reported in the combined statement of financial position based on the amounts the Diocese would have to pay a third party to assume those obligations, even when there is no intention to transfer them. The interest rate that is used in these calculations is equal to current interest rates for high quality corporate bonds of comparable maturities. As these rates fluctuate, so too does the liability the Diocese has for the retirement plans.<As depicted in the charts below, while the plan assets have not changed dramatically, the benefit obligations, due primarily to the change in interest rates, have increased substantially in 2012.

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  • These declines have no near term impact on pension payments to retirees. Pension payments are funded out of current investments and shortfall funding. (In July of 2011, a lay pension shortfall funding plan was implemented by the Diocese whereby each existing Diocesan entity contributes a percentage of their prior year’s payroll dollars to assist in recovering from this underfunded status.)
  • PROMISSORY NOTE:
    The second largest increase in Diocesan liabilities over the past three years is from notes payable to financial institutions, up $7M from 2010. The promissory note to the Knights of Columbus was issued in December 2011 and the proceeds were used to repay, in full, the loan issued from another financial institution as well as partially reduce other payables. Lastly, 2012 payables, other than notes, were consistent with 2010 figures, but up $2.6M compared to 2011. The primary increase was a result of workers’ compensation claims (partially offset with insurance, see Asset Receivable section above), and payables due to other Diocesan entities.
Net Assets

Net Assets decreased by $5.4M in FY 2012, $6.9M in FY 2011 and $5.8M in FY 2010, excluding pensions and retired priests health care. As discussed herein, the operating deficits, have been and continue to be addressed. For example, the Diocese has implemented a Bridgeport inner-city school reorganization, ongoing review of benefits, and a retirement incentive plan in 2013 at the schools as well as at the Catholic Center. The Diocese will continue similar efforts in 2014 and beyond to improve its overall financial position.

Click image below to enlarge.

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This Stewardship Report is first and foremost a record of faith in our Diocese. Nothing could compel the extraordinary commitment, personal giving, and acts of faithful service outlined here other than the experience of the Risen Lord in our midst. It is a faith that binds generations and celebrates the presence of Jesus in our lives and manifests itself in the good works reported below.

As Catholics, we must constantly ask, “How authentic are we as a loving community?” The good works described here answer this important question. They speak to a stewardship with its roots in the Gospel mandate to serve the poor, to care for the sick and to bring the merciful love of Jesus to all those who are seeking reconciliation and healing in life.

Stewardship is a gift, not a burden. Stewards are neither masters nor servants, but loving caretakers who treat the resources with which they are entrusted as if they were their own. In a larger sense, this report is not simply about Diocesan stewardship, but the giving of time, talent and treasure by so many people of faith in our parishes, schools, and throughout the Diocese.

St. Augustine reminds us that only those who are truly grateful for their lives and gifts can be generous to others. They use their own talents well, and give their surplus blessings to support those in need.

This report offers a snapshot of the wide range of ministries, programs, and charisms at work in our local Church. The report also provides a comprehensive and accurate picture of diocesan finances, financial commentary, and a summary of the good work you make possible through your continued financial support.

Living in the Spirit

We are a Diocese of 82 parishes serving 420,000 Catholics in Fairfield County. Our parishes continue to proclaim the Gospel, draw people into the life of the Sacraments, and worship as loving communities that bring the comfort of Jesus to those in need.

  • In our diverse Diocese, Mass is said in 14 languages, and the area’s newest immigrants worship alongside those who have been here for generations. There is a vibrant Vietnamese community worshipping at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport and growing Brazilian communities in Danbury and Bridgeport, as well as a long history of Hispanic and Haitian ministries in our Diocese. Our parishes also serve Polish, Korean, Nigerian, Italian and Hungarian Catholics, along with others from a variety of European, African and Asian countries.
  • The following spiritual movements have brought new fervor and adult faith formation to the Diocese: the Neocatechumenal Way, Legion of Mary, Teams of Our Lady, Magnificat, Marriage Encounter, Walking with Purpose, Focolare, Communion and Liberation, Opus Dei, Cursillo, TEC, Knights of St Gregory, Knights of Malta, Knights of Holy Sepulchre, Knights of Columbus and Columbiettes, Emmaus Youth Retreats, Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, Regina Christi, TMIY (That Man is You!), Sons of St. Joseph, Third Orders of Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, and Benedictines.
  • The Diocese is blessed with 240 priests, 103 deacons, and 343 religious women and men in consecrated life who witness to Christ and serve in loving ministries, and a laity second to none in its generosity and record of faith. Last year we celebrated 4,343 Baptisms, 5,128 First Communions, 5,190 Confirmations and 2,614 Marriages that reflect a vibrant, living Catholic faith. Additionally, seven men were ordained to the priesthood, while 37 seminarians are discerning their vocations and preparing for ministry. Since 2010, we have ordained 13 permanent deacons to our clergy family and we have also welcomed seven new religious communities who bring a deep faith and renewed vitality to the Diocese.

The practice of our faith is a work of grace that draws on the gifts and talents of every believer. In the work of the local Church, we continue to discover new ways to love God and serve one another.

Pastoral Services and Christian Formation

The Diocesan Office for Pastoral Services fosters, guides, and supports the endeavor of life-long formation in the teachings of Christ and all aspects of the Catholic Faith on both the parish and Diocesan levels. It evangelizes by providing catechesis for all ages by supporting and building up parish catechetical programs, youth and young adult ministries, adult formation, Christian Initiation, pro-life and family life activities, marriage preparation, and formation programs for teachers, catechists, catechetical leaders, and clergy.

  • More than 36,000 children participate in the Religious Education programs in the 82 parishes throughout the Diocese. This great collaborative effort between the Diocese and its parishes teaches the Catholic faith to our young people and prepares the next generation of believers.
  • The Adult Formation Ministry has significantly grown. In addition to providing support for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process, the following ministries/opportunities now exist: Professionally recorded St. Cyril of Jerusalem Program available online, Diocesan partnership with Sacred Heart University entitled S.H.A.R.E, numerous annual pilgrimages, Train the Trainer program for parish leaders, and classes to prepare adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
  • Youth Ministry is flourishing in many parishes and schools. Growing numbers of young women and men participate in Convivio (an annual retreat that focuses on their personal relationship with Jesus), World Youth Day (every 2-3 years), an annual Fan the Fire youth rally at St. Rose of Lima Parish, mission trips to Peru and a highly successful High School Apostles leadership program for the youth.
  • The Marriage and Family Ministry oversees the reinvigorated Marriage Preparation Program (650 couples were served in 2012). This ministry has expanded to offer outreach, catechesis and services to newly married couples, couples already married for a number of years, and those individuals who have experienced a divorce. In addition, our Episcopal Vicar for Hispanics oversees a growing Marriage Preparation Program in Spanish.
  • The Ministry for People with Disabilities has received national attention for pioneering catechetical programs that catechize people with developmental disabilities: www.liturgy123.com and Sacraments123 (an iPad mobile app).
  • The Respect Life Program has expanded to include an annual Diocesan trip to the Pro-Life March, the annual Respect Life Mass, Project Rachel (that provides numerous confidential services to woman and men who have suffered through an abortion), Days of Hope and Healing, and the 40 Days for Lifecampaign.
  • The Annual Diocesan Lenten Confessional Campaign has successfully welcomed back thousands of people to the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation over the last several years. This past Lent, the U. S. Bishops encouraged all Dioceses to offer similar campaigns and highlighted the Diocese of Bridgeport program as a model to follow.
Communications

The Diocese of Bridgeport is committed to bringing the Good News of the Gospel to Fairfield County through the use of print, electronic and social media. Its many publications and online efforts inform, evangelize and educate, while helping to build support and resources for the local Church.

  • The Diocesan newspaper, Fairfield County Catholic, continues to thrive with a circulation of over 100,000, making it the largest newspaper in the state, mailed free of charge every month.
  • The Diocesan website records almost 20,000 visits each month and offers timely and detailed information. Usage continues to grow, making the website an impressive and effective way to get the message of the Church out, particularly to our young people. We are committed as a Diocese to stay ahead of the changes in communication that mark our modern life, in service of the Gospel.
  • The Diocese has recently moved into social media with a lively Facebook page, a Youth Page, Twitter and an online newsletter sent to nearly 40,000 registered Catholics who have provided their emails.
Catholic Schools

Our schools continue to model Christ’s example in every aspect of our learning environment, focusing on Gospel values and a strong educational foundation with Catholic identity as our priority. Our parishes continue to provide financial support to achieve our goals through an offertory contribution that has translated into an annual contribution of $100,000 for each of the 25 elementary schools not located in Bridgeport. The Bridgeport Catholic Academies receive support from the Bridgeport parishes and other contributions specifically directed to these schools.

  • Over 50% of our elementary schools have now met the criteria for “Blue Ribbon” status by the U.S. Department of Education, the highest national honor for any school. This puts our schools in the top 10% of public and private schools in the country. Our students in grades 3-8 at our Blue Ribbon schools rank in the top 15% of schools in the country in reading and math.
  • In our five Diocesan Catholic high schools, average SAT scores in critical reading and writing are above state and national norms. The average percentage of our students scoring 600 or better in SAT mathematics and writing was higher than national norms. 99% of all our high school graduates continue on to post secondary education.
  • Our schools continue to thrive, both academically and spiritually. Overall, our enrollment continues to increase across our schools as a whole, serving over 10,000 students in our 34 schools (28 elementary schools, our special needs school (St. Catherine Academy) and 5 high schools). Our commitment to serving inner-city students continues to be a priority. This fall, we opened the newly consolidated Cathedral Academy on two campuses in Bridgeport. The Catholic Academies of Bridgeport, including the Cathedral Academy, St. Ann and St Andrew, as well as several of our neighboring Catholic elementary schools, are serving over 1200 students from Bridgeport alone, more than half of whom benefit from financial assistance. St. Peter School in Danbury, whose students hail from diverse cultural backgrounds, continues to serve a growing international population in this city.
  • Professional development of our teachers remains a priority, with programs held in conjunction with Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University.
Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities offers more than 30 programs across Fairfield County, serving thousands of needy and vulnerable of all backgrounds and faiths. The core services include nutrition, counseling, housing, family support, immigration services and adoption. Catholic Charities operates with a budget in excess of $10.8M per year, with monies raised from various governmental and other grants, fee for services, fundraisers and other means of support, as well as a $1.25M contribution from the Annual Bishop’s Appeal.

  • A broad range of nutrition activities includes six programs in Bridgeport, Stamford, and Danbury serving 1.5 million meals annually in soup kitchens, food pantries, the elderly in their homes and senior centers, as well as more than 200 meals daily to inner-city youth. We recently initiated an effort to provide fresh and nutritionally beneficial food in the past year.
  • Individual and family mental health support services are available through three clinics that provide 15,000 clinical sessions annually. With a growing focus on children, we provide psychiatrists and psychologists in these clinics and in our schools. Catholic Charities is often the only help available to many of our most fragile clients. This service is and will continue to be available in especially difficult situations such as the Newtown tragedy. These much needed programs will be maintained in spite of shrinking financial support from government and private sources.
  • Housing needs are one of the biggest challenges we face in Fairfield County but an increased focus on meeting these needs has resulted in the establishment of several facilities in Bridgeport and Stratford currently providing permanent and transitional housing for nearly 200 individuals and families.
  • Family support services are an inherent part of all Catholic Charities programs but, in particular, our Room to Grow preschool program in Norwalk that serves 83, three to five year old children from families with limited resources. We hope to expand this very successful program in the near term.
  • Immigration Support Services provides legal and lifestyle counseling to several hundred individuals and families regularly. We are certified by the Department of Justice and expect this welcoming activity will continue to grow as immigration changes evolve with legislation on the horizon in the next few years.
  • Catholic Charities’ oldest service, the Adoption program, has been restructured as the number of children available for adoption has decreased. We currently offer pregnancy counseling and home studies across the County. In addition, we are one of only two Hague accredited agencies in the State, enhancing our ability to serve other agencies with, in particular, foreign adoptions.

As a follow up to this report, audited financial statements for Catholic Chairities with commentary for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2009 through 2012 will be made available by January 31, 2014 on the Catholic Charities website.

Financial Issues

Among the significant issues presented in the accompanying Diocesan financial statements, which also warrant discussion here are the following:

Operating Deficits
As reflected in the Disaggregated Statement of Activities, net assets have declined each year for the three years reviewed in these statements. The primary causes for these operating deficits from ongoing activities are:

  • The level of uncollectible amounts of reimbursable revenue intended to cover employee benefits and insurance program expenses, primarily from inner-city schools and parishes.
  • Increasing cost of healthcare and benefits.
  • Reduction of anticipated Annual Bishop’s Appeal contributions.

The causes of the decline in net assets have been and continue to be addressed. Specifically, an inner-city school reorganization was implemented to generate the necessary funding to meet current obligations, including all employee benefits and insurance programs. Additionally, the Diocese is consistently reviewing benefits, both healthcare and other benefits, in order to provide adequate support to our employees yet maintain a manageable level of expense for the Diocese.

Through fostering participation in wellness, we partner with our employees to keep costs low and services reasonable. Finally, although the Annual Bishop’s Appeal fell short of its goal this past year, this was not unexpected. Without a Bishop, fundraising efforts were challenging, but the Diocese anticipated this challenge and took measures to cut current payroll and benefit expenses, which will be reflected in future year’s savings.

  • Pension Plans and Retired Priest HealthcareAided by the steady recovery of the investment market, the Diocesan Lay Pension Plan continues to recover from the losses it incurred in the 2008-2009 timeframe. However, for purposes of the presentation of the Diocesan financial statements and accompanying commentary found in the report, the long term financial obligations pertaining to the lay pension, priest pension and retired priests’ healthcare have been segregated from the results of the Diocese’s annual operations. By segregating these long-term obligations, you will see a much clearer financial picture of the Diocese’s operational position. While these long-term pension obligations continue to show a significant deficit, the Diocese fully expects to be able to meet all of its ongoing obligations to its former and retired employees under its pension plans. In addition to the condensed, disaggregated financial statements, the full, audited financial statements for the reporting periods of 2010, 2011 and 2012 are available for download on the Diocesan website.
  • Sexual Abuse CasesAs is presented in the commentary accompanying the financial statements, settlements associated with sexual abuse cases have consistently decreased over the last several years. In the State of Connecticut, the statute of limitations allows claims to be brought up to 30 years beyond the complainant’s 18th birthday. Despite this lengthy claims window, the Diocese continues to see a reduction in claims. Further, all of the current claims against the Diocese involve incidents allegedly occurring before 1985. All payments associated with these claims have been supported in full by the sale of Diocesan real estate assets. None of the monies collected by the Diocese from parishes or other fundraising efforts including the Annual Bishop’s Appeal are used to pay settlement claims.
  • Faith in the Future FundThe Faith in the Future Fund was created in 1995 when Bishop Edward M. Egan authorized a capital campaign to provide a source of endowed support for various ministries in the Diocese. While investment losses have prevented any income distributions from the Fund for the past several years, gradual recovery has positioned the Fund to resume distributing support to its respective beneficiaries beginning in 2014. As of December 2012, the Faith in the Future Fund had investments totaling more than $17.3M, with an additional $4.7M in funds due from the Diocese. Advances from Faith in the Future Fund were made to the Diocese in 2011 to support employee benefit insurance programs that a number of schools were unable to fund. Because these schools are now beginning to pay down these debts and other funds became available, a majority of the advanced funds received by the Diocese were repaid earlier in 2013. As of September 2013, Faith in the Future Fund had over $21.1M in investments, with $1.7M of additional funds due from the Diocese.The Diocese is committed to return in full as quickly as possible all the advanced sums it received to ensure future distributions out of the Fund. A complete, comprehensive financial report for the Faith in the Future Fund will be issued separately from this presentation by January 31, 2014.
  • Knights of ColumbusIn December 2011, the Diocese issued a promissory note to the Knights of Columbus for $15M. The proceeds were used to repay in full a loan issued from another financial institution as well as reduce other long and short term payables. Terms of the note are as follows:

    • Term of Loan: 20 years
    • Interest Rate: 5% fixed
    • Structure of Loan: 5 years interest-only payments with the remaining balance amortized over the remaining 15 year term
    • Security: Certain properties owned by the Diocese, primarily vacant land (no parish or school properties included) If properties are sold, 75% of the net proceeds shall be used to pay the principal balance, during 2013 a portion of the principal balance of the loan, $2.7M was repaid from the sale of some of these properties.

    In other financial matters, the Diocese continues to strengthen the financial services it provides for both our schools and our parishes. For our Diocesan elementary schools, our School Finance Department provides comprehensive assistance in the budgeting and accounting functions. In our parishes, the continued use of the basic policies and procedures established in the Parish Administration & Finance Manual has created a strong foundation for all parish finance activities. This year alone, our Parish Finance group assisted our parishes in recovering tax refunds of over $300,000 associated with health care premiums paid by our parishes on behalf of their employees as small business employers.

    The summary financial statements that follow were derived from the complete financial statements prepared by EisnerAmperLLC, an independent certified public accounting firm. The complete audited financial statements, including an unqualified (clean) opinion) for the same period are available for download on the Diocesan website.

December, 2013
Dear Friends in Christ,

Allow me to begin by expressing my sincere gratitude for the heartfelt welcome you have given me since my arrival as Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport. I am truly humbled to serve the Lord in this strong, diverse and faith-filled community. Further, I am truly blessed to follow the strong and dedicated leadership of my predecessors.

As I begin my ministry in your midst, I commit to you, the priests, deacons, women and men in consecrated life and the lay faithful of the Diocese, my unwavering commitment to serve as your shepherd here in Fairfield County.

My vision for the future of the Diocese of Bridgeport is one of a growing and vibrant Church that welcomes everyone who seeks to deepen their relationship with the Lord Jesus within our Catholic community of faith. Central to this welcome is my desire to invite all of our young people to grow in love of the Lord Jesus and to find their spiritual home in our parishes and schools. My vision is one of hope and growth, of renewed faith and charity towards those most in need.

With your help, support and prayers, I stand ready to collaborate with you to make this vision a reality.

As a necessary first step in building the future of our Diocese in service of the Lord, I wish to begin by sharing the accompanying Stewardship Report that includes a summary of our ministries and a picture of the current financial position of the Diocese of Bridgeport. To that end, presented in this report are the condensed financial statements and commentary for fiscal years 2010, 2011 and 2012 for the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation (the “Diocese”). Also being presented as part of this report are the full audits for fiscal years 2010, 2011 and 2012, which can be found online at here. These audited financial statements received clean, unqualified opinion letters from our outside auditors. By December 31, 2013, we will also issue financial statements with commentary for fiscal year 2009. Since the 2009 audit year reflects an 18 month audit, as the result of a change in the Diocesan fiscal year from June 30th to December 31st, it is not a comparative report to those issued here. By January 31, 2014 a full accounting of the Diocesan endowment fund, Faith in the Future, will be issued.

This stewardship report and accompanying financial statements are the first step in a three step process. With this report I am providing a current assessment of the Diocese, as well as specific information on its recent past. The second step will be to undergo a consultative and collaborative process by which we can articulate together a comprehensive pastoral and strategic vision for the future of our Diocese. Included in that vision will be identifying those areas of pastoral life that need to be revitalized in order to realize a vibrant and growing Church. The third step will be to develop a concrete plan that will allow us to realize this vision over the next few years. To achieve these goals, I will seek the assistance and collaboration of all in Diocesan leadership, as well as all the clergy, religious and lay leaders of our Diocese.

As we know, the past five years have seen great change and presented significant challenges in our country’s broader financial markets. The Diocese has also experienced similar change and challenges, as outlined in our financial statements. Like many other non-profit organizations and individuals during 2008, the investment portfolio of the Diocese, particularly the Diocesan Lay Pension Plan, experienced market-related losses. Additionally, the Diocese has struggled over the past several years with an annual operating deficit, primarily due to the inability to collect all of the insurance premiums due from some of our schools and parishes. As a result, the Diocese required both external and internal borrowings to finance ongoing regular operations. You will see in the accompanying reports how the Diocese has chosen to address these challenges. Finally, despite these financial challenges, the Diocese has continued to honor its commitment not to fund any settlements of sexual abuse claims with monies from donors, parishes or Diocesan accounts but has funded these settlements with past and ongoing property sales.

Over the last few years, the Diocese has taken a number of steps to strengthen its financial position. Among these steps are:

  • Freezing the Lay Pension Plan for all participants as of July 2010, and replacing it with a defined contribution plan for employees;
  • Instituting a pension shortfall assessment in 2011, with plans to continue the assessment each year until the liability is fully discharged;
  • Close monitoring of the pension fund’s asset allocation and investment strategy by the Diocesan Finance Council Investment Committee;
  • Ongoing review and reorganization of Diocesan operations, to generate efficiencies and reduced expenses.

As I have studied the situation over the last two months, I wish to commend those in past positions of Diocesan leadership who made difficult decisions to address these challenges. I applaud my predecessors and Monsignor Jerald Doyle, whose hard work before my arrival has given us a solid foundation upon which to build.

I am grateful to our Diocesan financial services team, the Diocesan Finance Council, the College of Consultors, and many others for their hard work and dedication to ensure faithful stewardship of the resources entrusted to the Church’s care.

As we acknowledge the challenges that we face as a Diocese here in Fairfield County, I am delighted to report that our 82 parishes, 34 schools, our social service ministry provided by Catholic Charities, and many other pastoral, spiritual, and educational services offered by the Diocese and outlined in this report have faithfully and generously served the Lord Jesus and His people very well. Whether we look at our spiritual and pastoral life, educational and social service ministries, or the financial stewardship provided by our Diocese, there is great news and much progress to be celebrated.

While we continue to work together to enhance our financial resources, we are all committed to doing the Lord’s work in our parishes and communities. It is each of you, our faithful priests, deacons and women and men in consecrated life who have given their lives in dedicated witness to the Church, and the lay faithful who have given their time, talent, and treasure, who make this work possible. We all share this responsibility, through our individual vocations and ministries, and the support we give to our parishes and the Annual Bishop’s Appeal.

I ask you to join me to foster a growing and vibrant Church here in the Diocese of Bridgeport, where all are welcome and in which our young people will find their spiritual home.

It is in this spirit that I wish to express my sincere thanks to all of you for your generosity and commitment to Christ and His Church. May our work in the years ahead reap great fruit as we strive to serve the Lord through one another.

As we enter the Advent season, please be assured of my prayers for you and your loved ones.

Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano
Bishop of Bridgeport

2022
The Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation and Affiliate audited financial statements as of June 30, 2022 and 2021

2021
The Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation and Affiliate audited financial statements as of June 30, 2021 and 2020
We Stand With Christ, Inc Financial Statements with Independent Auditor’s Report Period Years Ended June 30, 2021 and 2020
Foundations in Faith, Inc Financial Statements with Independent Auditor’s Report Years Ended June 30, 2021 and 2020

2020
The Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation and Affiliate audited financial statements as of June 30, 2020 and 2019
We Stand With Christ, Inc Financial Statements with Independent Auditor’s Report Period Years Ended June 30, 2020 and 2019
Foundations in Faith, Inc Financial Statements with Independent Auditor’s Report Years Ended June 30, 2020 and 2019

2019
The Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation and Affiliate audited financial statements as of June 30, 2019 and 2018
We Stand With Christ, Inc Financial Statements with Independent Auditor’s Report Period from Inception (December 15, 2017) through June 30, 2018 and Year Ended June 30, 2019
Foundations in Faith, Inc Financial Statements with Independent Auditor’s Report Years Ended June 30, 2019 and 2018

2018
The Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation and Affiliate audited financial statements as of June 30, 2018 and 2017
Foundations in Faith, Inc Audited Financial Statements as of June 30, 2018 and 2017
Foundations in Faith, Inc. IRS 990 informational return for the period ending June 30, 2018

2017
The Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation and Affiliate audited financial statement as of June 30, 2017
Faith in the Future Fund, Inc Audited Financial Statements as of June 30, 2017 and 2016
Faith in the Future Fund, Inc. IRS 990 informational return for the period ending June 30, 2017

Faith in the Future: 2017 Stewardship Report

2016
The Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation and Affiliate audited financial statements for the 18 month period ending June 30, 2016
Faith in the Future Fund, Inc. audited financial statements for the period ending June 30, 2016
Faith in the Future Fund, Inc. IRS 990 informational return for the period ending June 30, 2016


Faith in the Future: 2016 Stewardship Report

2015
Faith in the Future Fund Financial Statements with Independent Auditor’s Report (PDF)
Faith in the Future Fund, Inc. IRS 990 informational return for the period ending June 30, 2015

2014
Combined Financial Statements and Supplementary Information (PDF)
Faith in the Future, Inc. audited financial statements for June 30 (PDF)
Faith in the Future, Inc. IRS 990 informational return for June 30 (PDF)

2010 – 2013
Bishop Caggiano Introductory Letter
Combined Statements of Financial Position for December 31, 2013 and 2012 (PDF)
Stewardship Report

Full Audits for Fiscal Years 2010 – 2012
Combined Financial Statements – December 31, 2012 and 2011 (PDF)
Combined Financial Statements – December 31, 2011 and 2010 (PDF)

2009
Combined Financial Statements Together with Report of Independent Certified Public Accountants, December 31 (PDF)


Featured News

Accountability Sunday set for December 4 November 30, 2022

BRIDGEPORT— Accountability Sunday is set for December 4, across the diocese. All diocesan parishes, schools and certain entities across the diocese will simultaneously issue their financial reports to the faithful using a standardized accounting reporting model.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano instituted Accountability Sunday last year to ensure financial transparency, communicate to all parishioners and donors that good stewardship is being practiced, and provide a standard report that is consistent and straightforward.

Michael Hanlon, CPA, chief financial officer of the diocese, said that in order to ensure uniformity and consistency in reporting, the diocese has created a standardized template that will now be used by all parishes and schools. Every entity is required to report annually the results of their financial activities for the fiscal year ending June 30.

The individual reports will be made accessible either via parish bulletin or parish websites, school websites and the diocesan websites.

“We had a very positive response last year,” said Hanlon. “People told us they appreciated the transparency and uniformity in reporting. This hopefully allows everyone a simple method to understand the financial conditions of reporting diocesan entities. I believe it’s a way to show our gratitude and respect for those who give sacrificially to support their parish or other entities and the larger work of the Church.”

Hanlon said that the Accountability Sunday financial statements are designed to be accessible so that the average person in the pew who may not have experience reading financial reports could understand the financial details. He added that the reports may show that without other revenue sources, including fundraising activities undertaken by parishes and schools, many would report operational deficits.

The Diocese of Bridgeport publishes its yearly budget and Consolidated Financial Statements in Fairfield County Catholic and on its website.

View the diocesan reports:

2022
2022 Accountability Sunday – Diocesan Operations
2022 Accountability Sunday – Cemetery Operations

Also visit: www.bridgeportdiocese.org/finance-services

Members of the Diocesan Finance Council

.
Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano
Bishop of Bridgeport

Msgr. Thomas Powers
Vicar General, Diocese of Bridgeport

Mr. Michael Hanlon, CPA
Chief Financial Officer, Diocese of Bridgeport

Deacon Patrick Toole
Episcopal Delegate for Administration, Diocese of Bridgeport

Ms. Anne McCrory
Chief Legal & Real Estate Officer, Diocese of Bridgeport

Mr. William H. Besgen
Retired Vice Chairman, President, and Board Director, Hitachi Capital America Corporation
Term: January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2024

Ms. Cathy Bradley
Retired, President of Spoken Communications
Term: January 1, 2020 – January 1, 2025

Ms. Mary Jo Dyer
Managing Director, Merritt Capital Investment Advisors, LLC
Term: January 1, 2020 – January 1, 2025

Mr. Michael F. Hoben
Retired CEO, Benefit Capital Management Corporation
Term: January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2024

Mr. Michael O’Rourke
Senior Vice President, Oppenheimer & Co., Inc.
Term: January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2024

Mr. Arthur Rhatigan
Senior Vice President/CorporateTeam Lead, Bank United
Term: January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2024

Mr. Joseph D. Roxe
Chairman, Bayholdings LLC and Chairman, The Roxe Foundation
Term: January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2024

Mr. Robert Salandra
Managing Director, G.E. Energy Financial Services
Term: January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2024

Mr. J. Howard Steckler
Retired Managing Director of Insurance Tax at Ernest and Young LLP
Term: January 1, 2020 – January 1, 2025

Mr. Kenneth G. Thompson
President and CEO, TD Private Client Services, LLC
Term: January 1, 2020 – January 1, 2025

Mr. James G. Woods
Managing Member, Venman & Co. LLC
Term: January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2024

Mr. Brian Young
General Partner, EOS Partners
Term: January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2024

Mr. Michael Zampardi
Managing Partner, Columbia Advisor
Term: January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2024

 

Audit Committee

Mr. James G. Woods — Chair
Managing Member, Venman & Co. LLC

Mr. Michael F. Hoben
Retired CEO, Benefit Capital Management Corporation

Mr. Brian Young
General Partner, EOS Partners

 

Compensation Committee

Mr. James G. Woods — Chair
Managing Member, Venman & Co. LLC

Mr. Arthur Rhatigan
Senior Vice President/CorporateTeam Lead, Bank United