Get Up, and Get Moving....

An opportunity for people of serious and orthodox Catholic faith of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to share the means to improve their own Churches.

Location: near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Show me the money!

To whatever regular readers my little blog might have...sorry for the few days away. There was work to be done elsewhere.

One of these days I must seek out the Latin translation of the phrase "missed opportunity." I believe that there will simply come a day when His Excellency, Timothy M. Dolan will concede that this has virtually become his motto during his short, and thus far uneventful tenure, here in Milwaukee. I know that this has been a mantra of mine, but sadly, it rings so true.

Foremost among missed opportunities has been the Archbishop's seemingly pathological fear of actually hiring, or promoting, from outside of Rembert Weakland's well-entrenched bureacracy. I have noted that there are three exceptions that might show his willingness to act: Hiring Bro. Bob Smith for education, getting rid of Fr. Tom Brundage from the newspaper, and promoting Fr. Paul Hartman to vicar judicial.

Here is just the latest sad example though. At the Archdiocesan website it has been announced that His Excellency has promoted a 16-year long, Weakland hiree, to be the new Director of Development. I will admit that I know nothing of Ms. Lethlean personally, but not only did the Archbishop miss an opportunity that might have shaken up the diocesan offices a little, I cannot say that there is a track record of success to be recognized here.

Remember that "development" is the new byword for what we all used to call fundraising. So, there are quantifiables that can be measured in this sort of thing. (This leaves aside for now the intangibles of how little success the development office has shown in taking advantage of the change in regimes for fundraising purposes.)

Our local diocese of some 730,000 Catholics, has an annual Catholic Stewardship Appeal that barely exceeded last years goal of $7.4M. Sounds pretty significant, doesn't it? But how does it compare?

Archdiocese of St. Louis, 555,000 Catholics -- annual appeal goal = $11.25
Archdiocese of Hartford, 695,000 Catholics -- Archbishop's Annual appeal = $8.73M
Diocese of Buffalo, 707,00 Catholics -- Annual Charities apeal = $10.9M

These are just a few. But it seems that our very slowly rising $7.4M represents one of the following:

1) People are voting with thier pocket books. Bold initiatives for the faith will produce far better results.
2) The present "development" structure has been either unable, or unwilling, to take advantage of the charisma of Archbishop Dolan. But, then again, this may be in the face of option one.
3) Given the aforementioned options...our Office of Development just isn't very good.

I think it was Jimmy Durante who had the line..."What a revoltin' development." So true.

A closing thought would be the hope that comes from unintended consequences. At the present rate (wherein development does not even keep up with inflation) someday soon there will be no diocesan employees left from which to hire from within. Of course between now and then alot of damage can be done and it is likely that those kept on will be the most harmful ones.

There you have's rant. I will give something to the Church: my parish, some schools, maybe direct support of the Pallium Lectures. But, all in all, I am not confident about giving to the diocese itself any time soon.



Blogger WICatholic said...

Do you have any way of knowing if they still use the Enneagram for seminary applicants? I wrote to him about my concern there when he first came to Milwaukee, and can no longer find it referenced on the website. Was always wondering if it had been stopped, or just put underground. Fr Pacwa has written much on the subject... and it isn't good.

And you can come and visit anytime, and post info on similar events in the Archdiocese! I put your information right up front! God bless!

Friday, January 27, 2006 2:31:00 AM  
Blogger Neo-Con Tastic said...

Loosely: absumpsi opportunitas.

Friday, January 27, 2006 5:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Thanks for visiting Sacred Ordinary, Mike. I don't know if anyone who reads at my blog hails from your area, but I'm happy to accept your plug. If you don't read Steve Bogner, pick him up on my blogroll.

Friday, January 27, 2006 9:17:00 AM  

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