Diocese aims for excellence in stewardship of assets

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Lindsay Steele
Diocesan staff members prepare welcome kits for Vision 20/20 delegates last summer at St. Vincent Center in Davenport.

By Tom Tallman
For The Catholic Messenger

The Book of Proverbs tells us, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.” If you lived in ancient Israel when Proverbs was written, it is likely that the condition and well-being of your flocks would be a reflection on your personal commitment to what has been entrusted to you. It was important that every one of your livestock be accounted for and protected. And so it is today. The Diocese of Davenport seeks to be excellent stewards of the assets in our custody to advance our mission: “As a Eucharistic community, we live out Jesus’ call to go and make disciples of all nations and to love God and neighbor.”

At the most recent Diocesan Corporate and Finance meeting, the auditing firm Honkamp Krueger & Co. P.C. presented the independent audited financial report of the Diocese of Davenport for fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019). Once again, the diocese received an unqualified opinion, the highest level you can achieve. The completed financial report is available on the diocese website (www.davenportdiocese.org) within the Finance Office section. Please remember the financial report for the diocese does not include the financial status of diocesan parishes or schools as these entities are organized independently and maintain their own set of fiscal records.

You are invited to review the financial report and the accompanying notes not just as a summary of the financial position of the diocese but to look beyond the numbers to the lives being positively impacted as we continue in our commitment to learn, live, and love our Catholic faith in southeastern Iowa.

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The Vision 20/20: From Pentecost to Pentecost initiative is perhaps the most visible and far-reaching example of lives being touched in the diocese. Each of the diocesan offices contributed expertise in organizing the Vision 20/20 Convocation and moving the initiative forward into the parishes, schools and other entities.

Led by the Office of the Bishop, the other diocesan offices are Archives, Communi­cations, Development, Diacon­ate, Dio­cesan Archives, Faith Formation, Finance, Human Resources, Liturgy, Multicultural Ministry, Parish Leadership, Safe Envi­ronment, Schools, Social Action, Stewardship, Tribunal, and Vocations.

Here are some other ways in which diocesan offices touched lives in our diocese this past year:

• Through the Faith Formation office, 53 couples, along with their families and friends, celebrated the Diocesan 50th Wedding Anni­versary Liturgy and reception at St. Mary Parish in Solon. Eighty-nine engaged couples participated in one of five diocesan marriage preparation workshops. Step Out to Serve, a service initiative from Memorial Day to Labor Day, involved 475 youths and adults contributing more than 5,600 hours of service to people in need. Basic formation in-service was offered to 212 teachers, catechist skills workshops were provided to 43 catechists and formation activities for 79 ministry leaders.

• The Multicultural Ministry office organized a conference that drew 1,250 people. Through this office, more than 60 lay people received ministry formation training and are serving in their parishes.

• The Vocations office organized a Hundredfold Workshop to promote vocations committees in parishes. This office also oversees seminarian education and formation and provides for professional development for the Vocations director.

• The Liturgy office assisted Bishop Thomas Zinkula directly by preparing the major diocesan liturgies, such as the 50th Wedding Anniversary Mass, Rite of Election, Chrism Mass and ordinations. This office also assisted the bishop with special parish celebrations such as confirmations, pastor installations, and parish anniversaries. The Liturgy office also hosted diocesan workshops and responds to questions from clergy and lay.

• The Deacon Formation office is preparing eight men discerning a vocation to the Diaconate. This involves providing for academic formation, practical pastoral ministry experience, mentors and spiritual directors and conducting evaluations and interviews of those in formation, among other activities.

• The Social Action office staff and volunteers participate in community-wide meetings representing the diocese on issues such as affordable housing, immigration rights and needs, and the 2020 U.S. Census. This office shares information with local parishes through various media platforms, promotes right to life issues, produces a monthly newsletter, and oversees the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award.

• The Marriage Tribunal office completed 42 formal marriage cases pertaining to the annulment process and handled nearly 30 other annulment-related cases. This office received and processed 249 marriage prenuptial papers and gave presentations in each of the diocese’s six deaneries to explain marriage and annulment.

• The Communication office’s Technology department played a vital role in the success of the Vision 20/20 Convocation through its planning efforts, technology mobilization and the creation of the Vision 20/20 website. During the year this office upgraded the main computer servers at the Chancery to allow for the continued efficient use of resources and ease of communication within the entire diocese.

The ministries highlighted here are a small sample of the undertakings accomplished during the fiscal year and would not be possible without the kind generosity of our benefactors and supporters. On behalf of the numerous people who are served by the diocese, a sincere thank you to everyone who has given of themselves to support our endeavors. It is greatly appreciated.

The financial report is designated to provide the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport with a general overview of our finances and to show the accountability and stewardship for the generous gifts we received. If you have questions about the financial reports or need additional financial information, please contact Tom Tallman, Chief Financial Officer at (563) 888-4365.

(Editor Barb Arland-Fye contributed to this article.)


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