2013 Annual Report
the national leadership roundtable on church management
Transforming Catholic parishes, dioceses, and nonprofits through the promotion of best practices.


Dear Friend,

It was quite the year for the Leadership Roundtable. The number of individuals and organizations participating in and offering financial support to our mission grew. The demand for our services and resources swelled. And the transformation of parishes, dioceses, and Catholic nonprofits into beacons of best practices motivated and inspired leaders throughout the Church.

Inside our 2013 Annual Report, you’ll read stories of success about those who benefit most from our programs: the lay, religious and ordained leaders who work in service to our Church. On the back, you’ll find a map that shows our national network of Catholic institutions committed to best practices. And after nearly a decade as our extraordinary founding chair of the Leadership Roundtable, Geoff Boisi will pass the gavel this June. He offered his thoughts on the organization’s founding and its future in an interview for this publication.

Finally, this report highlights our list of donors, the individuals and organizations who, through their financial commitment to the Leadership Roundtable, strengthen the management, finance, and human resource development of the Church we love. Our gratitude is boundless, and we encourage you to join us in this important movement.


Kery Robinson,
Executive Director

Best practices to Baltimore and beyond through the Mid-Atlantic Congress

Fr. John Hurley, CSP, has known for awhile what makes the Church run smoothly —utilizing the skills of its employees, volunteers, and members effectively—and that is why he has partnered with the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management since its inception.

In his current role as the Executive Director of Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Fr. Hurley teamed up with the Leadership Roundtable to strengthen the Church both at home and around the country. But his relationship with the Leadership Roundtable began before he arrived in Baltimore, when, as executive director of the National Pastoral Life Center, he participated in several Leadership Roundtable Annual Meetings
in both Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

As the Archdiocese of Baltimore welcomed its newleader, Archbishop William Lori, the administrative team there recognized that the time was right to examine how well its employees’s skills were being

used, and to seize opportunities that would enable the Archdiocese to live out its Gospel mission more fully. “The first place I went was to the Leadership Roundtable,” Fr. Hurley said. He said that individuals working in leadership positions must be “prophetic and call people to greatness at the same time,” and he noted that the Leadership Roundtable possesses the “professional skills to help the Church develop best practices in the pastoral staff.” So the Leadership Roundtable led a series of workshops for the Archdiocesan senior management day, during which, according to Fr. Hurley, “the Leadership Roundtable helped us as a staff understand the importance of management issues during a transition.”

Following that, the Leadership Roundtable worked in partnership with the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Association of Catholic Publishers to spread leadership and best practices even further. At the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Congress for Pastoral Leadership, parish and diocesan leaders from over

55 dioceses assembled in Baltimore for sessions on leadership development. As a partner at this annual event, the Leadership Roundtable provides subject experts for three participant tracks, including a special day exclusively for bishops. Why did Mid- Atlantic Congress organizers turn to the Leadership Roundtable? “Because you can’t get what the Roundtable does anywhere else” Fr. Hurley explained.

The Leadership Roundtable model is successful, Fr. Hurley said, because it begins by listening to those working in the Church, asking them about their concerns and challenges. Then, in consultation with leading Catholics from a wide swath of sectors, it customizes solutions, relying on its nearly one dozen programs and resources and sometimes hosting workshops through its consulting services. This approach guided the Leadership Roundtable in Baltimore and at the Mid-Atlantic Congress.

To learn more about Mid-Atlantic Congress, visit www.midatlanticcongress.org.

A Toolbox for the
21st-century pastor

St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Vista, CA, is everything a parish hopes to be: vibrant and multicultural, with a focus on social justice and a commitment to live the Gospel the way its namesake preached, through action rather than words.

Comprised of over 9,000 families, with 12 weekend Masses in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, and 30 full- and part-time employees, St. Francis Parish would challenge even the most experienced pastor. So it was with some trepidation, though tempered with faith in divine providence, that Fr. Efrain Bautista accepted his bishop’s call to serve as pastor of this growing community in the Diocese of San Diego after just two years of ordination.

With the confidence to recognize that the parish faced certain managerial challenges he couldn’t address alone, Fr. Bautista turned to the Toolbox for Pastoral Management for guidance. The Toolbox, a partnership between the Leadership Roundtable and Seton Hall University, is a weeklong series of workshops that offers new Catholic pastors an opportunity to connect with other priests to share their experiences and learn from experts in the field.

Two presentations in particular imbued Fr. Bautista with the confidence to make changes at the parish. He gained insight on what makes pastoral councils work well, and then consolidated the 150-member parish council into an advisory body of 9 individuals that represents the various constituencies of the parish. A workshop on risk management prompted Fr. Bautista to hire a layperson to serve as an advocate for the parish in dealing with contractors during building projects.

Fr. Bautista applied lessons from the Toolbox to
transform the management culture of St. Francis, creating an environment where parishioners feel responsible for the vitality of parish life.

“The Toolbox gave me better insight into how I can
serve people of this community and it gave me tools to come back, look at the parish, and revisit what we are doing. I returned with the confidence to say, ‘We can change this. This is what we as a community need to do, and this is what we as a parish need to do,’” Fr. Bautista explained. “After the toolbox I felt like I could offer my parish much more. It gave me a new awareness of what I am able to provide as a pastor.”

Visit www.pastorstoolbox.org to learn more.

Preparing tomorrow's
Catholic leaders for
service today

How do we prepare young adult Catholics for a life of faithful service to the Church? Remind them that by virtue of their baptism, they are charged with serving the Church. Then equip them with skills and tools to be leaders parishes, dioceses, and Catholic nonprofits not in the future, but today, immediately, when the Church needs them most.

This is what motivates ESTEEM — Engaging Students to Enliven the Ecclesial Mission—a joint project of the Leadership Roundtable and St. Thomas More Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale University.

At each of 12 campus sites, a cohort of student leaders works with their campus ministers in faith formation, service opportunities, mentoring relationships with
Catholic professionals in their chosen fields, and leadership education that prepares them for lives of service. Both students and campus ministers alike report that their experience in ESTEEM has been life changing.

Anne Krasniak from Purdue University said, “I now have the tools to be an active young adult in the Catholic Church” and Sujin Hong from the University of California at Berkeley proclaimed, “I feel called to become a better leader and to play a more active role in my community!” Mary Starks from UCLA spoke highly of the mentorship component. “ESTEEM has had a huge impact on my life, from the discussion topics, to the mentorship program. I will be graduating this year, and my mentor has helped me applying to grad-schools. I feel very confident about graduation any my faith after college,” she said. Dan Baker from Michigan State expressed gratitude to the donors who make ESTEEM possible, who “allow us to come together in community as the young Church, and work to form our leadership skills. ESTEEM helped energize us and make us ready to go out into the world as Catholics.” Megan O’Neil from Stanford also expressed her gratitude to donors. “ESTEEM has been an incredible part of my college career. I can’t thank you enough for your generosity,” she said.

Visit www.esteemleadership.org to learn more.

Vibrant parish ministry the result
of vision, mission-drive team

Sacred Heart Parish in Southbury, CT, is as vibrant a faith community as any. Under the leadership of its pastoral staff, led by Fr. Joe Donnelly, the Catholic community of over two-thousand families partnered with a parish in Haiti, teamed up to build new facilities, launched an intergenerational faith formation program, and established structures to welcome families into the bustling parish.

By all accounts, the parish was functioning as a parish should, with vim and vigor, beautiful liturgies, and a concern for the well being of its members. Yet Fr. Joe felt that the community was scattered, and while its activities were fruitful and succeeded in living out the Gospel, he and his team had the insight to see the need for a more strategic way of being church, one that ensured long-term viability and an overarching vision for the parish and its members.

So he turned to parishioner Paul Butler, a management consultant with years of experience helping major companies chart their courses. Together, Paul and Fr. Joe looked to Leadership Roundtable resources, specifically the Standards for Excellence® codes, as they launched a months-long effort to plot out a strategic plan for the parish. The Standards codes provided a framework for their discussions as well as validation that this was the right path for the parish. Communication was key, they said, and so they presented the plans at the beginning of the process to all stakeholders in the parish community and invited them to be part of the transparent process. Then, they identified individuals to serve in key positions of leadership and formed cohorts of parishioners to participate in the process.

The results at Sacred Heart have been dramatic. Fr. Joe reports that the parish has transformed its culture into one that is more collaborative and more focused. The parish council was restructured and revitalized, leading to the creation of the Parish Advisory Council, a model that includes more voices and works in tandem directly with the parish’s strategic plan. Today, it is comprised of lay leaders representing each of the parish’s 7 identified priorities working with the pastoral staff. Strategic planning and a constant focus on the best practices found in the Standards for Excellence aren’t supplementary to ministry, they said, but an integral part of ministry itself. With their guiding vision and strategic plan in place, the parish now has a roadmap on how to live its ministry, taking into account its available resources and personnel. The process is ongoing, with each new activity and ministry checked against both the strategic plan and the Standards codes to see how it fits in with the mission of the parish.

The vision begins with the Gospel, is articulated in the strategic plan, then actualized through the hard work of parishioners and their pastor.

Visit CatholicStandardsForExcellence.org
to learn more.