2009 News Archives
December 7, 2009

Catholic Church of Long Island Implements Electronic Giving Program with Faith Direct. The Catholic Church of Long Island is launching a comprehensive, electronic giving program that is available to all 133 parishes with Faith Direct.The electronic giving program is a convenient way to practice responsible financial stewardship by using electronic funds transfer (EFT).  Through electronic giving, parishioners can make all contributions to their parishes via an automatic payment from a checking/savings account or credit card – just as one would with their cable bill, phone bill or other expenses.  With the number of personal check users dwindling, this program offers a more secure, yet easy way to support parish offertory.

November 23, 2009

Bishops and business leaders meet to consider creative ways to deal with tough financial environment. Nearly forty Roman Catholic bishops gathered for a discussion with business and financial leaders on Sunday that focused on strengthening the financial outlook of the Catholic Church in the United States. Hosted by the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, the meeting was held in conjunction with the fall gathering of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore and served as a follow up to a previous meeting with an additional group of bishops held in Chicago in April. 

November 13, 2009

Most Congregations Saw Contributions Increase or Hold Steady in First Half of 2009, Report Finds (PND). During the first half of 2009, and despite the deepening recession, more than two-thirds of congregations in the United States saw their fundraising results increase or remain the same on a year-over-year basis, a new report from the Alban Institute and the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University finds.

November 13, 2009

Encouraging priests to be lifelong learners (NCR). Ask any doctor, lawyer or accountant how many continuing education credits they are required to take each year to maintain their license and they will quickly rattle off the number. Satisfying these rules is often time-consuming, not particularly exciting, but necessary and enriching. It’s what professionals have to do in order to properly serve their clients and to remain in good standing with regulators.

November 13, 2009

A just-released monograph funded in by the Fieldstone Alliance and the James Irvine Foundation explores ways in which five key trends will converge to shape the nonprofit sector of the future. Trends include: (1) Generational and other demographic shifts; (2) The rise and impact of social media; (3) The growing importance of networks; (4) The role of volunteerism and civic engagement in society; and (5) The blurring of sector boundaries.

November 13, 2009

Making the grade in Memphis (STATS). Catholic schools achieved the greatest social transformation in American history, pulling impoverished Irish immigrants out of the underclass and into the working and middle classes, writes Patrick McCloskey, author of “The Street Stops Here” – an account of a year in the life of a Catholic School in Harlem. These schools now provide a lifeline for disadvantaged, non-Catholic minorities in urban America, boosting graduation and college acceptance rates, and outperforming many equivalent public schools. But they are also disappearing from the very neighborhoods that need them most. McCloskey reports on how one diocese has bucked the trend, what it means to one family, and what it could mean for America.

November 13, 2009

The Management of Care: Literature on Leadership and Organizational Development. The primary goal of this series is to introduce pastoral care professionals to literature that (1) enhances leadership competency; and (2) prepares pastoral professionals to better serve as leaders in organizations. Our aim is to encourage reflection, personal and professional exploration, and skill enhancement to the end that readers become more effective at accomplishing personal and professional goals within their ministry setting.


October 22, 2009

Archdiocesan secretaries, board directors strategize on board governance (Boston Pilot). About 50 people, including cabinet secretaries for the Archdiocese of Boston, as well as the heads of the archdiocese’s affiliated entities and their board members, gathered for Mass and a strategic Oct. 8 at the Pastoral Center.

October 22, 2009

Study: One in five Americans may be secular by 2030 (Religion News Services). Kerry Robinson, executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, has been working to keep Catholics involved in the church by asking them to give of their talents in service. “When you invite someone to give what they do best,” Robinson said, “they become more invested in the church.” The group is partnering with St. Thomas More Catholic Chapel and Center at Yale University to bring this concept to students who are excited about being a part of the Catholic Church. They are planning a pilot program that will span several campuses, bringing students together to be trained for church leadership after graduation.

October 13, 2009

Looking for Solutions to the Catholic-School Crisis (TIME). A profile on John Eriksen, a consultant with the Leadership Roundtable. From the article, "He is neither old nor a priest nor particularly attached to time-honored traditions. At 35, John Eriksen, one of the nation's youngest Catholic-school superintendents, offers a ruthless assessment of parochial education. 'The biggest threat that urban Catholic schools face is nostalgia,' he says both of districts nationwide and of his own diocese of Paterson, N.J."


September 30, 2009

The Leadership Roundtable thanks the Hon. Leon Panetta for service to the board. The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management hosted a reception to express its gratitude to the Honorable Leon E. Panetta for his service to the Leadership Roundtable. Panetta was a founding board member of the Roundtable in 2004, and he stepped down earlier this year to focus on his appointment as the 19th director of the Central Intelligence Agency by President Obama.

September 16, 2009

The Leadership Roundtable and St. Anthony Messenger Press Announce Collaboration. The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management and St. Anthony Messenger Press have partnered to deliver best practices materials in the areas of Church management, finance, and human resources development to the widest possible Catholic audience. Materials produced by the Leadership Roundtable are now available in the Saint Anthony Messenger Press catalog, as well as online here.

September 8, 2009

Archdiocese of Detroit announces financial and organizational restructuring. In response to a critical cash-flow situation, the Archdiocese of Detroit has announced a major financial restructuring of its central operations that involves its programs, properties and positions. In the words of Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, “The financial realities of our current circumstances are sobering; the resulting changes for the administrative structure of the archdiocese are significant.”

September 8, 2009

Church plea: Come back; Dioceses seek to draw 'lapsed' Catholics to mass (Chicago Sun-Times). Calling all "lapsed" Catholics: There are plenty of empty pews waiting for you. That's the message Roman Catholic leaders in Chicago, Rockford and Joliet plan to hit the airwaves with in a $1.3 million end-of-the-year TV ad blitz aimed at bringing the fallen away back to the flock.


August 28, 2009

Computer tool aims to optimize priest assignments (NCR). So few priests. So many parishes. What's a bishop to do? This question may rightly belong in a Sunday New York Times' crossword puzzle, but it's real and it's at the center of long-term planning in dioceses around the country. It becomes more complicated when priests' language skills are a key factor in parish assignments. Some dioceses, for example, have parishes that are predominantly Spanish-speaking, but there are not enough Spanish-speaking priests to cover the parishes.

August 27, 2009

The Non-Profit Starvation Cycle (Philanthropy News Digest). A vicious cycle is leaving nonprofits so hungry for decent infrastructure that they can barely function as organizations — let alone serve their beneficiaries. The cycle starts with funders' unrealistic expectations about how much running a nonprofit costs, and results in nonprofits misrepresenting their costs while skimping on vital systems — acts that feed funders' skewed beliefs. To break the nonprofit starvation cycle, funders must take the lead.

August 26, 2009

Priests learn best practices in parish management at seminar (CNS). You don't think there are enough hours in the day for laypeople? Try being a parish pastor.There's all the spiritual and sacramental ministry the position entails, plus the work that goes along with being, quite often, the only priest in a sizable suburban parish with plenty of staff and even more demands.

August 19, 2009

Commanding Managerial Excellence: Leadership Roundtable Board Member Lt. Gen. Jim Dubik profiled in "Faith & Leadership." At first glance, it would seem hard to imagine two organizations more different from each other than the Catholic Church and the U.S. Army. But then again. . . .

August 6, 2009

Catholic dioceses and parishes achieve financial transparency with QuickBooks and Right Networks. While a number of dioceses have found themselves unable to support their parishes in real-time, others like the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and its 87 parishes, have stepped into the 21st century by taking a hosted approach to their accounting solutions.

August 6, 2009

Seton Hall University and the Leadership Roundtable launch innovative management seminar for new pastors. Click here for more.

August 3, 2009

This Is The Day. Kerry Robinson, executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, highlights the work of the Roundable on CatholicTV. Move the cursor to 17:00 for the beginning of Kerry's interview.


July 20, 2009

Solar power: Let the sunshine in The “environmental crisis,” we are reminded, is a “moral challenge” that requires us “to examine how we use and share the goods of the earth, what we pass on to future generations, and how we live in harmony with God’s creation.” Just the latest environmental pabulum from the trendy religious left? Hardly. Those words were promulgated by the U.S. bishops in their 1991 statement “Renewing the Earth: An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching.”

July 20, 2009

Holy See Financial Statements 2008 A communique published by the Vatican explains that the Holy See consolidated financial statements for 2008, presented to the cardinals during a July meeting by Archbishop Velasio De Paolis C.S., president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, show a deficit of 911,514 euro, the difference between an income of 253,953,869 euro and outgoings of 254,865,383 euro.


June 28, 2009

Tony Blair talks God at UPenn speech  Philadelphia Inquirer. "Addressing an audience at the University of Pennsylvania yesterday morning, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped away from politics and focused on the divine. Specifically, the recent convert to Catholicism spoke about God."

June 28, 2009

Tony Blair to U.S. Catholic leaders: Go forward 'undaunted'  USA Today.  Cathy Grossman on Tony Blair's address to the annual meeting of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management.

June 3, 2009

Making parishes engaging and vibrant.  NCR.  Thomas Gallagher reveals one of
the tools for overcoming stagnancy in parish life, engaging the talents of
the laity, and empowering pastors for leadership.


May 15, 2009

How to sell a better Pope.  Newsweek.  Lisa Miller asks the experts for tips to improve the Pope’s PR machine.  The Leadership Roundtable’s Communications Committee chair, Susan King, offers her suggestions.

Newsweek on Air.  Newsweek’s Lisa Miller and the Leadership Roundtable’s Kerry Robinson, discuss the PR challenges and opportunities facing the Church. (8 minutes)

May 7, 2009
Electronic giving in a recession.  Catholic News Service.  Jackie Taylor reports that electronic giving has been shown to provide financial stability for a growing number of parishes to continue their outreach during the current recession.
May 7, 2009

Be the Change You Wish to See in the Church.  Emmanuel College.  Leadership Roundtable executive director, Kerry Robinson, delivers the Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, SND Lecture at Emmanuel College in Boston and outlines the foundational values of the Leadership Roundtable. 

May 7, 2009

Orange County Catholic schools vow to stay open.  Los Angeles Times.  Catholic educators and businessmen in the Diocese of Orange, California, form a task force to respond to shrinking enrollments that threaten to decimate urban Catholic schools educating more than 1,000 children.  The result: schools will stay open next year with a new tuition plan and a vigorous marketing campaign to fill empty seats. The diocese will also hire a new associate superintendent to supervise their finances and development.

May 7, 2009

Improving the bishop-priest relationship National Catholic Reporter.  Two partners of the Leadership Roundtable, the National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, are featured in this mission and management article on their program, Cultivating Unity, a transformational process engaging priests and bishop in frank and faith-centered dialogue leading to a common rededication to priestly ministry.

May 7, 2009
Sixty-Two Percent of Foundations Plan to Decrease Giving.  Chronicle of Philanthropy.  A new survey from the Council on Foundations finds that 62 percent of foundations expect to reduce their grant making this year.   In response to the economic downturn, most foundations are increasing assistance for low-income people and many are increasing support for basic needs.
May 7, 2009
The Googlization of philanthropy Chronicle of Philanthropy.  Sean Stannard-Stockton reports that philanthropy is about to benefit from a revolution in how information is shared — what he calls the Googlization of philanthropy.

April 24, 2009

Best-Practicing CatholicsCommonweal.  Writer Peter McDonough explores the role of the Leadership Roundtable in responding to contemporary church management challenges.

April 9, 2009

Archdiocese policy models justice in the workplace.  National Catholic Reporter.  Read how one Archdiocese revamped their employment policies to become a model employer.  The context was good management practices, but also -- through scripture, tradition, doctrine and experience -- the mandate to act justly as an employer. 

Click here for a video interview with Fr. Kevin McDonough (6:14)

April 6, 2009

Catholic-School Comeback?  City Journal.  Writer Patrick McCloskey explores the response of the Catholic Church to closure of half of the nation’s Catholic schools since 1965, with an average of 250 closing per year.  Church leaders and lay professionals have “had to move from a bureaucratic to an entrepreneurial way of thinking” according to one Catholic Schools Superintendent.


March 26, 2009
Executives urged to give expertise - not just money - to charity. The Sacramento Bee.  Bob Shallit reports on a new brand of philanthropy that gets executives to open their wallets with monetary donations but also encourage get them to be hands-on, donating expertise in marketing, accounting and other bottom-line issues to help nonprofits run more efficiently.
March 23, 2009

The Nun and the Bureaucrat.  Lean Enterprise Institute.  In this book and video set, doctors, nurses, and administrators at two large hospital systems explain how lean management methods adopted from Toyota cut costs while improving care and staff morale at one of the largest Catholic healthcare systems in the U.S.

March 23, 2009

Catholic leaders in Nonprofit Times “Power and Influence Top 50”.  Fr. Larry Snyder of Catholic Charities USA and Sr. Georgette Lehmuth of the National Catholic Development Conference

March 18, 2009

In Des Moines, accounting for excellence sets a standard National Catholic Reporter.  In the first article of a new “Mission Management” feature, NCR reports on the successful implementation of standardized parish accounting software in the Diocese of Des Moines, IA. 

March 11, 2009
Leadership Roundtable says no to CT Legislation, Yes to Standards for Excellence - The Leadership Roundtable was asked by the Connecticut bishops to testify in opposition to proposed Bill 1098.  The Leadership Roundtable believes that the goals of sound governance, financial transparency, exemplary stewardship and effective lay participation can all be achieved within the governance structures of the Church’s canon law.   
March 10, 2009

Leadership Roundtable supports CT Bishops in opposition to proposed legislation - In response to a request from Catholic dioceses in the State of Connecticut, the Leadership Roundtable issued the following a statement in opposition to a bill being considered by the Judiciary Committee of that state to "revise the corporate governance provisions [of the Connecticut Statutes] applicable to the Roman Catholic Church."

March 10, 2009

Chicago archdiocese forms new school board. Chicago Tribune.  Margaret Ramirez reports on the formation of a new archdiocesan school board to plan a future vision for Chicago's Catholic schools.  The new board members include finance, education and business experts including members of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management.

March 10, 2009

The unraveling of Catholic health care.  America.  Daniel P. Sulmasy, Franciscan friar and professor of medicine at New York Medical College asks what lessons can be learned from the collapse of the Catholic hospital system in New York City.

March 5, 2009

Faith found on Facebook. Arlington Catholic Herald. Gretchen R. Crowe reports on the ways the Catholic Church is embracing new forms of media, such as blogging, the use of audio and video, social networking, and instant messaging to reach Catholics.

March 4, 2009

Rendering unto God.  Duke University’s Faith & Leadership.  David Gibson reports on the best way to raise money during an economic crisis. Experts say focusing on “faith-raising,” not fundraising, is the key.  The Leadership Roundtable’s Kerry Robinson contributes: “I look at these dire economic times and this legitimately anxious period we’re in as an even greater moment to exercise development and stewardship in these terms. The stakes are higher. People are anxious. They want good news, and they want to contribute in a meaningful way, they want to be selfless. Our faith communities have an opportunity to offer that to others.”


February 23, 2009

New Archbishop for New York.  New York Times.  Archbishop Timothy Dolan is appointed the new archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York.  Leadership Roundtable executive director, Kerry Robinson, welcomes the appointment.

February 20, 2009

Government Cutbacks Leave Faith-Based Services HurtingThe Washington Post.  Leadership Roundtable member Fr. Larry Snyder and other religious leaders address the impact of reductions in government funding at a time of increased demands for social services.

February 19, 2009

Parochial-School Lessons.  The Wall Street Journal.  Book review of "The Street Stops Here: A Year at a Catholic High School in Harlem," by Patrick J. McCloskey.  One of his principal arguments is that public schools should adopt the best practices of the Catholic institutions in Harlem.

February 18, 2009

Catholic Media Must Be EthicalZenit.  Papal spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, calls for improved church communications emphasizing "clear, simple and understandable language." 

      • For full text click here.
February 3, 2009

What's Good for Business?  The ethical legacy of Catholic business schoolsAmerica magazine.  Gerald F. Cavanagh, SJ, reviews the teaching of business ethics in Catholic colleges and universities.


January 15, 2009

Catholic Relief Services: IT Pioneer.  Stanford Social Innovation Review.  William Brindley helps international aid organizations use information technology to save lives.  This interview contains high praise for Catholic Relief Services as a “tremendously wired in organization” doing a lot of “fascinating, innovative work” in the area of information technology.