March 18, 2011

2010 Accountability Report

From the Archbishop to the People of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Dear Friends in Christ:

I am pleased to present this special supplement to The Criterion, which gives an accounting of the archdiocese’s finances this past fiscal year. We have an obligation to be good stewards of our people’s resources. Please take a few minutes to read this report.

The past few years have been difficult for many people due to our country’s economic troubles. Despite these challenging circumstances the people of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis have continued to generously share their time, talent and treasure to carry out God’s work throughout the archdiocese. Thank you for your continued support and generosity.

I hope this annual archdiocesan accountability report reminds us that we have much to be grateful for in our archdiocese and at the same time challenges us to look for new opportunities to be even better stewards. In this report you will find an accounting of our stewardship of the human, physical and financial resources for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for the 2010 fiscal year.

Stewardship of God’s Gifts

Following Jesus Christ and our call to live a life of holiness is not easy, but with God’s help it is possible. Together we have a mission to proclaim the Gospel and to care for those in need. We are not passive beneficiaries of God’s gifts. We cooperate with God in our own redemption and in the redemption of others. Each of us has a role to play in continuing the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

One of the ways we cooperate with God in continuing the redemptive work of Jesus Christ is to be faithful stewards of all that God has given us. We are called to make our parishes true communities of faith and vibrant sources of service to the larger community.

We are blessed to have many people in our parishes in central and southern Indiana who share their time and talent and expertise in our many ministries, such as our outstanding Catholic Charities agencies. Their work is valued by many people in need.

Your financial contributions through parish Sunday and holy day collections and to the Christ Our Hope: Compassion in Community annual appeal are needed to provide the resources to operate our many parish and archdiocesan ministries.

We have been working to provide even greater financial transparency by giving you more of a say in how your money is spent on ministry needs in the archdiocese. We simplified the Christ Our Hope appeal by focusing on Pope Benedict XVI’s observation in his first encyclical titled “God is Love” that “The Church’s deepest nature is expressed in her threefold responsibility of proclaiming the Word of God, celebrating the sacraments, and exercising the ministry of charity.”

We tied each of these three responsibilities to one of the three areas where our ministry needs are the greatest: supporting our Catholic schools and religious education programs; supporting our seminarians, deacons and retired priests; and caring for people most in need throughout the archdiocese, which we do primarily through Catholic Charities.

This past year, we invited you to decide which of the three areas—Catholic education, vocations or caring for the poor—that you wanted your financial contributions to the Christ Our Hope appeal to go for.

Although our Sunday and holy day collections have held steady through the recent economic downturn, contributions to the Christ Our Hope annual appeal are still running about $1 million below the historic highs of six or seven years ago. There are signs that giving to the annual appeal is beginning to pick up, but we will need to continue to grow the appeal in order to keep up with our increasing ministry needs.

One particular bright spot financially for the archdiocese in 2010 was the healthy growth of the assets of the Catholic Community Foundation, which oversees 381 endowments and 102 charitable gift annuities. The value of the Catholic Community Foundation’s total cash and investments increased 15.7 percent in 2010 to $144.2 million. I encourage everyone to consider making a planned gift to the archdiocese. You can receive more information about how to do this by contacting our Office of Stewardship and Development.


We ordained five men to the priesthood in 2009—our largest ordination class since 2002 when we also ordained five men. We did not have any ordinations in 2010, but we look forward to the ordination of Dustin Boehm this year on June 4 at 10 a.m. at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Dustin is a son of Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish in Greenwood.

We continue to do well in encouraging our people to consider how God might be calling them to a life of service as a priest, deacon or religious. We currently have 13 seminarians at St. Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad, two seminarians at the Pontifical North America College in Rome and 10 seminarians enrolled at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis.

Our Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary, which was established by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 2004 to prepare college seminarians for major seminary, continues to grow. In addition to our own seminarians for our archdiocese, seven other dioceses are now sending seminarians there as well. We have renovated the seminary to accommodate the growing enrollment and are studying expanding the building to meet the growing demand.

In addition to our seminarians, a second group of men who are studying to become permanent deacons are continuing their formation classes. We expect to ordain these 17 men on June 23, 2012, at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral. As permanent deacons, these men will be able to baptize, witness marriages and preside at funerals. At Mass, they will be able to proclaim the Gospel and preach, but will not serve as celebrant or consecrate the Eucharist. In the ministry of the Word, the deacons will teach the faith and provide pastoral guidance. The deacons’ primary ministry, however, will be focused on charity.

Pray that God will bless our archdiocese with more vocations and pray for all men and women who are discerning a call to the priesthood, permanent diaconate and religious life. More information about vocations can be found on the archdiocesan web site at

Education honors and initiatives

Our Catholic schools in the archdiocese continue to be recognized for the outstanding job they are doing educating our children. Our Lady of the Greenwood School in Greenwood was named a 2010 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. More than a third of our schools have now been recognized over the years as Blue Ribbon Schools. Our archdiocesan schools have been honored with that distinction more than any other diocese in the country.

This school year we became the first Catholic diocese in the country to operate public charter schools. Two of our six Mother Theodore Catholic Academies in Indianapolis—St. Anthony Catholic School and St. Andrew & St. Rita Catholic Academy—transitioned to charter schools. The former St. Andrew & St. Rita school is now Andrew Academy and the former St. Anthony school is now Padua Academy.

The cost of operating our center-city schools in Indianapolis has been a challenge and the charter school option provided us the best opportunity to continue to serve poor children in the center city. The decision to pursue this course was made after consulting with parents, educators, clergy, parish leaders and community leaders. Religious education has been removed from the curriculum, but faith formation classes are being offered after school.


In addition to some of the highlights I have covered from the past year, this report also includes a letter from the archdiocese’s chief financial officer, Jeffrey D. Stumpf, which gives more detailed information about our financial operating results as well as information about our annual stewardship appeal and other stewardship efforts. You will also find a financial statement inside and other charts that highlight the archdiocese’s financial position.

We have much to be thankful for. Let us wisely use our ministry resources to serve those most in need and may we all continue to work for the common good of the archdiocese and our society.

Thank you for your support and God bless you!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Daniel M. Buechlein, O.S.B.
Archbishop of Indianapolis

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