Volume 2 - Issue 5  



June 6, 2011

The Changing Revenue Model for Church Finances in Spain
Last month, Patrick O’Meara was invited to speak at a conference hosted by the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain. About one third of the dioceses of Spain were present to discuss the Church’s current financial state. Patrick delivered two keynote presentations addressing this situation and the financial challenges brought on by the changing revenue model in Spain.

In his presentation, Financial Management that Builds Commitment, he first articulated the proper framework for how the Church ought to engage in risk management and then set out a framework for financial decision making within the Church.

In his second talk, The Dynamics of Gift and the Search for Resources in the Church, Pat discussed the importance of Pope Benedict’s logic of gift for an authentic understanding of Catholic stewardship and how true financial resources are found in the fruits of personal conversion and not in capital campaigns. He further explained that at its deepest level, the attitude of giving should reflect the deeper work of the Holy Spirit in each of us such that our giving is an expression of our total self donation to Christ.
O'Meara Ferguson President and Founder Patrick O'Meara speaks with Fr. Jorge Otaduy, Professor of Canon Law at the University of Navarre
Good Steward Newsletter – May 2011
Prayer Responds to Our Desire for God
In a recent audience celebrated in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI said that our age is “marked by … an apparent eclipse of God” but that, at the same time, there are “signs of a renewed religious sense”.

“Looking at recent history, the pope said, “predictions of those who, from the age of Enlightenment, foretold the disappearance of religions and exalted absolute reason, separated from faith, have failed”.
Why have they failed? Because the desire for God is fundamental to who we are as human beings. It is an integral part of our identity as spiritual persons. We long for God. We seek Him. We want to be united with Him, to see Him face-to-face, and to be immersed in His overwhelming love...

read the full article

Catholic Schools Fail Because They’re Not Full
Seems simple enough, fill the schools and they will be financially stable. All references to long dead fictional British detectives, notwithstanding.

The problem for many Catholic schools that are struggling financially is that they
simply do not have enough students enrolled at the right tuition rates to pay the bills, let alone pay for mounting deferred maintenance and fixed operating costs. In many situations, especially at older schools, pastors and principals see additional students as leading to added costs for teachers, aides, and supplies and so are reluctant to increase enrollment. This zero sum game approach leads to underutilized schools, with empty seats, and lost opportunities for thousands of kids.
Underutilized schools, long thought to be the result of changing demographics and higher tuition rates, are in truth a management problem. While demographics and increasing costs do indeed play a role in the demand for Catholic education, enrollment is in fact, far more dependent on management behavior and sound revenue management practices. Based on our study of hundreds of Catholic schools, operating characteristics like tuition rates, household income, ethnicity, Catholic versus non-Catholic student bodies, and test scores have little or no statistical correlation to school enrollment. Rather, management focus on enrollment and the strategic use of tuition assistance are far better enrollment drivers. Principals and pastors who focus on school enrollment and effectively leverage tuition assistance get more students.
While somewhat counter to conventional thinking in the world of Catholic education, none of this is a surprise to those in the airline, hotel, or cruise line industries... read the full article
A New Look at the “New Normal”
  In the spring of 2009, the manager of the largest bond fund in the world, Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), introduced the concept of the “New Normal” to an investing public that was still reeling from the economic catastrophe of 2008. Over the next two years, the phrase would dominate the national financial headlines as market analysts attempted to assess the path of the economic recovery. In PIMCO’s New Normal world, subdued global growth and high unemployment would combine with a heavier hand of government in economic
activity to lower investment returns across all asset classes. In particular, the U.S. and other developed markets would suffer as there would be “a continuing shift away from the G-3 and toward the systemically important emerging economies, led by China”. Shell-shocked investors readily accepted this rather pessimistic scenario at the time, and took it as a validation of their internal instinct to chart a more “conservative” path by reallocating their investments away from the stock market and seeking a safe harbor in historically less risky assets. With the benefit of two years of hindsight, it seems reasonable to revisit the New Normal and compare the economic and investment expectations contained therein to the real-world conditions actually experienced over that time...

read the full article

Catholic Education: Sustaining the Mission
Integrating Finance, Development, Planning and Operations to Strengthen Catholic Education
 • February 8 – 10, 2012
 • San Antonio, Texas
 • Keynote: Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit
Click here for additional information.
Catholic Education Leadership Workshops
 • September 20 – 21, 2011 Catholic High Schools Workshop
 • September 28 – 29, 2011 Catholic Universities & Seminaries Workshop
 • November 2 – 3, 2011 Catholic Schools Grades K – 8 Workshop
If you would like to attend, or know someone who would benefit from this event, please notify us as soon as possible as attendance is limited.
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© 2011 O'Meara Ferguson