Endowed ministries

Endowed ministries

A friend sent me a job listing today for someone to head up a ministry position at the Archdiocese of Boston. The listing has some serious requirements, but I noticed that is a part-time job, only 21 hours. Who can afford to work only part time who has such credentials? A mom, you say? Except this job will require a lot of work at events that will take place at night and on weekends. It should probably be a full-time paying a full-time wage and thus they could go out and hire someone and give them a good wage to support a family on, but then current budgets won’t allow that.

But what if they endowed certain ministry positions, like universities endow chairs? What if, instead of asking some big donor to give $100,000 to the general fund for the archdiocese, we asked him to donate $500,000 to fund the, say, Director of Youth Ministry position in perpetuity? I think endowed ministry offices would be an answer to certain funding problems.

  • I might be able to send a copy to you.

    Post the price (including postage and handling)  and we’ll send you, via private e-mail, our addresses?

    Of course, most people actually OWN a VCR. I’m grateful that I own a bleeping radio! wink


  • Accepting money with strings attached?

    Surely you jest.  Before the ink on the agreement with the donor is dry for this entitlement, you’d have another embryonic St. Stan’s Parish Corporation on your hands and yet another “juridical person” to litigate over.

    By the way, $500,000 could only safely generate $15,000 in income at today’s interest rates.

  • Dioceses accept money with strings attached all the time, especially when they’re accepting it for capital campaigns and the like. What would make it any different from an endowed chair at a university? The university still has the right to hire and fire. The person would work for no one else but the diocese.

    I don’t understand why you think there would be a juridical person. I’m talking about endowing a job, not endowing an agency or office.

  • Another answer would be “Hey let’s tithe”

    If we were taught the value and the grace that tithing brings, (The 10% stuff not just 10 bucks in the basket) I’m not kidding, we would not have any financial concerns at all.  How many Catholics would you say follow tithing procedures?

    People need to be paid a liveable wage in ministry.  It doesn’t benefit us to have part timers (and lets face it, there is no such thing in ministry) waitressing at night just so they can make rent. 

  • The show will be broadcast on Tuesday, the 22nd, 7:30 pm, Channel 5.  I can’t promise that you’ll find every minute of it pleasing, as it does cover contentious territory, but I hope you will find it not so much “fair and balanced,” to crib the slogan of the folks at Fox, as stimulating and sensitive—prompting thought without providing gratiuidous offence.  In any event, it would have been a far poorer production without Dom’s interview and the benefit of the dialogue I’ve followed on this blog.

  • If I were rich, I would be very suspicious of any kind of permanent endowment.  Somehow the donor’s intentions get lost over the years.

    The traditional Catholic answer is not paying a living wage or putting 10% in the plate, it is large families and vocations.  These 2 phenomena are linked.  You can’t have large Catholic families without vocations to educate the children inexpensively.  You will not get many vocations without large families.

    The answer is not to put more $ in the plate, it is, if you can, to have more babies and to raise them Catholic.

  • Thanks, Kelly, I just don’t buy “fair and balanced” as serving any worthwhile and attainable objective, whether under the way Fox practices it—which generally is neither fair nor balanced—or how others might aspire to that goal. But I’ll accept your judgment, positive or negative.

  • Charles,
    a good suggestion and well put, the two are definitely linked. However, I don’t think it’s an either/or question as you seem to imply.

    I think we should tithe, leave money to the church, make endowments if we are graced with the resources to do so, AND have more babies and raise them Catholic.

    All are necessary, some for the short term, some for the long term, and all will lead us to grow in charity.

    Oh yes and PRAY. All things are possible with God.

  • I agree with Charles.  We have to have kids, and then we’ll get vocations.  Nobody wants to talk about that, though.
    Also, lay “ministers” are always whining because the people in the pews don’t participate.  We can’t with all the paid obstructions in the way.  How about some volunteer positions that the lay “ministers” aren’t hogging up to get their precious $$$$?

  • Hopefully those who support Pope John Paul’s works on sexuality according to God’s plan for human love ,which is the foundation for the fact that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, will not be portrayed as condemning dissenters; but rather, as those who hope and pray that dissenters will open their minds and hearts to the explanation of this Catholic Church teaching which is articulated in Pope John Paul II ‘s The Theology of the Body.True Catholics who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman , have only good will towards those who have not come to this truth yet and wish them faith,hope and charity.

  • Mich

    I don’t recall that I was arguing for more ministers or their abilities.  I’m pretty sure I was suggesting that we take tithing seriously.

    While I’m certainly not against making more Catholics, I don’t understand how anyone can argue against tithing? 

  • The topic of the thread is one suggestion on how to generate monies to pay for ministry positions.

    I offered another. Tithing

    And yes if we are to make a practice of hiring folks to work (we as in the Catholic Church) They should be paid a liveable wage.

  • The lay employees we have now employed in the Church are a mottley mixture.  There are a very few good ones, who do a creditable job of teaching because they’ve actually trained as teachers and they know what they’re doing.  But they are far outnumbered by amateurs and fakes, which abound.  We have huge numbers of dissidents; we have even more incompetents.  It’s pathetic. 

    Liturgical and catechical conferences are full of these people.  Where do you think they all hang out between conventions?

  • But they are far outnumbered by amateurs and fakes, which abound.  We have huge numbers of dissidents; we have even more incompetents.  Itichigancatholic.blogspot.com
    2005-03-17 23:23:43
    2005-03-18 03:23:43
    You’re welcome to your opinion, as always.

    You “see” 160 kids outside CCD, but do you have them in your Youth Group PROGRAM weekly? 

    One other VERY BIG FACTOR.  Protestant lay “ministers” have not tortured lay protestants in the same way lay catholics have been tortured by catholic lay “ministers.” 

    There’s a lot of anger out here, and it’s not all mine, I’ve got to tell you.  It’s pretty aggressive and lay “ministers” have a lot of it coming.  We’ve been treated like crap for years out here.  There’s not much trust left.  And frankly, it’s not going to get a lot better til pew catholics are sure the shenanigans and bad-mouthing and careerizing has gone away.  Think that’ll happen in my lifetime? 

  • Sigh

    You ent>Perhaps, but I still don’t think people want to pay for the kind of lay “ministry” we get. 

    Don’t believe me?  Ask around.  Consult people on how well their parish lay “ministers” follow directives from Rome, how swell they sound, how easy to work with, how charitable, inspiring and non-dissenting they are, etc. etc.

    Ask around and see how many actually think that the lay “ministers” working in their dioceses are all true blue folks (CTA? VOTF? Who are they?) who would recite a pledge of fidelity to Rome tomorrow at noon.

    Good luck. 

  • Jaime, I think Mother Angelica raises millions of dollars a week and supports a worldwide network on what you don’t see in the collection plate.  I think the CFR has hundreds of friars in several countries living on what you will never see in that collection plate.  Not to mention Regnum Christi and Miles Jesu and many, many more foundations and food banks and charities all financed by normal catholics.  Yes.  I think Catholics do far more than you think they do.

    It’s not just me, Jaime.  It’s a lot of people who are profoundly dissatisfied with lay “ministers” and their very bad behavior.  And performance.  And attitude.  And politics and dissent. 

    And shallow, silly, adolescent preaching of what they know not. 

    People know when they’re hearing pablum.  Why do you think the Church does not get the response it wants to get from people? 


  • Since we are finally off my resume.

    US Census puts the median income at around $43,000(2002).  You believe that the average Catholic is donating over $4000?  You’d be wrong.  A national study shows that 89% of all US households donate to charities.  Average donations?  $1620 per year. 

  • Actually, I’m a paid lay minister at my parish as coordinator of religious education. I may be biased, but I think I do a pretty good job and I’m no dissenter. I know a lot of parish and diocesan lay ministers who good, orthodox Catholics. You’re sweeping with an awfully broad brush.

  • There’s some truth in what you say, Domenic.  I don’t mean to say every single lay “minister” is a schnook, but the great majority of music “ministers” and RCIA “ministers” and what-not are very poor.  I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I hadn’t had to experience it first hand.  I never expected this as a convert 20 years ago.

    It’s not only me saying these things either, and you need to know that.  Many people are deeply hurt by these things.

    Even very ordinary people can recognize “genuine” when they see it, and many do not respond to the Church for a reason. 

  • Jaime, that’s itemized claimed deductions and that’s the average figure.  Last I knew, agnostics didn’t contribute to EWTN.  When I was an agnostic, like many agnostics, I didn’t contribute to anything except my waistline.

  • From Catholic online May 2003

    “The proportion of Americans who tithed “dropped by 62 percent in the past year, from 8 percent in 2001 to just 3 percent of adults during 2002,”

    Of Catholic respondents, none reported giving 10 percent of last year’s income to his or her church. An expert on Catholic giving said that was not surprising because full tithing is not part of the U.S. Catholic culture.”

    Where are you getting your information?

  • Wow, wonder how come what they’re tracking dropped from 8% to 3% in just one year?  Again, what kind of tithing are they talking about? 

    If they’re only talking about the linear sort of cash in the envelope in the collection plate, well, ok.  That’s one type of tithing.

  • Wow, wonder how come what theyt bit them on the butt.)

    This has been a huge problem in the post-conciliar church.  Everything that’s done is not “ministry.”  Sometimes it’s just music.  Mostly it’s just music.  Sometimes it’s just teaching.  Sometimes it’s just child care.  But it’s not “ministry.” 



  • I have a problem with the notion of


    Some of you may know that I have been interviewed for “Chronicle”, a local TV news magazine show on our ABC affiliate here in Boston, WCVB. That show was supposed to air this Wednesday at 7:30. Because of some last-minute changes the air date has been pushed back to next Wednesday. It is interesting that it will appear during Holy Week, which I think will garner it some extra attention, perhaps a very good thing.

    I’ll try to post a reminder next week.


    2005-03-14 18:52:00
    2005-03-14 22:52:00


    2005-03-14 21:22:17
    2005-03-15 01:22:17
    The exact time and date—Spy Wednesday—Tenebrae is scheduled for the Archdiocese at the Cathedral.

    Maybe folks could record it?