National Diocesan Survey: Salary and Benefits for Priests and Lay Personnel – 2017

The National Diocesan Survey: Salary and Benefits for Priests and Lay Personnel – 2017 is now available through the NFPC Bookstore tab on the NFPC website. The Survey is being sold as PDF by the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators [NACPA]. An option is available to order a print copy.

The National Diocesan Survey encompasses three previous studies, the National Diocesan Salary Survey and the National Church Employee Benefits Survey by NACPA and The Laborer Is Worthy of His Hire by NFPC. The survey was conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) during the winter of 2017.

176 dioceses and archdioceses in the United States were invited to participate in the gathering information for the Survey. In the end 80 usable responses resulted, a rate of 46 percent.

Both NACPA and NFPC are confident that the information in survey is key to helping diocesan leaders provide a more just and equitable work environment for both priest and lay personnel.

The data in this Survey is organized by region, size of Catholic population in the arch / diocese, staff size of the arch / diocese, and the estimated operating budget of central offices, excluding Catholic Charities.

To order, click here.

NFPC This Week, #716 – 7/9-7/15/2017

Of Note This Week – 

Vatican congregation releases document about ways to ensure validity of Eucharist  

The Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments issued a circular letter on July 8 sent to all diocesan bishops titled, “On the bread and wine for the Eucharist.” The letter was sent at the request of Pope Francis. It was signed by Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect and Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary, on June 15, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

The letter contains recommendations to ensure the validity and worthiness of the bread and wine used for the celebration of the Eucharist.

According to the Catholic News Service (July 10, 2017), because bread and wine for the Eucharist are no longer supplied just by religious communities, but “are also sold in supermarkets and other stores and even over the internet,” bishops should set up guidelines, an oversight body and/or even a form of certification to help “remove any doubt about the validity of the matter for the Eucharist.”

The letter goes on to note that every bishop “is bound to remind priests, especially parish priests and rectors of churches, of their responsibility to verify those who provide the bread and wine for the celebration and the worthiness of the material.”

Bishops must also provide information to the producers of the bread and wine for the Eucharist and to remind them of the absolute respect that is due to the norms,” the letter stated. Producers “must be aware that their work is directed toward the eucharistic sacrifice and that this demands their honesty, responsibility and competence,” it added.

For the CNS report, click here.

For the Vatican Radio report and link to the circular letter, click here.

A report on the 12th National Black Catholic Congress

The key message for participants at the 12th National Black Catholic Congress held in Orlando, Fla. from July 6-9 was twofold – that Black Catholics must work harder to bridge the racial divide in communities, the nation and within the church, while the Catholic Church needs to be a stronger force in confronting the systemic racism at the root of mass incarceration and economic inequality. A summary of the meeting was posted on the National Catholic Reporter (July 10, website.

The event held every five years, attracted over 2,200 participants from across the US to learn from each other and draw inspiration from speakers such as Cardinal Peter Turkson, the head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, and Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Illinois, author of the pastoral letter and study guide “The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace 2015.”

In his address to the delegates, Bishop Braxton reminded them that they could all do something to own their own history and to be engaged in the community. He talked about the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC and how his visit to the edifice impressed him. And although he recognized the museum as an outstanding achievement, he lamented the lack of references there to leading African-American Catholics such as Father Augustus Tolton, the Sisters of the Holy Family, Sister Henriette Delille, Father Pierre Toussaint, Mother Mary Lange, or Sister Thea Bowman.

Bishop Braxton went on to encourage attendees to exercise their rights to vote, participate in public life, run for public life, use resources that develop discussion about the racial divide, and inspire young people to become involved.

“I give you these imperatives: Listen, learn, think, act and pray,” he said. “African-American Catholics need to get into real conversations with others in the community about this history so we can grow by means of knowledge.”

The theme for the 12th NBCC was “The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me: act justly, love goodness, and walk humbly with your God.” It was held amidst a backdrop of an increase in racial violence, a polarizing presidential election and a nation ripped open by a series of killings of unarmed blacks by police.

For the entire NCR summary, click here.

For a summary of Bishop Braxton’s remarks from the Catholic News Service (July 12, 2017), click here.

July a time for changing of the guard at Catholic parishes

July is most notably known for 4th of July celebrations and vacation trips. But for Catholic parishes it’s a time when transfers and reassignments of pastors and parochial vicars, commonly know as associate pastors, take place.

In a National Catholic Register posting on July 10, 2017, writer Susanna Spencer focuses the adjustments that are often needed for the departing and newly arriving priest and the parishioners too.

She notes, “The parochial vicar at our parish was transferred to another parish after only one year with us. We had already grown to appreciate the depth of his homilies, which called us on to live our Christian lives more intensely. We had become friends with him through several meals, and now we will no longer receive Jesus from his hands weekly. In some ways it is an occasion of sorrow, but in other ways it is a realization that experiencing Christ in the sacraments is so much more than which priest is ministering to us.”

In the end, though, Spencer writes, “…pray for your priests, the ones who used to minister to you and the ones who are your pastors now. They are Christ to us, and we are so blessed by their ministry.”

For the entire NC Register posting, click here.

Conversation continues on married priests

Since Pope Francis was elected to papacy in 2013, he has signaled a willingness a number of times to discuss the idea of married priests. In March he told a German newspaper, “We need to consider if  ‘viri probati’ is a possibility.”

We came across two articles from the National Catholic Reporter that extends the conversation. Jesuit Father Thomas Reese states in his March 16, 2017 Faith and Justice column,  “It is time for the Catholic bishops to stop hoping for an increase in vocations to the celibate priesthood and to acknowledge that the church needs married priests to serve the people of God.”

Bill Tammeus, a Presbyterian elder who writes “A small c catholic” column (July 10, 2017) for NCR write about the pluses and minuses of married priests.

We post three essays for your reflection.

Pope Francis on married priests (NCR, March 10, 2017), click here.

Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ (NCR, March 16, 2017), click here.

Bill Tammeus (NCR, July 10, 2017), click here

The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization Crisis

The title, The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization Crisis, by Carrie Gress, Ph.D. may lead you to think, “Oh this must be a sequel to Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option.” But it’s not. The volume offers fresh insights to the Virgin Mary’s influence and intercession. Using history, theology and cultural, awareness, Gress brings to light the details of Mary’s role in major geopolitical shifts. The volume is divided into four parts:

Part I – Mary and the Creative Minorities

Part II – Mary’s Geopolitical Influence

Part III – Who Is This Women?

Part IV – Living the Marian Option.

Available in hardcover for $27.95 from St. Benedict’s Press/Tan Books, P.O. Box 410487. Charlotte, NC 28241. Tel: (800) 437-5876. Fax: (815) 226-7770. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site:

The Bible and Catholic Theological Ethics

The Bible and Catholic Theological Ethics, edited by Yui Sing Lucas Chan, James F. Keenan, and Ronaldo Zacharias is a collection of essays on Catholic Biblical Ethics. It is the fifth book in a series published by Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church. This volume takes up “meta-ethical” questions in doing Catholic theological ethics, namely, the place of the Bible as a source of moral wisdom. The book brings together distinct voices from numerous cultures and language groups. The 23 essays are divided three parts:

Part I – Foundational Concerns

Part II – Perspectives

Part III – The Bible and Contemporary Ethical Issues

Available for $45.00 from Orbis Books, P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, NY 10545. Tel: (800) 258-5838. Fax: (914) 941-7005. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site:

Pope names bishops for Cleveland and Juneau dioceses

On Tuesday, July 11, Pope Francis appointed bishops for the dioceses of Cleveland, Ohio and Juneau, Alaska.

Bishop Nelson Perez. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre

He named Auxiliary Bishop Nelson Perez, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, NY to be bishop Of Cleveland. He succeeds Bishop Richard G. Lennon, who resigned in December at age 70 citing health reasons.

Bishop Perez, 56, a native of Miami, Fla. was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1989. He graduated from Montclair State University in New Jersey with a bachelor degree in psychology. He taught for a year at Colegio la Piedad, a Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico, before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia to study for the priesthood.

In 2012, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Rockville Centre Diocese. There, he was a member of the Corporate Board of Directors for Catholic Health Services, vice chair of Catholic Charities, and served on the Priests Personnel Board, Presbyteral Council and Diocesan Advisory Committee for Hispanic Ministry. He is currently  a member of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and is also chairman  of the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.

His installation will take place on Sept. 5.

Bishop-designate Andrew Bellisario, CM. Photo ctionsourtesy of the Diocese of Juneau

In addition, Pope Francis appointed Vincentian Father Andrew E. Bellisario as sixth bishop of Juneau. He succeeds Bishop Edward Burns who now heads the Diocese of Dallas since November 2016.

Bishop-designate Bellisario, 60, a native of Los Angeles, has served for the past two years as the Superior of the International Mission of the Vincentians in Alaska and as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-cathedral in Anchorage. He graduated from Saint Vincent’s Seminary High School in Montebello, CA in 1975, and entered the Congregation of the Mission in the summer of the same year.  After completing his novitiate in Santa Barbara, CA in 1976, he attended and graduated from Saint Mary’s of the Barrens Seminary College in Perryville, MO with a B.A. degree in Philosophy, and four years later he received his Master of Divinity degree from De Andreis Institute of Theology in Lemont, IL. He was ordained a priest for the Vincentians, Province of the West, on June 16, 1984.

Father Bellisario has served as Parochial Vicar and Administrator of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church in Montebello, CA; the Pastor of Saint Vincent de Paul Church in Huntington Beach, CA; the Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Patterson, CA; and the Director of De Paul Evangelization Center in Montebello, CA.  He also served as the Provincial Superior of the Vincentians, Province of the West, and as the Director of the Daughters of Charity, Province of Los Altos Hills.

His episcopal ordination and installation will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

For the USCCB News Release (July 11, 2017), click here.

For the Catholic News Service (July 11, 2017) report, click here.

To Whom It May Concern,

I am interested in being considered as a featured speaker at your 2018 Annual Convocation. For the past three years I’ve been working with parishes and dioceses on using social media to engage their members. The C-3 Technology Conference in August has invited me to speak and I will be presenting two sessions on the topic. What would be your process for submitting a proposal for consideration.

Peace of Christ be with YOU!