Council Notes from Louisville (November 2016)

The November meeting of the Louisville Council began with a report from the director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky about how the change in control of the state legislature may effect issues like school choice, pro-life, criminal justice reform, health care, and Right to Work laws.

– The president of EdChoice, a non-profit organization that aims to give families more choices in education, explained to members the differences between Charter Schools, Vouchers, Educational Savings Accounts, and Scholarship Tax Credits. He is trying to build grass roots support for the programs and offered to come to talk to Parish Councils or others in parishes about the various programs.

– The vicar general discussed a worksheet showing how the net assessment rate to total, income might be if the assessment models used by surrounding dioceses were applied in the Archdiocese. At this point they are simply options to review.

– The chancellor shared that a subcommittee of the Archdiocesan Finance Council has been appointed. He explained the various investments options that will be available to parishes. The chancellor also announced that there will not be an archdiocesan-wide capital campaign at this time.

– A new design for 401K retirement plans should be in place by Jan. 1, 2018. The Priests’ Compensation Committee is reviewing overall compensation for priests and may recommend changing the contribution amount for priests’ retirement.

– Included in the updated USCCB strategic plan initiative is the 5th Encuentro to take place in 2018. Diocesan and provincial gatherings in 2017 will lead up to the 2018 event.

– There will be five regional gatherings for deacons throughout the Archdiocese this spring.

– The chancellor reported that the Archdiocesan Finance Council received a clean bill of health

– Eight parishes will be involved in a pilot project to discern processes for future growth. A church-consulting agency will assist the parishes.

– 70% of the goal of the Catholic Services Appeal has been reached.

– The vicar for priests is meeting priests approaching retirement. The Priests’ Personnel Board is working on scenarios and clarifying which parishes might be open listed.

– Minutes of January meeting of the Region 3 revealed a communication concern in chaplaincy services in one healthcare system.

– Finally, Region 3 members were unanimous in their decision to require deacons to obtain written permission of a pastor to conduct a funeral service for a parishioner.