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The Diocese of Scranton may have found solution to funding


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J-P Mauro - published on 03/11/24

The Diocese of Scranton has established a Catholic Foundation that will invest endowments to fund various Church services with the returns.

While many Catholic churches in the United States are feeling the financial pinch, causing some parishes to close and others to combine, the Diocese of Scranton in Pennsylvania may have found a solution. The diocese has launched a Catholic Foundation that is meant to provide long term support for diocesan efforts through returns on investments. 

The Times Leader reports that the foundation will work like other endowments to public and private institutions. Donated funds will become the principal investment that will earn revenue, while the revenue is the only money that is touched. This will allow the investment to continue to produce revenue for years to come, with the diocese utilizing the returns all the while. The foundation has vowed to invest only “in accordance with Catholic teachings using a morally responsible investment policy.”

The report notes that the diocese has long held the diocesan annual appeal, which usually brings in millions, to fund a “wide range of ministries and services,” but these donations are “used immediately to support the annual needs of [its] diocesan ministries.” The foundation, however, will “provide long-term support for the work of the Church in our 11-county diocese.”

The Diocese of Scranton has called the foundation “a trusted way for individuals to provide meaningful and lasting impact to sustain diocesan parishes, schools, and agencies for years to come,” while noting that the foundation will be transparent about all investments. Bishop Joseph Bambera wrote in a press release: 

“Foundations have become the preferred giving mechanism for many people who appreciate the transparent and professional way that resources are managed. The formation of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Scranton represents a significant milestone in ensuring our local Church remains a compassionate and caring leader in service to our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Unlike the diocesan annual appeal, the foundation will accept donations at any time, while allowing donors to specify whether it should go to the endowment or wherever it is needed most. There have already been funds established for a variety of services, including seminarian formation, care of retired priests, Catholic schools, Catholic Social Services, faith formation, and historic preservation.

Only time will tell if the Diocese of Scranton’s Catholic Foundation will have the desired results, but if it does, this may become the go-to means of keeping more US dioceses out of the red.

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