Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the 2020 Financial Audit
The reduction in income was due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assessment rates for the Diocese remained unchanged from the previous year with 91 cents of every dollar (or more in many instances) staying right in your parish. The Diocese does assess some (more on this later) collections in the parish.
6% of the Diocesan Assessment is used to support the Priest Health and Retirement Fund (PHRA). This money is solely used to support our priests as they age and leave active ministry in retirement.
3% of the assessable income is Cathedraticum used to provide operational support for a Diocese. Our assessment is one of the lowest in the country. This assessment does not operate our Diocese. Instead, it is entirely returned to parishes in need, such as mission parishes or parishes in need of support for priest’s wages and benefits if collections are not sufficient to sustain operations of the parish. None of the Cathedraticum collected by the Diocese is used to fund chancery operations.
The Diocese does garner income from the use of various facilities across the state—such as pastoral centers. Due to the pandemic, these facilities were forced to close for an extended period.
It is important to note, in his commitment to prudent financial stewardship of the Diocesan Church, Bishop Brennan announced last June that operations at the Mary Help of Christian Pastoral Center in Huttonsville and the Priest Field Pastoral Center would cease on July 31, 2020. This will be reflected in the 2021 financial audit.
The reduction in expenses of the parish and school deposit and loan Program is due to a decrease in bad debt expense related to notes/loans receivable. The allowance for uncollectible notes/loans receivable is an estimate and does vary each year based on several factors which include new amounts borrowed, amounts paid each year on existing loans, assistance provided as subsidies instead of loans, and offertory changes.
Assistance provided as subsidies instead of notes/loans is evidenced by an increase of nearly $600,000 in the Statement of Activities/Expenses/Parish and School Subsidy line item.
Expenses increased under this line item due to the contribution to the West Virginia Catholic Foundation from Mount Calvary Cemetery. The “Mount Calvary Perpetual Care Fund” was created to help provide ongoing operational support to the cemetery for years to come. The funds were garnered from a mineral lease bonus on cemetery property.
This represents the federal Paycheck Protection Program loan received by the Diocese. As the program itself indicates, it was designed to provide support to businesses, including non-profit organizations, adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. As its title indicates, it was designed to ensure continuing paychecks to affected employees of such organizations, and the Diocese applied these funds in that manner and kept its employees on its payroll and provided health insurance to them throughout the covered period even though facilities were closed for weeks.
The Diocese intends to follow the guidelines of the program and submit its application for loan forgiveness as it has continued to provide payroll and benefits to its employees throughout the pandemic, as well as other qualifying expenses. It will appropriately complete SBA Form 3510 which will provide the Small Business Administration with the required information to determine forgiveness, just like every other non-profit organization.
While some parishes and schools within the Diocese may be considering filing for additional PPP loans under the recently passed CARES Act, the Diocese currently has no plans to file for a second round of PPP loans for Chancery staff.