After reading and praying over the scripture readings for today, we really wanted to make our post for today 100% positive about some recent good things in the news. But then we saw the Globe article about the freezing of the lay pension plan, and our hopes for a completely non-critical post were dashed.
From the first Reading
Is 35:1-6a, 10: “The desert and the parched land will exult the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song….Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.
- The second annual Advent “God of This City” tour reached about 2,000 young people across the 5-night tour in 5 locations throughout the archdiocese. The aim of the tour is to reach young people through different ways of prayer, silence, dynamic music, Eucharistic adoration, the Sacrament of Confession, and in the preached word of God.
- “The Light is on For You“, the weekly Sacrament of Reconciliation initiative begun in Lent, returns for Advent. Every parish and chapel in the archdiocese will have confessions available for the next two Wednesday evenings, December 15 and 22, from 6:30pm-8pm. In the Pilot article, Cardinal O’Malley wrote, “Some parishes experienced high numbers of penitents throughout the Lenten season, others reported that participation increased each week and that many people came on the final nights.” Even parishes that had a lower turnout reported great spiritual value of hearing the confession of just one person who had been away from the Sacrament and the Church for a long time.
- The Globe reported on the confession initiative with an article whose title is self-explanatory. Need to find a Catholic church on the go? The Archdiocese has an app for you. In other words, there is a new iPhone app out from the archdiocese to help people find a Catholic church any time and any where. This would be especially useful if you are looking for confession in a location other than your local parish.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Women Affirming Life is holding their Advent Mass and Breakfast Forum with Cardinal O’Malley (who is now back from Paraguay) next Saturday, December 18, from 8am-11:30am at the Four Points by Sheraton Norwood hotel. Tickets are only available in advance, not at the door. For more information, click here.
Alas, but then there was the Globe article of today, Archdiocese to end lay pension plan. We could spend an entire post on the freezing of the lay pension fund, and probably will. But we could not end the day today without calling Chancellor McDonough out for the rather flagrant mis-statement about employees not having gotten raises in 4 years. The Chancellor was quoted as follows:
“McDonough said it could take many years for the pension fund to become fully funded again, but when it is, the church hopes to redirect the money it had been paying toward stabilizing the fund toward other employee benefits. He said employees have not had a raise in four years.”
Apparently either the blog is not doing a very good job of communicating information, or people just have so much going on during this busy holiday season that they do not have time to remember the facts. Our post of December 2, Finance Council Top Ethical Concerns: #4: Compensation–Six Figure Salaries, listed two employees whose raises between 2006 to 2009 were published in the archdiocese’s annual report.
Terry Donilon was paid $160,000 in the fiscal year that ended June 2006, and he was paid $166,000 in the fiscal year that ended June 2009.
James Walsh was paid $137,523 in the fiscal year that ended June 2006, and he was paid $185,270 in the fiscal year that ended June 2009.
Math may have not been our strongest subject in school, but we do not think it takes a Ph.D. in quantitative analysis or economics or even background in banking to understand that these two people did in fact get raises during the past 4 years.
We understand there were a lot more raises given out than these two, but these two are publicly cited in the annual reports, so it seems to us like the Chancellor should have not have made such a mistake. Coincidentally, we just now happened to think once again about Luke16:10:
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.
We have sent a note to the Globe reporter, Lisa Wangsness, concerning this error and will also send one to the Chancellor.