The Denver Catholic spoke with the Denver Archdiocese’s chief financial officer, Keith Parsons, about the 2016 Financial Report, which can be viewed here. The interview has been edited for space and clarity.
Denver Catholic: What achievements would you like to highlight took place in the Archdiocese of Denver during the past year?
Keith Parsons: The most pertinent and exciting highlight for the archdiocese—and this is for the June 30, 2016, fiscal year end—is that in a fiscal year when the market was pretty much in a downturn, we were able to maintain positive results. Our overall cash is up about $8 million, with our investments down about the same amount, and our trust and restricted funds are up nearly $20 million. That’s very positive.
DC: Any projects you’d like to mention?
KP: We have a couple of small capital projects going on. The first and biggest is Camp St. Malo in Allenspark, which previously was our adult retreat center as well as the location of St. Catherine’s Chapel on the Rock. [Camp St. Malo] was decimated by fire a few years ago and then by a mudslide a couple of years after that. We’ve refurbished [St. Catherine’s] chapel with necessary repairs. We’re also converting what was St. William’s Lodge into a visitor center. Upwards of 500 cars visit that location on a weekly basis; [we want to] give people the opportunity to know the history and legacy of the site St. John Paul II visited in the early 1990s. It’s about a $3 million project.
We have a replacement site [for] St. Malo that we’re going to name the Emmaus Retreat Conference Center. We have 250 acres that were purchased. In fiscal 2017 we will be moving forward with building [as] we have now received all the insurance proceeds—[about] $16 million.
DC: Is there other good news?
KP: I’d like to note that at Holy Family High School we had a significant increase in enrollment, therefore, the results of Holy Family are very good. And at the seminaries we had 14 men ordained to the priesthood in 2016 from St. John Vianney Theological Seminary and one man ordained from Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary. That was very exciting.
DC: Is there anything you’d like to note about the physical Financial Report itself?
KP: It’s a stand-alone report so you can pull it out of the Denver Catholic and go back and reference it at any time. The Financial Report will also be available online (www.archden.org). You can look at it at any point in time.
DC: What is the overall financial status of the Archdiocese of Denver?
KP: We’re in a very strong financial position. We’re a nonprofit and rely year to year on the gracious support of our donors and parishioners. It is comforting to know that the programs and ministries the archdiocese runs are very healthy and doing well from a nonprofit perspective. We have a strong cash position to maintain that. And if we’re ever in an economic downturn, we’re in good shape to sail through that and provide the ministries we do.