Maybe it’s nothing but it’s probably not. Maybe it’s just the timing; just before Bishop Emeritus Gaydos stepped down some Diocesan loans to parishes were forgiven and gifts were given by the Diocese. Large loans, even six figure loans.
Times are tight at Holy Family Church; they recently had to buy Fr. Quinn a car and renovate his villa. Not the rectory next the Church villa but his other villa. We hesitate to bring parish events onto a Diocesan blog but these are public bulletins (although as of this writing their website is coincidentally down) and the Diocese somehow got involved just before Bishop Emeritus Gaydos resigned. It’s the Diocese and Bishop Emeritus Gaydos that we are interested in. These are the kinds of things that we mean when we speak of an audit so follow along as we work our way from Hannibal back to the Diocese. Here’s the timeline:
Oct. 1st Bulletin: Fr. Mike Quinn needs a new car and the parish is soliciting donations to buy him one. 20171001
Oct. 15th Bulletin: They got the money for the car. 20171015
Dec. 10th Bulletin: The Parish is $72,315.02 short on donations. 20171210
February 4th Bulletin: The got a Large Anonymous $34,000 Donation from the Diocese.
At the same time they also solicit funds for their own Not For Profit Corporation, could that money have been used to make up the shortfall instead? We don’t know why they have a separate corporation for donations but it would be pretty tacky to collect money for that fund, avoid sending the Cathedraticum money to the Diocese, and then receive $34,000 that everyone else had to send the Diocese. Non Profit Corp flyer
Meanwhile the Diocese of Jefferson City Real Estate Trust (That Trust is another can of worms) owns a nice condo villa a few miles from the Church, renovated by parish funds, that is apparently more suited to Fr. Mike’s lifestyle.
Here’s a home in the same neighborhood, they are nice 3 bedroom brick villas built after 2010, though a discerning owner would further refine them with “renovation.”
Customarily priests live in the rectory for free and buy their own cars with the salary they receive. When they retire they generally don’t go live in their own villas with cars that parishioners gave them. If the people of Holy Family wish to buy Fr. Mike a car they are free to do so. Once people give money to the Diocese the Bishop may do whatever he wishes with it according to Canon Law, within the bounds of Catholic Morality. When parishes put their money on deposit with the Diocese it’s his to do with as he wishes. But, do people realize that and should he do whatever he pleases with it? Is this what people think they are getting when they give to the Catholic Stewardship Appeal? When small parishes give to the Diocese so that the Bishop won’t remove their priest and shut down their Church, are they intending their money to go to other parishes who have remodeled condos and bought cars? Will the Diocese of Jefferson City Real Estate Trust provide every priest with a remodeled villa, like Bishop Gaydos who used $1.3 million to renovate the old Carmelite Monastery so he would have his own retirement villa? How does a parish get a six figure loan forgiven? How did Bishop Gaydos decide which priests got these favors at the final hour? What in the world did these priests do to merit this favor? What do they have in common with him?