2014 Annual Meeting

2014 Annal Meeting

The Standard for Excellence: Best Practices for a Mission Driven Church

Chicago, IL--Over 100 Catholic leaders from a wide array of professional fields gathered at Loyola University Chicago for the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management 2014 Annual Meeting to celebrate a decade of service to the Catholic Church in the US and to develop creative solutions for future managerial challenges facing the Church.

Following the opening prayer from Katie Diller, coordinator of the Leadership Roundtable's young adult leadership program, ESTEEM, participants were welcomed by Kerry Robinson, the Leadership Roundtable's executive director, and Fr. Michael Garanzini, SJ, president of Loyola University and a founding member of the Roundtable. Father Garanzini noted that the Roundtable has proven to be "not only worthwhile, but a necessary forum... eager to help address the needs of the Church and facilitate a more competent and more skillful personnel in the Church."  Remarking on his recent experience in Rome, Fr. Garanzini noted that the Holy Father is calling for transparency and sound decision making with regard to the use of funds, the disposition of Church property and goods, and a host of other material matters.  "We probably need a global Roundtable so that the entire Church can benefit from the collaboration among experts and Church leaders," he suggested. "The Church's work would be more professional and our use of goods would be wiser and that is sorely needed... And you have set the way, you have been an example of how that can happen in our Church.  And so I congratulate you. The leadership of the Roundtable is sorely needed still!"

Excellence at work: stories from the field

A pastor, a diocesan director of stewardship, and a young adult volunteer began the roundtable conversations by highlighting the impact of best practices on their respective ministries. In dialogue with Susan King, dean of the journalism school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and secretary of the Leadership Roundtable board of directors, Fr. Efrain Bautista described his need for management training after being thrust into the role of pastor of a 9,000-family parish in the Diocese of San Diego, and how the Toolbox for Pastoral Management, "has not only changed my life, but the lives of those in my parish." John Deinhart, from the Diocese of Knoxville outlined the process of translating best practices he was familiar with from the corporate realm into best practices in stewardship, management, and planning in the chancery and parishes of the diocese.  Mary Cornwell described the impact of the leadership training she experienced in the ESTEEM program at Michigan State University and how young adults are seeking opportunities for leadership in our parishes and nonprofit organizations.

Respect, trust and a round of golf

Most Rev. Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville and president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops presented in tandem with his chancellor and chief administrative officer, Brian Reynolds, using humor and powerful examples from their collaborative ministry in the archdiocese to highlight practical leadership principles and how to apply them in parishes and dioceses. "Trust is developed through developing patterns of behavior, methods of conversation, and public accountability."


From Rome to home: Vatican reforms and the church in the US

During lunch held high atop the Mundelein Center on Loyola's Lake Shore Campus, Elizabeth McCaul, partner-in-charge of Promontory Financial Group, LLC, and Rev. J Bryan Hehir, professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the Harvard Kennedy School, and secretary for Health Care and Social Services, Archdiocese of Boston, provided a fascinating look into the current Vatican reforms and how they might influence practice in the Church in the US and in the financial sector as a whole.  McCaul proclaimed: "This is a moment in our Church that is incredibly important and needs to go forward."

Successful strategies: doing church differently at the Local level

The next roundtable conversation focused on successful strategies for "doing Church differently" at the parish level.  Fr. Joe Donnelly, pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Southbury, CT was joined by Paul Butler, president of GlobalEdg, a leadership development consulting firm, who described a collaborative model of parish leadership that resulted from a more strategic approach to parish ministry and resources. 

The new evangelization and execution-oriented strategic planning

On the second day of full programming and dynamic exchanges, the opening prayer by Fr. Tom Smolich, SJ, president emeritus of the Jesuit Conference and a trustee of the Leadership Roundtable, drew on the prayer used to open the sessions of the Second Vatican Council, calling upon the Holy Spirit to direct our thoughts and actions. Most Rev. John Barres, bishop of Allentown, PA, offered an exciting vision of a creative collaboration between a new bishop and an experienced global corporate leader, Larry Bossidy, former CEO of Honeywell.  Jim Friend, chief development officer of Faith in the Future in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, standing in for Larry Bossidy, described a strategic planning process that married the new evangelization and execution-oriented planning, with an important learning from the diocese that "a vision without execution is an hallucination."

Accountability: an element of the new evangelization

His Eminence, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington DC, and member of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, recalled his address to a 2003 conference at Yale's Catholic Center on "Governance, Accountability and the Future of the Catholic Church," where he first encountered the Leadership Roundtable. His observation as the Roundtable celebrates its tenth year of service to the Church: "You've come a long way!"  Cardinal Wuerl encouraged the Roundtable in its efforts and reminded the lay and ordained leaders present that accountability is an essential element of the new evangelization and that three keys to strengthening the Church are communication, consultation, and collaboration.

Ideas to implementation: the standard for excellence

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Kathleen McChesney, and Jim Dubik, chair of the Leadership Roundtable board, led a robust conversation concerning how best to move from awareness of the need for best practices to actual implementation and improved accountability as the Leadership Roundtable looks toward its second decade of service.  

Most Rev. Richard Stika, bishop of Knoxville, TN, presided at mass held in Loyola's beautiful Madonna Della Strada Chapel.  Bishop John Barres and a number of priests attending the annual meeting concelebrated.  Fr. Jack Wall, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and president of Catholic Extension was the homilist and preached about the Gospel reading of the day, "by their fruits you will know them," and why the mission of excellent management is important, reminding participants, "We must do the business of the Church well, so that we can do the work of the Church exquisitely."

A hallmark of Leadership Roundtable meetings are the workgroups, where participants gather in smaller settings with subject experts to discuss, collaborate, and focus their energy on a range of issues important to Church management. These groups often lead to new programs, initiatives, and professional relationships. At the 2014 annual meeting, topics included young adults in Church leadership, parish management challenges and best practices, investing in Catholic schools, and leadership needs and models in the Church today.  Findings, recommendations, and insights from these workgroups are being collected and will be published. 

2014 Leadership Roundtable Best Practice Awards

During the annual meeting, the Leadership Roundtable honors individuals or organizations that live out ideals of transparency, accountability, collaboration, service, and other characteristics of well-run, action-oriented Catholic entities. This year, the Leadership Roundtable Best Practices Award was presented to two honorees: Rev. J. Donald Monan, SJ, and the Diocese of Knoxville.  Fr. Monan is chancellor of Boston College and a founding board member of the Leadership Roundtable and was recognized for his commitment to public service, higher education and the Catholic Church.  The Diocese of Knoxville, TN, represented by Bishop Richard Stika, Vicar General Rev. David Boettner and other senior diocesan leaders, was honored for its proactive approach toward implementing best practices in its finances, management, and human resources development.

Diocese of Knoxville

Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J.

"Honoring its proactive approach to implementing best practices in diocesan and parish management." "Honoring his lifelong commitment to public service, higher education, and the Catholic Church, and his vision as a Founding Board Member of The Leadership Roundtable."

The full proceedings from the 2014 annual meeting will be posted on the Leadership Roundtable website, and disseminated broadly. Video of each panel and presentation will be available soon. Visit www.theleadershiproundtable.org/2014annualmeeting for updates and more information about follow up from the 2014 Annual Meeting. 

2014 Annual Meeting Description

Leading up to Pope Francis’s election, Catholics around the world asked thoughtful questions of their leaders. Can the Church operate at high levels of transparency and accountability? Can our parishes and dioceses set the standard for managerial excellence? How can lay people step up to serve and lead?

For ten years, we’ve believed all this was possible. Affirmed by talk of reform from Rome,we ask, how can we, Catholic leaders from an array of sectors, be of service to our Church today and in the decades to come?

The 2014 Annual Meeting will highlight the impact of Leadership Roundtable resources--including Catholic Standards for Excellence, Catholic Leadership 360, the Toolbox for Pastoral Management, ESTEEM, CatholicPastor.org, and others--in creating a culture that fosters trust, accountability, transparency, and excellence. The lay, ordained, and religious leaders who benefit from these programs will share their experiences and offer insight on how they’re preparing for a bright future.

Additionally, we seek input from Annual Meeting participants in the interactive, dynamic workgroups and plenary sessions. Together, we will explore the major challenges the Church may face over the coming years and consider how members and friends of the Leadership Roundtable can respond faithfully and effectively to improve management within the Church.




Annual Meetings
National Symposium on Hispanic Leadership and Philanthropy for a 21st Century Church
The Standard for Excellence: Best Practices for a Mission Driven Church
Lowney A Call to Communion: Co-Responsibility for the Good of the Church


Managing for Mission: Building Strategic Collaborations to Strengthen the Church
From Aspirations to Action: Solutions for America's Catholic Schools
John Allen A Blueprint for Responsibility:
Responding to Crises with Collaborative Solutions
Clarity, Candor and Conviction: Effective Communications for a Global Church
Managerial Excellence: Engaging the Faith Community in Leadership in the Church Today
Give Us Your Best: A Look at Church Service for a New Generation
Bringing Our Gifts to the Table: Creating Conditions for Financial Health in the Church
A Call to Excellence in the Church
Challenges and Opportunities in Governance and Accountability for Institutions in Transition