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 | By Mike Frieseman

Donna's Financial expertise helps keep diocese and parishes strong

Diocesan Finance Council member Donna England knows the value of robust bookkeeping and healthy cash flow when it comes to taking care of business on a grand scale. Having recently retired from her position as DTE Energy’s chief accounting officer, Donna has the understanding and expertise to back it up. She breaks down the basics for us in lay terms.

“As members of individual families and households, we are responsible for financial, as well as non-financial, activities to make sure things run smoothly. Each parish that we belong to is a parish family, so we have the same responsibilities to support the operations of the parish. Things like making sure that we have heat and lights, and that our buildings are maintained. We also have parish staff who serve the parish as their job, so all of that requires money. Part of our responsibility as members of the parish is to support the parish financially.

“It’s not just about the bills and payroll, but about what makes church, Church.

“Supporting our parishes is very important so that they can be here for us and that we have access to easily available sacraments, and the Eucharist, and the Mass. Also that our parishes can continue to be a face to our communities, to those in need of our services. All of the things our parishes do that are beyond just the dollars and cents.

“When the diocese is fiscally healthy, the bishop can focus on the broader outreach and responsibilities of the Church while offering support to parishes at the same time.

“Our role is to assist the bishop in keeping the diocese financially strong. Then, if we have a strong and vibrant diocese, we can provide services for religious education, supporting our seminarians, making sure that our active and retired priests are taken care of, evangelization … all of the various things the diocese does.”