Meet Our Founding Member Dioceses
This year, as we mark our 125th anniversary, Catholic Mutual celebrates the six founding member dioceses who came together to form our organization. Our last newsletter was about the Archdiocese of Omaha and this month, we will focus on the Archdiocese of Kansas City. Through the course of the year, we will also profile the dioceses of Wichita, Salina, Lincoln and Sioux Falls. Just as in 1889, the year we were founded, it is our members who help us stay true to our mission of service to the Church. We invite you to share this newsletter with any staff, clergy or other members of your diocese whom you think would enjoy it.
"With a little bit of timing difference, Kansas City would be the only founding member diocese," laughs Carla Mills, Chief Financial Officer for the Archdiocese of Kansas City.
Mills's comment refers to the fact that the period leading up to Catholic Mutual's founding was one of great growth for the Catholic Church in the Plains states. Just a few decades prior, the entire area that covers the present day states of Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana started out as the Vicariate Apostolic of Indian Territories East of the Rocky Mountains, overseen first by Bishop John Baptist Miege, then Bishop Louis Fink, who was the founding bishop of the Diocese of Leavenworth, now the Archdiocese of Kansas City.
Today, of course, the territory isn't quite as vast but with 108 parishes, 38 Catholic grade schools, four high schools and many other properties to consider, the Archdiocese's responsibilities have never been greater.
Which is why they appreciate the coverage that Catholic Mutual provides. "We have someone come from Catholic Mutual for four weeks a year, every year, to take a look at everything. We rotate the buildings so that every building gets looked at over a three-year period," says Jerry Mayne, Mills's predecessor, who was CFO of the Archdiocese for 16 years before retiring last summer.
Not only do these walk-throughs help Catholic Mutual identify potential property and liability risks, they also help the Archdiocese inventory the church artifacts that are in the parishes and determine whether they are properly protected.
"We have a pastor who has an extensive collection of religious art that is his own personal property," Mayne says. "A Catholic Mutual employee pointed out that they could arrange for special coverage for the art and Catholic Mutual was able to cover it for him."
As stewards of the Arch-diocese's finances, Mayne, and now Mills, appreciate Catholic Mutual's competitive coverage.
"I don't think we realized just how much money we save with Catholic Mutual until we contracted with some consultants on a Continuing Care Retirement Community," says Mayne. "They got the bill from Catholic Mutual and it was about 40% of what they had projected, based on their experience."
When he passed the torch to Mills, Mayne told her that the more companies that tried to sell her coverage, the more she would appreciate how good Catholic Mutual really is -- something she has since experienced firsthand. "A few companies have approached me and done an analysis," Mills agrees, "but they haven't been able to come up with anything close to the property and liability rates Catholic Mutual gives us."
Mayne points out how Catholic Mutual's willingness to try new things, such as CUP and CUP II, and to work with others, helps our members reduce their exposure to loss. "When you go in with a new idea, CMG isn't threatened, because they're not an insurance company."
It's a philosophy that fits in nicely with Mills's view of her new job. "Accountants - good accountants, anyway - don't just think about accounting the numbers," she says. "They think about the business and how they can impact and help the organization grow toward its goals, whatever they may be. It helps to have a partner with whom the Archdiocese has such a long and storied history."
We feel privileged to be a part of the legacy of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, and to be there as it transitions from one principled and responsible steward to the next.