Presentation on theme: "Current Topics in Religious Community Sponsorship of Schools Alice Hession"— Presentation transcript:
Current Topics in Religious Community Sponsorship of Schools Alice Hession
Sponsorship Relationships Canon Law –Recognize entity as ministry of the Church –Faithful administration of the ministry –Preservation of ecclesiastical goods Civil Law –The way in which the canonical reality is expressed in civil law. Typically, through reserve powers that control mission, appointment of directors/trustees, alienation of property
Defining Sponsorship “ Sponsorship is a reservation of canonical control by the juridic person that founded and/or sustains an incorporated apostolate that remains canonically part of the church entity. This retention of control need not be such as to create civil law liability on the part of the sponsor for corporate acts or omissions but should be enough for the canonical stewards of the sponsoring organization to meet their canonical obligations of faith and administration regarding the activities of the incorporated apostolate. ” Jordan Hite, TOR
Defining Sponsorship Sponsorship of an apostolate or ministry is a formal relationship between a recognized Catholic organization and a legally formed entity entered into for the sake of promoting and sustaining the Church’s mission in the world. Francis G. Morrisey, OMI Sponsorship usually entails three important elements 1.Use of one’s name 2.Exercise of certain governance responsibilities 3.Accountability to Church authorities
Sponsorship Myths Sponsorship, as we know it, has worked fine It is important that all parties are “on board” Sponsorship is just a mode of governance Sponsorship will get us through this “rough period” with few vocations The laity are just not ready for this.
Some definitions … A spectrum of relationships between the province leadership and various institutions (very different from place to place). Basically a North American issue. (Holy Cross brothers and priests) Definitions provided at annual meeting of Directors of Sponsorship Dec Mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between the congregation and an organization in which the SSND charism and educational vision are defining characteristics of the organization. (School Sisters of Notre Dame) Relationship between congregation and our schools that insures identity and charism; not tied to ownership, governance. (CFC Christian Brothers) Complex, mutually binding set of expectations and responsibilities freely embraced for the achievement of a common mission. (Marianists)
Some definitions … Definitions provided at annual meeting of Directors of Sponsorship Dec Relationship between the congregation and its institution/works. Congregation publicly identifies with, exerts influence on and provides various levels of support. (Sisters of St. Joseph, Chestnut Hill) Sponsorship is a relationship between the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart and a particular ministry. The Congregation articulates a vision and establishes structures, policies, and modes of accountability which enable the relationship and the ministry to flourish. The Grey Nuns hold the values of charity and justice as essential dimensions of the mission. We recognize all who work with us as partners. We affirm the dignity of each person and the principles of collaboration, and co- responsibility as the bases for our action. ( Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart )
Some definitions … Definitions provided at annual meeting of Directors of Sponsorship Dec Relationship between the congregation and its institution/works. Congregation publicly identifies with, exerts influence on and provides various levels of support. (Sisters of St. Joseph, Chestnut Hill) Xaverian Sponsorship is a complex of guiding principles, governance structures, formational programs and networking opportunities through which the Xaverian Brothers and their lay collaborators have come to ensure that the schools that carry the name Xaverian live up to their mission “to serve the Church in its work of evangelization, particularly through the ministry of education.” (Xaverian Brothers)Xaverian Sponsorship is a complex of guiding principles, governance structures, formational programs and networking opportunities through which the Xaverian Brothers and their lay collaborators have come to ensure that the schools that carry the name Xaverian live up to their mission “to serve the Church in its work of evangelization, particularly through the ministry of education.” (Xaverian Brothers)
“ Frequently the remark is heard that if we have encountered one model of sponsorship we are knowledgeable of just that: one model. In light of its evolutionary nature no single snapshot of sponsorship actually exists; rather the concept can be imaged as a collage or scrapbook containing various representations and continually in the process of being fashioned. ” - Patricia Smith, OSF
Questions for Discussion If you were called on to voice it, what would you say is your community's definition of sponsorship? What does it mean to “sponsor” today? What do you see as the issues tied to sponsorship today?
Why Sponsorship? Some possible reasons … - Deliberate desire to maintain a relationship > Influence, Governance, Management - Deliberate desire to collaborate with laity - Deliberate action to pass on a legacy, tradition, and culture
Role of the Community in Corporate Structure The way a Religious Community drafts the corporate documents for its sponsored institutions reveals something about the role the Community wants to play in the life of that institution and the role they are asking their members to fulfill when they serve on those governing boards. Civil Structure - Stated in Articles of Incorporation - Reflected in By-laws What do your corporate documents say about the role the community plays? How does the community exercise that responsibility?
Traditional Governance Models Two-tiered boards –Members of the Corporation (most often role played by provincial council or leadership team) reserve powers; control of documents; appointment of Trustees/Directors; alienation of property, appointment of chief administrator; approval of loans Boards with two classes of Directors –One class of Directors (usually members of the province leadership or appointed by province leadership) has veto, approval, reserve powers over certain defined areas.
New/Developing Models Sponsorship Boards or Councils –Group (including both lay and religious) appointed by congregational leadership holds reserve powers on behalf of congregation Contractual Agreement –Congregation enters into contract with self- perpetuating board and has influence and responsibility for mission Public Juridic Person –Consideration of following example of Catholic health care creating a public juridic person to act as sponsoring agent Association of the Faithful –Seeking recognition from a diocese to form an “association of the faithful” that would have canonical status and come under the proper ecclesiastical authority
Xaverian Governance Structure - Appoint Members - Must approve changes in corporate documents - Must approve alienation of property (merger/dissolution) - Mission - Appoint Trustees - Control Corporate Documents - Merger/Dissolution - Encumbrance - Associated Legal entities - Mission Effectiveness - Appoint Chief Administrator - Establish Policy - Set and approve budget - Monitor Mission effectiveness
Endorse – every member’s work, places with historic ties. Operate – own, manage Sponsor – institutions carry name and mission, yet may be separate from congregational corporation.
The Next Generation Control vs. Influence vs. Co-creation Developing/articulating a theology of sponsorship Critical competencies for Future Sponsors
A sponsoring community’s deep story will have to be embedded in lay communities. There will have to be lay appropriations of the congregation’s deep story. It takes a long time for a deep story to be lodged in the heart of a community, lodged so deeply that members have no choice but to enact it. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults offers a possible model for adult community formation. Religious congregations may have to give up control of the deep story so that it can be developed in a thoroughgoing and coequal lay setting. Bernard J. Lee, SM “The Beating of Great Wings” Formation for the Next Generation
Theology of Sponsorship Built on theology of stewardshipBuilt on theology of stewardship Built on theology of BaptismBuilt on theology of Baptism For Xaverian Brothers Rooted in Fundamental Principles of Xaverian Brothers and the documents of Vatican II on the role of the laity in the churchRooted in Fundamental Principles of Xaverian Brothers and the documents of Vatican II on the role of the laity in the church Vision and values expressed in the Foundational Documents of Xaverian SponsorshipVision and values expressed in the Foundational Documents of Xaverian Sponsorship Connected with mission of Xaverian Brothers as that is lived out internationallyConnected with mission of Xaverian Brothers as that is lived out internationally What is the theology that informs sponsorship for you today?
Trends Move by dioceses to limit exposure by creating new juridic entities (public/private juridic persons) Move by Religious Communities to retain fewer reserve powers in corporations Creation of Sponsorship boards or councils who share some of the reserve powers of Religious Community leadership over sponsored institutions Reconfiguration of Religious Communities (through merging of provinces, creation of new national/regional structures) and attempt to develop national models
Future Issues Increased collaboration among diocese and religious communities in meeting the demands of the Church’s mission of evangelization Continued and further development of lay sponsorship, forming lay women and men to claim their own role in the Church and to share in the stewardship responsibilities. Increased networking among institutions – moving away from competition toward collaboration.
Civil and Canonical Realities Civil Realities –Changing climate for non-profits –Liability issues Canonical Realities –Attempt by Vatican congregations to understand Sponsorship in US context Code does not envision issues in US today –Effort to define and reign in sponsorship
Challenges Interdependence and mutuality - We are the Church. Co-responsibility and Reciprocal Accountability - Trustworthy and Faithful Vulnerability and Fragility - We boldly go where none have gone before
Sponsorship is an invitation to the Church to co-create a future even greater than the past; an active, dynamic, creative, living form of collaboration.
Discussion What do you see as the role of Sponsorship structures in the future? What are the issues tied to the next generation of sponsorship? What do you see are the most pressing challenges of co-creation in the future?
Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools “Inspiring Lives of Learning, Faith & Service” Alice Hession