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MADISON— Bishop Robert C. Morlino has announced that John Philipp has been named Director of Finance for the Diocese of Madison.
According to the Code of Canon Law in the Catholic Church, the bishop appoints a financial administrator of the diocese after consulting with the College of Consultors and the diocesan Finance Council. The financial administrator is to be an “expert in financial matters and of truly outstanding integrity.”
Bishop Morlino said, “Over the past six months John has proven to be an outstanding co-worker and excellent steward of our diocesan financial resources. There is no doubt that our nation is in a difficult economic situation, and we as a diocese are certainly not spared from the effects of that situation. Yet, John has stepped well into his role here, demonstrating tremendous patience, wisdom, and technical expertise. Even more, however, it has been a joy to work with such a man — one who is aiming at excellence not only in his professional life, but also in his life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.” Fulfilling the mission
In accepting the position, Philipp said, “It is the mission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison that every individual has an opportunity to meet the person of Jesus Christ risen from the dead and to be changed by him. The Office of Finance carries out that mission by supporting the Church, the bishop, and the faithful of the diocese.
“This mission is the driving force behind every ministry within the diocese,” Philipp noted. “My role is to manage the temporal goods of the diocese in a way that is fiscally responsible and supports that mission.”
Philipp observed that the diocese has many great ministries in such areas as Catholic schools, evangelization and catechesis, and worship. “We work as a team to bring forth these ministries and work with pastors in the diocese.”
Since he started working in the Office of Finance in July, Philipp has assessed the financial needs of the diocese in relation to the diocesan mission. “I have reached out to forge relationships with many other diocesan offices and with many of the priests. I look forward to meeting and working with many constituencies in the years to come.”
Following are the chief responsibilities of the director of finance:
• Collaborates with the bishop and diocesan councils in planning and organization to ensure that the diocese carries out its mission and goals.
• Is responsible for the fiscal management of temporal goods and the evaluation and implementation of financial policies in accordance with the Code of Canon Law.
• Advises the bishop, Diocesan Finance Council, Building Committee, vicar general, chancellor, St. Raphael Board members, Madison Diocesan Consultors, and directors regarding annual operating budget(s), financial reporting, investments, self-insurance, employee benefits, independent audit, and priest retirement.
Philipp is a certified public accountant (CPA) with 30 years of experience in corporate finance and accounting. He observed that his extensive background in commercial real estate will serve the diocese well because of the churches and facilities owned by the diocese.
Asked about assuming the position of director of finance in challenging economic times, Philipp said, “As Catholics we’re part of the universal Church founded by Jesus Christ and we have a moral obligation to support our Church and all members of society. Even with the economic adjustment we’re experiencing now, it’s critical that we sustain and increase our charitable giving to help others.”
He added, “The Bible talks about giving from your need, not just from your surplus. It speaks to the heart of the Catholic faith.”
About his new position, Philipp said he is “thrilled to be here.” He was self-employed in the commercial real estate industry before accepting the diocesan position and has permission from the bishop and the chancellor to continuing serving some of his clients.
Philipp is a member of the Cathedral Parish in Madison and the Knights of Divine Mercy.