Diocese of Joliet

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Providing Support, Accountability, Fairness, and Vision. The rationale for the 4 percent retention
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Providing Support, Accountability, Fairness, and Vision

The rationale for the 4 percent retention

God is Good! We are happy to announce that thanks to a very generous benefactor we are able to suspend the 4 percent retention for the forseable future. Read on to discover how important this blessing is to our work and that of our cooperating missionary organizations.


The Joliet Diocese fields the requests for parish speaking opportunities from nearly 200 mission organizations each year. Many, if not most, of these organizations could not afford the staff to directly call and make arrangements with the many parishes in the many dioceses across the country. They depend upon Diocesan Pontifical Mission staff of each diocese to assist them in this effort. In this light, it can be said that they are outsourcing a task, a common practice within business and non-profit organizations, and consider the 4 percent a simple cost of administration.

Most parishes do not have staff dedicated to the purpose of vetting and selecting missionary speakers. Pastors certainly do not have the time to sort through 200 requests each year. The Diocesan Pontifical Mission staff provides an important service for the pastors and parishes.

The Diocesan Pontifical Mission staff verifies the authenticity, financial integrity, teaching and work in union with the Church of each mission organization before approving them for speaking in the diocese. The office ensures that each speaker has the required visas, as well as letters of suitability in regard to child abuse.

The service provided by the Diocesan Pontifical Mission staff in coordinating the selection and placement of mission organizations prevents any one or two organizations from monopolizing the available parishes and cherry picking the largest and wealthiest. We ensure fairness and equity for all the mission organizations.

By selecting a variety of mission organizations the Diocesan Pontifical Mission Office helps to promote a broad vision of mission and solidarity throughout our diocesan church. We are also able to create a focus on certain regions of the world in response to urgent needs. All of this helps to create a healthy and living understanding and appreciation of the work of the Church in Mission.

Diocesan Pontifical Mission Societies are not directly a part of the diocesan agency financial structure and do not receive financial subsidy. The 4 percent helps fund the staff, office expenses, educational and promotional materials. It is used to provide hospitality to visiting missionaries.  As well, there are occasional donations to mission organizations not part of the MCP. There are also circumstances when a particular mission organization participating in the MCP does not do well with their collection at a small parish or is canceled without notice by the parish; we may in such situations supplement their appeal from the 4 percent fund.

We do provide a variance for “order” parishes who have mission speakers from their own order speak as part of the Missionary Cooperative Plan. We forgive the 4% as an expression of our gratitude for their order’s service to our diocese.

Most Diocesan Pontifical Mission Societies retain 10, 15, even 20 percent. By comparison, we hold only a very modest portion.

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