In the conference rooms on the second ground of McKenna Hall, the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate (FIRE) Church Properties Initiative (CPI) hosted its first on-campus conference final week, entitled “The Future of Church Property.” 43 conference classes had been held, starting from 15-minute blitz displays to 45-minute panel discussions.
FIRE Director Dan Kelly welcomed colleagues from many universities, representatives from Catholic dioceses and different spiritual denominations, leaders from the nonprofit world and the true estate trade, and Notre Dame college, employees and college students.
Kelly stated CPI covers properties owned by spiritual organizations and nonprofits — church buildings, cemeteries, hospitals and parking heaps — though FIRE’s work encompasses all points of the true estate sector.
“We hope that this conference … can assist transfer the ball ahead when it comes to analysis, training and real-world affect [for church properties],” he stated.
The Catholic Church is the biggest non-governmental landowner on the planet, with an estimated 177 million acres, in response to the FIRE web site
University of Villanova administration professor Matt Mannion chaired Monday’s opening panel, which addressed the challenges going through church leaders. Villanova gives the world’s first and solely Master of Science in Church Management.
“We have infrastructure that was built for a time that no longer exists, so we have more land and facilities than we can potentially use and/or preserve,” he stated. “The things you own end up owning you.”
Mannion narrowed the dialogue of Catholic Church property to the diocesan and parish degree, attributing in sure circumstances the reason for the monetary and missionary pressure to intercourse abuse scandals and declining Sunday Mass attendance.
In one evident instance, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has offered “over 600 church properties” since rising from chapter in 2018, Mannion stated.
In May of this 12 months, The New York Times reported that the $121.5 million settlement, through which the archdiocese was a celebration, was “among the top five payouts in abuse cases involving the Catholic Church in the United States.” .
In New Brunswick, Canada, the bishop made a unique statement: “It is unfair to ask 10,000 people to try [financially] 31 parishes and all related properties preserved,” Mannion stated.
Nadia Mian, an city planner from Rutgers University, spoke on the components affecting stewards of church property, comparable to:
Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese Bishop Kevin Rhoades spoke Tuesday afternoon. Bishop Rhoades was notable among the many Church leaders current as he’s chargeable for making choices about diocesan property.
“I really didn’t have much knowledge in this area, nor the data needed to make these decisions,” Rhoades stated. “Because of my own passion for our evangelistic mission, I have often been reluctant to close or sell church buildings and land, trying to find creative uses for our facilities.”
Rhoades thanked FIRE for cataloging the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese’s property utilizing GIS or geographic data techniques.
“[The] The high quality data we have now is really helping us in our pastoral planning,” he stated.
CPI Program Manager Madeline Johnson defined that GIS is an umbrella time period for an ecosystem of instruments that use and combine spatial information, “mapping for the 21st century”.
Johnson stated GIS are used on the diocesan degree in stock and property administration.
“Think of it as a series of linked spreadsheets where you have one [geo-located] shape on the map that defines the property line,” she stated. “It’s not limited to property management applications. It could be cultural artifacts that are in the church.”
The variety of columns on this desk is limitless, Johnson stated. FIRE and CPI insert the newest actual estate value determinations, church buildings or in any other case, into this map.
Johnson additionally overlays obtainable demographic data, comparable to college enrollment, into the information set to make property administration choices.
“Another capability enabled by property records in this form is that you can then integrate them with a full ecosystem of GIS-based research and tools that exist in the world,” she stated.
South Bend parishioner Richard Williams requested Bishop Rhoades throughout a Q&A session after Johnson’s presentation to incorporate information from church properties of different Christian denominations within the Notre Dame GIS mannequin.
“Since this is the universal church,” Williams stated, “I would ask you to include the other churches, especially for South Bend, because maybe we can show how we can map a city that has been fractured and bring it together for years.”
Williams justified his reasoning for elevating this level by saying, “I just wanted to offer this as a challenge to FIRE, the Bishop, and Notre Dame.”
Contact Peter Breen at [email protected].