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January 15, 2012

Cardinal’s statement on archdiocesan governance

In June 2009, when I appointed Jimmy M. Lago as Chancellor to his current three-year term, I indicated that I wanted to re-establish the Office of the Moderator of the Curia with a suitable candidate by the conclusion of his term. The work of coordinating and overseeing the departments, offices and programs of the Pastoral Center has been capably handled by Mr. Lago these past 12 years. The appointment of a Moderator of the Curia will bring the governance structure of the archdiocese for those functions in line with current canonical requirements. It will also assure stability of governance through a time of transition to a new ordinary.

In addition to looking at the governing structures, during these past two years I have directed my staff, advisory councils and consultative groups to focus on administrative, financial and ministerial programs and elements so that the health of the archdiocese as it transitions to a new archbishop, whenever the Holy See makes that appointment, will be as strong as possible. Elements of focus are: implementation of a fiveyear strategic plan for archdiocesan mission (begun last year); participation by parishes in a Parish Transformation process; creation of a comprehensive plan for Catholic education; revitalizing the financial structures within the archdiocese that provide saving and lending instruments for parishes; the planning for a new archdiocesan-wide capital campaign and finally structuring and refinancing the archdiocesan debt to take advantage of historically low interest rates and the good creditworthiness of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

After consultation and assessments, I have asked the Very Rev. Peter F. Snieg to be the Moderator of the Archdiocese Curia, effective July 1, 2012. During these next months, Father Snieg will spend time as he is able with Mr. Lago in learning the work required and attaining the knowledge necessary for assisting me in the administration of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center. Father Snieg’s current assignment is rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary, where he just completed construction of a new college seminary building at Loyola University. I will appoint the Rev. Paul C. Stein, currently pastor of St. Sylvester Parish in Chicago, to the position of St. Joseph Seminary Rector, effective July 1, 2012.

Personally, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Jimmy Lago as a devoted servant of the church and a skilled advisor in many matters. Because of his background and experience and because of his strength of mind and character, his oversight has reached far beyond the task of supervising the work of the Pastoral Center. His administration is marked not only by concern for the work but especially by care for the people at the Pastoral Center. He is a trusted friend to me and many others.

I offer my prayers and best wishes to those involved in these transitions.

— Cardinal Francis George
Jan. 10, 2012