February 9, 2012 – Catholic School Officials Gather in San Antonio to Begin the Revitalization Of U.S. Catholic Schools


Catholic School Officials Gather in San Antonio to Begin the Revitalization Of U.S. Catholic Schools

O’Meara, Ferguson, Whelan, and Conway – February 9, 2012

(PRWEB) February 09, 2012 — Catholic school administrators gathered in San Antonio February 8 to address new research and important opportunities in the growth of the U.S. Catholic school system. Hosted by the consulting firm O’Meara Ferguson, Whelan and Conway (O’Meara Ferguson), the three-day event, “Sustaining the Mission: Integrating Finance, Development, Planning, and Operations to Strengthen Catholic Education” will assist Catholic school systems in designing financial management plans while maintaining their Catholic mission and identity.

The symposium follows the recent release of “Revitalizing Catholic Schools”, a report by O’Meara Ferguson that provides statistical analysis of more than 400 Catholic schools throughout the Midwest. This data analyzes financial and operational data in Catholic schools, identifying key opportunities for financial success. Findings from the report include:

  • Many struggling Catholic schools do not have enough students enrolled at the right tuition rates to pay the bills while addressing mounting maintenance and fixed operating costs. In many situations, especially at older schools, pastors and principals see additional students as added costs for teachers, aides, and supplies; and so are reluctant to increase enrollment. This zero sum game approach leads to underutilized schools with empty seats and lost opportunities for thousands of children.
  • Underutilized schools, long thought to be the result of changing demographics and higher tuition rates, are in truth a management opportunity. While demographics and increasing costs may indeed play a role in the demand for Catholic education, enrollment is in fact, far more dependent on management behavior and sound revenue management practices.

Began with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller at the San Fernando Cathedral, the oldest continually functioning church in North America, and continuing at the Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, the symposium brings together 50 school systems from across the country, joined by their goal to proactively address these challenges, other issues and new opportunities specific to the Catholic school system.

“The goal of our work is to collect and analyze real time school data in order to provide mechanisms that drive positive results,” said Patrick O’Meara, President and Founder of O’Meara Ferguson and co-author of the report.

Each attendee, in addition to hearing expert speakers and peer commentary, will receive a new publication from O’Meara Ferguson, “Sustaining the Mission: A Manual to Revitalize Our Catholic Schools”. A “manual” for attendees, it provides diagnostics, exercises and strategies that address the conditions revealed in the initial report.

“We’re sharing the tools to develop practical, actionable solutions that yield sustainable operating and capital structures which can provide contemporary solutions and new opportunities to millions of students, their educators, and thousands of parishes across the country,” O’Meara said.

About O’Meara Ferguson Whelan and Conway

Our mission is to provide Catholic organizations with advice and counsel on the best possible use of their temporal resources as they work to further their missions. O’Meara, Ferguson, Whelan, and Conway integrates specifically crafted financial strategies, unmatched access to capital financing alternatives, investment management advice, and stewardship-based fundraising counsel to manage and leverage financial assets to build our clients’ fiscal strength and independence.