From the diocesan website:
The suspension of public Masses, the closing of schools and the limiting of public gatherings has helped slow the spread of COVID-19, but it also has resulted in financial and business challenges for churches and schools. The Diocesan Pastoral Center, the administrative center that serves and supports the parishes, schools and charities throughout the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, is forecasting a reduction in revenue of about $6 million in the next fiscal year beginning July 1, as well as a significant impact to its current year operating budget.
The Diocese of Phoenix has made the difficult decision to reduce overall spending in the current and upcoming fiscal year by reducing staff size and restructuring offices. The Diocese is placing a more strategic focus on directly supporting discipleship and evangelization efforts at the parish and school level.
The following measures have been implemented in an effort to reduce costs:
A reduction in workforce of 29 positions (eight of them vacant), and a reduction in hours of 13 people.
Priest base salaries have been reduced by 25%.
Furlough days have been implemented in the current budget year with more planned in the upcoming 2021 fiscal year budget.
Travel is restricted to only essential business with approval.
The discontinuation of The Catholic Sun Newspaper. The monthly publication, which was direct mailed to Catholic households throughout the Diocese of Phoenix, published its final issue in April. The Diocese of Phoenix will continue to Share the Good News of Jesus Christ through social media, Flocknote, television, radio, podcasts and Diocesan websites.
These decisions are difficult and were implemented after much prayer and discernment. The Diocese of Phoenix is grateful for the work, sacrifices and friendships of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we ask the community to join us in praying for them and their families.
We must rely on the Lord and His providential care while responding to the call to advance the mission of the Church; the Diocesan Pastoral Center will continue to extend essential services and support to pastors, priests, deacons, religious, parishes and schools. The Diocese of Phoenix will continue to make strategic decisions to meet the growing need of serving a Catholic population that is made up of great diversity; all offices will develop and enhance their cultural understanding and sensitivity to the people we serve by offering multi-lingual and multi-cultural support.
The Diocese of Phoenix asks for the community’s patience in this period of transition and adjustments. We trust in the Risen Lord and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Pray for those impacted by these moves. There will undoubtedly be more to come, from other corners of the country.
The loss of the diocesan newspaper is especially unfortunate, and it’s happening all over the country. This is a moment when the bishops need to have a strong, hopeful, encouraging voice. For many people, especially the elderly and homebound, that voice will now be silenced — or, at best, muted. It will be competing with the clamor of the Internet.
But this is the new reality we’ve been handed.
I’ve said it before: if you can, please make every effort to donate to your diocese or parish online.