Catholic Management Services is Born from a Real-life Success Story
Instead of being a financial burden, the Bishop of Oakland believed the cemeteries could compete with the commercial operators and actually produce financial support for other ministries. He made a strategic decision to challenge the traditional paradigm, no longer willing to allow the cemetery to live prematurely off investment earnings. With a new management team in place, the diocese began a quest to transform its cemetery operations over a five-year period. That’s where the Catholic Management Services story begins. The Oakland leadership team learned there were multiple stages required to bring a cemetery to financial health. The first stage was to stem operating losses and grow cemetery revenues, allowing the Bishop to end subsidies. The next stage was to increase the organization’s outreach to address funeral and cremation trends pulling families away from Church traditions. The resulting financial environment allowed the building of endowments for perpetual care, a portion of surplus income to support other ministries, and new growth opportunities within the organization. The team believed it was possible to establish a new paradigm: a Church-owned non-profit, dedicated to funeral and cemetery management.
“When I joined the Oakland diocese, I was very pleased to discover that an organization as innovative as CMS had been developed here. It is my sincere hope that their work will continue to develop into a ministry of the Church of Oakland to the broader Catholic Church.”