Managing the Assets of the Church: Rural Real Estate

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OCTOBER 14, 2021

7AM Pacific | 11AM Eastern | 4PM Central European | 11PM Philippines

 Managing The Assets of The Church:  Rural Real Estate.

In the second event for our 2021-2022 webinar series, Managing the Assets of the Church, we explore Rural Real Estate.

Among the many assets entrusted to the Church, real estate is possibly the most visible and the most affected by changing demographics, economics, and market trends. We’re going to be speaking with experts in the field who are working on the ground to reimagine and revitalize Church properties in a way that better serves our apostolic and evangelical needs, while providing much-needed revenue for the Church. Join us as we look at ways to transform the Church’s rural real estate.



Fr. Miguel Samaniego

Fr. Miguel is the Oeconomo in the Archdiocese of Lipa, Philippines, and parish priest at Sto. Niño de Lipa parish. He is also president of Petrelli Realty, Inc., an organization developed to help confront the inadequacy of funds to support the needs of the local Church. These include the needs of two seminaries, old and sick priests, and the day to day operation of Church ministries. Through better real estate asset utilization. Fr. Mike helped monetize underused Church properties by leasing them out. Through finding lessors that did not conflict with Church teaching, and making room for small businesses as well as large organizations, the holdings now account for 30% of the annual budget. Fr. Mike has an M.A. in Management Technology, De La Salle – Lipa, and M.A. in Educational Leadership, De La Salle Universtity, and was part of the 2nd cohort of the Program of Church Management, Rome.

Jim Ennis

Jim Ennis is the executive director of Catholic Rural Life, a Catholic non-profit organization serving the rural church in the United States for the past 98 years, promoting Catholic life in rural America through its programs in rural ministry, ethical food & agriculture, and stewardship of creation. He also currently serves as the president of the International Catholic Rural Association (ICRA) based in Rome. Jim is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, teaching a rural ministry practicum course at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity. Jim has worked in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors and has worked with Catholic Rural Life for the past 13 years. He earned a Masters of Business degree from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis, where he studied agricultural and managerial economics. A native of California, Jim is married with five children and now lives in Minnesota.

Steve Minnis

Steve Minnis is President of the Benedictine College. A native of St. Joseph, MO, Minnis began his legal career in the county prosecutor’s office for Johnson County, Kansas. He held the position of director, state regulatory and general attorney at Sprint Corporation for 14 years. In 2004, Minnis was appointed President of Benedictine College. During his presidency, Benedictine has for the first time been recognized by US News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges and recognized by the Cardinal Newman Society as one of the top 20 Catholic universities in America. In 2011, the college completed a capital campaign in which the goal was $50m and over $70m was raised. Minnis also serves on the Vatican Commission on the Church in America. This group is sponsored by Pope Francis and Chaired by Cardinal Ouellet and co-chaired by Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop Chaput and other Latin American Cardinals.

David Murphy

 David Murphy is the Program Director for the Church Properties Initiative at the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate. Prior to his appointment, David co-founded QuoVadis Catholic, a non-profit that places young adult Catholic professionals in underutilized Church property and has consulted parishes, dioceses, and Catholic schools on real estate topics. He is also involved with a number of Catholic start ups and served as a project manager for Notre Dame's Catholic Accelerator. David served 6 years on active duty with the U.S. Navy as a helicopter pilot flying the MH-60S before spending a year as a Postulant with the Congregation of Holy Cross at Moreau Seminary. He studied political science and theology at the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Pia de Solenni

Pia de Solenni. SThD is a theologian, ethicist, and cultural analyst. She recently served as Chancellor of the Diocese of Orange, California, and Theological Advisor to the Bishop. Her work has appeared in various publications including The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor, and National Review Online. She is also a consultant member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

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