New archdiocesan chancellor James P. McDonough speaks in his office June 7. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
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BRIGHTON — Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley announced the appointment of James P. McDonough of Hanover as chancellor of the Archdiocese of Boston on June 5.
McDonough succeeds David W. Smith, who retired this month after 15 years with the archdiocese, for the last five serving as chancellor.
As chancellor, McDonough will serve as the chief financial officer and assistant clerk of the Corporation Sole. The chancellor has responsibility for the financial management of the archdiocese including budget, financial reporting, cash management, investments, risk management, MIS, benefits, human resources, cemeteries, real estate and facilities.
“Jim will work as part of a new leadership team in developing strategic initiatives that will help us restore financial stability and revise the organizational structure of the archdiocese,” said Cardinal O’Malley, announcing the appointment.
“Jim’s strong management and leadership skills, combined with his commitment to the Church, will serve us well as we seek to carry out our mission,” he added.
The cardinal characterized the financial condition of the archdiocese as “dire” at an April 19 press conference held to unveil extensive financial disclosures and a fiscal recovery plan.
McDonough, the fifth lay chancellor in the archdiocese, was previously the CEO of Abington Savings Bank, where he worked for over 26 years. During his time there, the bank became a well-managed institution that was valued by customers and employees, he said.
McDonough said he looks forward to the opportunity to use his business skills to advance the mission of the Church.
“ I saw it as an opportunity to give back to the Church,” he said. “I’ve been very blessed in my life and have had much good fortune.”
McDonough said he will be supported in his work by Cardinal O’Malley, parish priests and archdiocesan employees.
“I’m excited to see such a wonderful, talented group of people I’ll have to work with — both people who have volunteered their time so willingly and the employees here who have worked under difficult conditions for several years,” he said.
“My first goal is to meet and get to know the people that I work with and come to understand what it is they do,” he added. “This is a very different operation than a bank but some of the same general principles apply here.”
McDonough said he wants to identify the “best practices” in place at parishes across the archdiocese and help other parishes implement them.
Asked about the financial status of the archdiocese, McDonough said that he recognizes the financial challenges ahead and has confidence that they will be overcome.
McDonough also emphasized that financial transparency is an important part of improving the archdiocese’s financial condition.
“Cardinal Seán has made it very clear — and I couldn’t agree more — that financial transparency is a part of the fabric of the Archdiocese of Boston,” he said.