In the ongoing, burgeoning development that marks the present exciting season at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one important aspect is the development of the staff, as evidenced in the many jobs advertised recently. The Shrine is committed to forming a team fully prepared to serve the growing number of pilgrims, donors, and others who find themselves drawn to Our Lady’s “sacred little house.”
Promotion and Job Opportunity
In this spirit, the finance department is expanding. As the numbers of pilgrims increase, so too do the projects at the Shrine; more funds are then taken in; and an increased team is needed to ensure that all are processed correctly. Thus, a new title has been created, that of Controller. Caleb Thatcher, previously an Associate Accountant for the Shrine, has been promoted to the new position, creating an opening for a new Staff Accountant.
His previous role, Thatcher explains, was “a lot of recording journal entries … making sure that what the bank says we have [is] what we actually have in the books and making sure we’re recording revenue correctly. This controller role is an oversight role, so I’ll be reviewing work that I would have done, that the new staff accountant will do.”
Caleb with his wife and three children
Further rounding out the team, the work of the controller is also distinct from that of the CFO, or chief financial officer. As, the former is a more hands-on, managerial position while the latter is more executive: “A financial controller … may oversee record keeping, taxes, insurance, audits and HR and make sure that every financial aspect of a business adheres to legal and industrial standards.” A CFO, on the other hand, “serves as a part of the C-level executive suite, often collaborating with other senior executives to strategize for their company.”
The Shrine’s present CFO, Phil Lenahan, works part time, serving also as CFO for Catholic Answers. The creation of Thatcher’s new role will help to balance the workload and free Lenahan for “more time to do things that he’s good at, like the long-term strategic planning,” as Thatcher says. In the spirit of the “Shrine family,” Lenahan adds, “I am thrilled that Caleb has this opportunity for growth!”
A Growing Mission
Furthermore, the benefits go beyond the Shrine staff. The ultimate goal, as always, is the mission to souls. Managing funds and accounts, while often behind the scenes, is no less essential than the more “visible” tasks at the Shrine. Donors’ generosity bears fruit through the work of Thatcher and others in the finance department, “making sure that we’re using donors’ funds properly and that we’re complying with generally accepted accounting principles, making sure that everything’s recorded.”
Our Lady’s Shrine takes seriously its responsibility for every gift received. With the united efforts of Lenahan, Thatcher, and a new Associate Accountant, the finance department will continue to ensure that all funds received at the Shrine are used for their designated purpose, furthering the growth of the mission to help pilgrims encounter the Lord.