History of the DFMC
The concept of a conference for people involved in the financial management of Catholic dioceses developed during an informal gathering of six diocesan finance officers at the National Catholic Stewardship Conference in Denver, Colorado in 1969. The first conference was held the following year in Denver with 40 priests, 30 laymen and 1 Bishop in attendance. This was soon after Vatican II and the concept of positions of authority within the church was still unique.
In 1988, the thrust began to broaden the base of involvement and participation. A study was conducted to discover new ways for the Conference to be responsive to the changing needs of membership. Organizationally, the DFMC restructured with a Board of Directors, which would geographically and numerically represent the membership. The offices of President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer were established. A National Office was opened in Lilburn, Georgia headed by an Executive Director. The National Office was seen as an on-going help to the Board of Directors, especially in the operation of the annual Conference and the publication of the quarterly newsletter, “The Herald”.
The Conference has come a long way from the “group of six” to now represent 214 dioceses and eparchies from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Pacific. Membership has grown markedly with laity now representing 91% of the DFMC fiscal professionals with priests, women religious and deacons comprising the remaining balance. Lay women represent 38% of total DFMC membership.
Beginning in 2009, the DFMC began formally recognizing the professional specialized field of study inherent in diocesan fiscal management by offering a voluntary certification designation, “Certified Diocesan Fiscal Manager.” CDFM covers sixteen (16) disciplines uniquely applicable to diocesan fiscal management viewed as a ministry. Qualified applicants can sit for a comprehensive examination consisting of 4 sections of 50 multiple choice questions each. A study guide and further information is available through the National Office.
As it begins its 50th year of service to the Church, the ministry of the DFMC continues to proactively encourage and facilitate the growth and development of “Faith Filled Professionals.” It assists diocesan accounting and finance personnel in bringing their unique financial skills and expertise to promote transparency, accountability, and best practices to the service of their local and the national Church.