By JOANNE FOX
Two individuals with strong ties to the Diocese of Sioux City have joined the Diocesan Finance Council.
James Greteman of Carroll and Steve Lensing of Spencer started their terms in late summer last year.
Greteman is a 1972 graduate of Kuemper High School in Carroll and earned a degree in 1976 from Creighton University. His wife Mary, a graduate of St. Edmond High School in Fort Dodge, is a homemaker, but previously was a teacher and bookkeeper at Kuemper schools. The couple has three adult children.
Greteman has been employed at Greteman & Associates since 1980, a family-owned insurance, real estate, and development company. He owns the business with his brother and two cousins, which was started by their two fathers.
Lensing is a native of Whittemore, graduating from Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona in 1977. He attended Iowa State University from 1977-1981 graduating with a degree in business administration. He is married to Shari (Klein) Lensing, who also graduated from Garrigan in 1977. The couple has two daughters, one son and three granddaughters.
Subsequent to college, Lensing spent seven years employed in public accounting and since then has been employed for 29 years by Arnold Motor Supply, LLP, serving in the capacity of controller and vice president of finance.
Members of the Finance Council are responsible for the finances of the diocese, reviewing and approving the budget and working with the auditors. Both new members expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to be more “hands-on” with diocesan expenditures and income.
“After being involved in parish finances on the local level,” Greteman said, “this (being on the council) gives me the opportunity to see how things work on the diocesan level. Being a member also provides a voice from this southern part of the diocese.”
“I guess my desire to serve on the finance council stemmed largely from my lack of experience/knowledge of the ‘goings on’ of our church at the diocese level,” Lensing admitted. “This was an opportunity to educate myself and then, ultimately and hopefully, provide some financial input for the benefit of the diocese as a whole as well as well as Sacred Heart in Spencer.”
Since both men come out of fiscal backgrounds, neither considered the budgeting or auditing aspect one of the challenges faced by the council.
“The greatest task of the finance council is taking care of the many worthwhile demands on diocesan funds with limited resources,” Greteman noted. “The demographics of our current parishioners are changing, and we need to be proactive for our parishioners in the future.”
Looking to the future
Those demographics also apply to diocesan priests, Lensing added.
“Currently, we are spreading our priests way too thin, making it difficult for them to effectively carry out a multitude of ministries,” he said. “Consequently, the diocese has had the sometimes unpopular challenge of consolidating parishes, which is difficult on everybody.”
However, Lensing pointed out Ministry 2025, the pastoral plan for the Diocese of Sioux City, which addresses the future of parishes, provides “opportunities.”
“It may be a chance to welcome smaller communities to join a larger community of faith,” he said. “This is really an opportunity to meet new people that we have something in common with, that being our faith.”
Greteman and Lensing agreed the rewards associated with being on the finance council were substantial.
“Even though I have only been on the board for a few months, I can already tell how committed and talented the rest of the board members are,” Greteman said. “This also applies to the staff I have encountered at the diocese.”
“The greatest joy for me is associating with folks who share my faith and have a genuine interest in the well-being of our diocese,” Lensing noted. “I am extremely impressed with the diocese staff. These people are committed to the well-being of our church family and are making sure they are good stewards of the financial resources of the diocese.”