Archdiocese of New Orleans will lay off 19 workers in the fall, state notice says

Times Picayune and New Orleans Advocate

July 22, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

he Archdiocese of New Orleans plans to lay off 19 employees in the fall, a move it says is necessary to deal with financial strains caused by the coronavirus pandemic and its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing earlier this year.

Employees are set to lose their jobs on Sept. 15, according to a notice filed with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, though an archdiocesan spokeswoman said Tuesday some layoffs won’t take effect until October.

Affected workers range from clerical staff to an executive director, and they include some employees who were recently furloughed because of the economic downturn.

In its most recent financial report, the archdiocese reported a staff of 205. That means the layoffs represent just under 10% of the current workforce.

While Archbishop Gregory Aymond oversees Catholic churches and schools in an eight-parish region, the archdiocese itself is chiefly an administrative office that supports the leaders of those institutions while also running a number of different programs and ministries.

On May 1, the archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections, claiming its finances had been severely affected by the pandemic and the cost of litigating dozens of clergy sex abuse lawsuits.

At least nine Catholic schools received $5.5 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program to help pay salaries and other expenses on their campuses. Catholic Charities, which is affiliated with the archdiocese but incorporated separately, received between $2 million and $5 million more.

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