|By Harold Brubaker, The Philadelphia Inquirer|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
It's the biggest deal yet in Archbishop Charles J. Chaput's effort to fill deep financial gaps caused by years of overspending and mismanagement.
It owns and operates 15 nursing homes in
The sale of the Catholic Health Care Services operations includes five nursing homes and two facilities that offer a wider range of senior living options. Altogether, the properties in
"No one wanted to have to do this. It's sad that we're faced with having to make a decision like this. The archbishop has been clear that we're going to fix our financial problems," said
A year ago, the Catholic church in
Significant progress was made through the 60-year lease of the archdiocesan cemeteries to
That money was split three ways:
The fourth major deficit is in the pension fund for lay employees. Benefits in that fund -- which had a
That pension deficit will be eliminated over the next 20 to 25 years, O'Shaughnessy said.
The nursing-home sale, which is expected to close by the end of the year, if not sooner, could generate roughly
No decisions have been made yet on how that money will be distributed, O'Shaughnessy said.
With 1,215 skilled-nursing beds, Catholic Health Care Services homes were the nation's seventh-largest nonprofit nursing-home group last year, according to LeadingAge Ziegler, an industry report. The homes had
The size of the operation likely attracted bidders. Thirty firms were in the first round of bidding, O'Shaughnessy said.
Center Management emerged as the winner in large part because of its willingness to meet conditions imposed by Chaput, including the maintenance of the homes as Catholic institutions, protections for employees, and a guarantee that residents will not be kicked out if they go on
A visit to the Center Management homes in
"They are not officially Catholic. They are not required to be Catholic, but they still very much felt Catholic. They have an active pastoral care staff headed up by members of a Catholic religious order," O'Shaughnessy said.
"As we went through the facilities you just felt the love, the kindness, and the wonderful care that was being given by the staff," Gros said. "That really attracted us to pursue this transaction."
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