Church properties on the chopping block identified

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The Redemptoris Mater Seminary property in Yona has the highest value amongst the properties the church owns.

Guam – The Archdiocese of Agana has identified a total of 86 properties so far it owns of which 41 are on the chopping block as part of settlement negotiations. However, at this point, the church does not want to disclose the value of those properties

Two days after the Archdiocese of Agana announced their intention to assess parishes and schools additional charges in order to raise $2.5 million for their 2018 operating budget, today they disclosed the number of properties they have at their disposal.

Archdiocesan Finance Council President Richard Untalan and other members of the finance council handed out a listing of properties the Archdiocese owns. There are a total of 86 they have identified so far.

The list is divided into two: essential and non-essential properties. Essential properties are, for the most part, parishes and schools, as well as four lease-hold properties that include the San Vitores shrine, the Civille and Tang law office building, the Epicure building and the FHP lease property. These properties are not available for sale or liquidation and are “essential” to the archdiocese in order to operate.

Non-essential property is identified as everything else that’s available for either sale or liquidation.

The non-essential list is placed in alphabetical order with the exception of the first three properties which are ordered in highest value. Those three properties are the Yona property where the Redemptoris Mater Seminary sits, the Chancery Office on San Ramon Hill and the former St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

“The properties given here, again, as said, we’re still researching probably another 30 to 40 properties. We started with hundreds of them, I think like 300 properties,” noted Chris Felix, AFC member.

So how much are these properties worth?

“We’re gonna leave that up to the expert appraisers and the attorneys and anyone else to value this but we don’t wanna speculate,” said Untalan.

The church has previously revealed a netbook value of their assets at $135 million, but Untalan says that amount could differ with the actual market value of their properties.

Other non-essential properties listed include part of the Catholic Social Services building behind The Department of Revenue and Tax, the Kamalen Karidat Food Center site, and other lots and house and lots in the villages of Agana, Agana Heights, Agat, Asan, Dededo, Barrigada, Inarajan, Mangilao, Merizo, Mongmong, Ordot, Piti, Chalan Pago, Sinajana, Talofofo, Umatac and Yigo. Untalan says the AFC is still working with Security Title to confirm ownership of other properties.

Untalan says the AFC is still working with Security Title to confirm ownership of other properties.

“That was part of the problem we had to face when we took over as the Archdiocesan Finance Council, we found folders, we found–it was just mess; mismanagement of things that we had to pull together to identify and organize. So that was part of the mess that Archbishop Byrnes referred to,” noted Untalan, referring to last Thursday’s press conference in which Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes said the church was in such disarray under ousted Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s leadership.

Some of the properties, Untalan suspects, may have been donated to the church by families decades ago.

At this point, Untalan says the properties are not necessarily for sale but are available to be sold should the need arise. Essentially, he says, these are the properties that will be used to fund any monetary damages or settlement negotiations for the scores of sex abuse lawsuits filed against the archdiocese.

Untalan clarified that none of the properties have been sold or liquidated. That process, he explains, will not happen until they have a better understanding of potential settlement talks.

“It depends on the settlement process. We don’t want to jump the gun. We don’t wanna say ok, liquidate this, and then we find out that we shouldn’t liquidate,” said Untalan.

The Archdiocese is open to offers or interest on any of the properties and interested individuals can contact the Chancery Office for more details.

You can also see the full listing of both essential and non-essential assets by clicking on the links below.

Church Non-essential Properties

Church Essential Properties

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