Highlights of changes

| October 16, 2010
  • Strategic initiatives which will encourage cooperation, improve stewardship of resources, and increase transparency in the areas of: qualified pastoral leadership; Catholic schools; and finance and administration to improve ministry, evangelization, and outreach in the Archdiocese.
  • 21 parishes will merge with 14 receiving parishes during the next several years, bringing the Archdiocese from 213 parishes in October 2010 to 192 following the implementation of the announced decisions. Masses will continue to be celebrated at the church building of the merging parish until a decision which contradicts such use is made by the parish pastoral and finance councils of the receiving parish community, in consultation with the Archbishop and the Presbyteral Council.
  • 33 parishes will enter into new cluster arrangements with one pastor leading two or more parishes, following implementation of the announced decisions.
  • 25 parishes are identified for structured collaboration with neighboring parishes; many of these sites may eventually move toward a cluster; all parishes and schools are called into greater collaboration.
  • Certain schools are under urgent review to determine sustainability; it is likely that local leadership at these schools will decide that some of these schools should close at the end of the 2010-2011 school year.

Seven guiding principles of the strategic plan

  1. Full sacramental ministry. Changes are aimed at providing a stronger sacramental presence for all Catholics, while fostering the ministry of priests, deacons, and, where appropriate, lay ecclesial ministers.
  2. Competent pastoral leadership. Coordinated and ongoing formation and training for clergy and lay leaders, as well as established best practices in administration will help ensure inspired ministry. Emphasis will be placed on collaboration of the ordained and laity in leadership and service in the Church.
  3. Special concern for the needs of the poor, marginalized, and immigrant. Throughout our history the poor, marginalized, and immigrant have been acknowledged as a gift to the Church. The Strategic Plan calls for all parishes within the Archdiocese to help support certain parishes and schools in locations most critical to advancing this mission yet are not likely to be financially sustainable for the foreseeable future because of the economic circumstances of those they serve.
  4. Catholic school support and inclusion in the planning process. Under the Strategic Plan, all Catholic school communities are expected to review sustainability based upon the established criteria for long term viability with the goal of making a high quality Catholic education available to every family who seeks it.
  5. Every parish is involved in the discussion. Greater collaboration is required of us all under the Strategic Plan. The establishment of regional administrative centers and regional school discussions, as well as other structures for inter-parish and inter-school communication and cooperation will provide the framework for this increased collaboration.
  6. Every parish is expected to evaluate their own resources and adjust accordingly. The Strategic Plan provides a structure for ongoing evaluation of resources, the establishment of sustainable financial models, as well as more transparent communication regarding resources. While the truths of our faith remain constant, we must be willing to adapt our physical structure and policies to address the signs of the times.
  7. Respect, patience and honesty in all discussions to build on strengths. The spirit of consultation and communication which has been a key feature of the planning process will continue during the coming months and years. The Archdiocese will continue to welcome comments from pastors, parish and Catholic school leaders and staff, parishioners, Catholic school families, and others.

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Category: Archdiocese Planning Process

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