Planning task force hearing from priests, parish leaders, ministry staff

| May 20, 2009

The parish and school planning process is underway in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and members of an archdiocesan task force have  begun to meet with priests and parish leaders to gather information.

The task force plans to use the information gathered at these sessions to craft recommendations on archdiocesan-wide planning for Archbishop John Nienstedt’s consideration. It plans to have its recommendations ready for the archbishop in July 2010.

The planning effort seeks to address the way the archdiocese currently uses its resources — such as clergy and lay personnel, buildings and finances — and how those resources might be used to best serve the people of the archdiocese.

When Archbishop Nienstedt first wrote about the process in his March 26 column in The Catholic Spirit, he emphasized that every parish must be part of the evaluation to ensure a comprehensive process.

The process has 11 main steps and is currently on the third, fourth and fifth steps. The task force is currently meeting with priests, and it is scheduling meetings with parish leaders and parish staff groups. Already, priests have completed a self-study in which they evaluated their parishes’ resources, and the task force has begun analyzing that information.

Father John Bauer, task force co-chair with Father Peter Laird, said the task force wants everyone to have an opportunity for input.

“We encourage participation,” said Father Bauer, who is rector of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. “We want to urge people. If they have a voice, it needs to be heard, and we want to hear it.”

April 2009
Priest deanery meetings
Consultation began in April with deanery-wide meetings of priests, where the topic of planning, and reorganization was introduced to pastors. Inital, “pre-data” conversations took place about how parishes might collaborate.

May 2009
Web/voice mail feedback
lines become available
Archdiocesan Catholics can easily give their ideas, concerns and feedback to the task force via the Web, telephone or U.S. postal mail.
Web address: http://www.archspm.org. Click on link for “planning process” to access a survey.
Voice mail: (651) 291-4435
Mailing address:
Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis
PST – Planning Process Comments
328 Kellogg Blvd. W
St. Paul, MN 55102

May 2009 to Oct. 2009
Priest deanery meetings begin
Priests will be presented with the results from the Parish Self Study reports they completed earlier this year and other compiled information. They will be asked to respond to what it means for the future in their deaneries and parishes and to produce a proposal for the future of each deanery.

May to Oct. 2009
Regional leadership meetings
These meetings will provide a review of the gathered information for pastors and up to four leaders from each parish, who could include:
• Two parish trustees
• A pastoral council chair or member
• A finance council chair or member

May to Oct. 2009
Archdiocesan Coalition of Ministry Association meetings
These meetings will provide opportunities for consultation with parish staffs in their ministry groups. The Parish Services Team will facilitate and make a record of these meetings. Members of the task force will be present to listen at these meetings with the various ministry associations.

Sept. to Oct. 2009
Regional parishioner meetings
These meetings will provide parishioners opportunities to join the consultation on the future of the archdiocese. Parish Services Team members will facilitate and take notes on meetings with parishioners as they respond to a presentation of the current reality in the archdiocese. Comment cards will be available in addition to the input Web site and voice mail line.

Nov. 2009 to Jan. 2010
Priest deanery presentations to task force
Each of the 15 deaneries will present a regional plan to the task force through its priests.

Jan. to May 2010
Task force meetings to consider options
The task force considers the options presented by the deaneries, make revisions and develop options.

June 2010
Feedback on options
The task force will consider and evaluate the feedback on strategic level options for regions from pastors, parish leaders and parishioners.

July 2010
Task force development recommendations
The task force will consider feedback on options, make any necessary modifications and present its finalized recommendations to Archbishop  John Nienstedt.

Aug. 2010 and beyond
Archbishop to consider task force recommendations
Archbishop Nienstedt will review the task force’s recommendations and will make final decisions for the implementation of archdiocesan planning.

Category: Archdiocese Planning Process

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