Spring always brings change and growth. This year, the changes will be numerous for pastors and parishioners in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
The archdiocese has 21 openings in parishes for pastors, said Deacon Russ Shupe, director of clergy placement and diaconate.
The newly opened Parish Accounting Service Center at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is helping to relieve some of the burden on pastors and parish leaders while providing a level of financial expertise many parishes cannot afford on their own.
Parishioners and pastors at St. Casimir and St. Patrick in St. Paul are all breathing “a sigh of relief” that the parishes are clustering, rather than closing, with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate taking on ministry at both parishes.
A Catholic Schools Commission named by Archbishop John Nienstedt has been charged with bringing a set of recommendations to him by June to help ensure the strength and sustainability of Catholic elementary schools throughout the archdiocese.
Bernard, 86, and Adeline, 88, Sobczak can look out the window of their home near New Prague and see the church of St. Benedict across the street. For more than four decades, they have walked out their front door and about 100 yards to the church doors for Sunday Mass. Jan. 16, they did it for the last time.
Three Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis — St. Joseph in Red Wing, St. Mathias in Hampton and San Miguel Middle School in Minneapolis — will close at the end of the current school year because they lack long-term sustainability.
In the past six years, Pope John Paul II Catholic School in northeast Minneapolis has made a tremendous turn-around.
It faced near-closure in 2004, but today it runs its budget in the black (thanks, in part, to a pastor with a business degree), serves as a model for multi-age classrooms and has made a commitment to strong Catholic identity initiatives, for which it earned a national award in April.
Twelve of the 14 mergers outlined in the archdiocesan strategic plan have been appealed by parishioners or parish representatives, said Jennifer Haselberger, chancellor for canonical affairs.
The two mergers that are not being appealed are St. Vincent de Paul merging with the Cathedral of St. Paul and St. Augustine merging with Holy Trinity, all in St. Paul.
Parishioners at churches involved in 10 of the 14 mergers announced earlier this month are appealing the decision affecting them through a formal process provided by Archbishop John Nienstedt, according to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.