Leaders field planning process questions

| March 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

The following Q-and-A with Father John Bauer and Marilou Eldred, co-chairs of the 2014-2015 Strategic Planning Task Force, addresses the status of the strategic planning process, challenges and opportunities parishes currently face, and the timeline for recommendations.

Q. What is the status of the current strategic planning process?

A. Input is currently being gathered at meetings for each of the 15 geographic deaneries and from the Latino Ministry deanery to help inform this round of strategic planning. The Strategic Planning Task Force is now hearing briefings based on these meetings and other feedback from pastors, ordained and lay personnel, and parishioners on how better to meet the sacramental and spiritual needs of Catholics within their deaneries.

Q. What strategic planning topics are being discussed at deanery meetings?

A. Deaneries were asked to discuss changes that have taken place since 2009-2010 Strategic Planning related to the following: demographics, finances, personnel, condition of buildings, Mass schedules, religious education and Catholic schools. Other topics included current or upcoming collaborating and clustering among clergy, personnel or programs, feedback on past collaborations and clusters, and other input from the prior round of strategic planning.

Q. Based on these deanery briefings, what issues are parishes in our archdiocese facing today?

A. The sincere, heartfelt responses given at these briefings have clearly outlined the challenges some parishes are facing, as well as some opportunities.

Demographics present both an opportunity and a challenge for many parishes. Those with changing demographics see the blessings this diversity brings to our Catholic communities, but may face challenges in caring for their needs.

Additional challenges include geographic challenges, particularly in rural areas; decreases in financial contributions; aging buildings and other structural needs; limited personnel or personnel changes; and shortages of other resources. Parishes that are currently self-sustaining and not facing some of the challenges described above are unlikely to be affected by this round of strategic planning.

Q. What recommendations are being considered for this round of strategic planning? When will I know if or how my parish will be affected?

A. At the conclusion of the deanery briefings, the task force will develop recommendations informed by the input received as well as other baseline data from parish visitations and the GROW pastoral planning process. The task force hopes to share its report and recommendations with the bishops in spring 2015.

Q. Whom do I contact to learn more about the strategic planning process or to offer my input?

A. The best way to find out more or to have your voice heard is to contact your pastor, who is in contact with your dean regarding the process. You may also call the archdiocese at (651) 291-4435 or email PlanningProcess@archspm.org.

See additional FAQs and other information regarding the 2014-2015 Strategic Planning process by visiting archspm.org and clicking on “Archdiocesan Planning Update.”

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