The Plan 2008 – 2010 DEANERIES DIOCESAN EXECUTIVE COUNCIL PRESBYTERAL COUNCIL PROMULGATED – MAY 2010
IMPLEMENTATION 2010 – Today Reasons for This Action Parish Leadership – Legs of the Journey Getting It Into the Pews Peoples’ Response A Smooth Process
TRANSFORMATIVE VISIONING “Transformative visioning is a communal faith journey. While the end goal may be a prophetic vision, the power of this journey lies more in how we walk it than in the vision claimed. It is a journey that will test our readiness to live authentically out of our deepest beliefs. It will cause us to leave behind all that has become misaligned and bereft of meaning, all that is made more of nostalgia than of our call to further the reign of God. It is a journey that seeks to transform the very culture of community through holy and intimate conversations, loving and reconciling exchanges and communal discernment of God's call. It is less about the future that awaits us than the sort of people we are, who we are growing to become and the very purpose we claim for our existence.
TRANSFORMATIVE VISIONING Transformative visioning is a multi-phase process of envisioning a future distinct from our past. It is a means for re-discovering, re-vitalizing, co-creating, and transforming the culture of community. It involves spiritual, intellectual, emotional, behavioral, and existential processes. It is not about forecasting the future, eliminating risk, creating vision statements or engaging conventional strategic planning. The primary reason for engaging in transformative visioning is to gather the wisdom and weave a dream powerful enough to awaken a community's soul. It is a journey intended to bring forth deep and radical change enabling new life to emerge.
TRANSFORMATIVE VISIONING Such processes are part and parcel of re-founding religious life, the part that invites us to create, articulate and activate a prophetic vision for the future.” “Gather the Wisdom, Weave a Dream – Transformative Visioning as a Refounding Process” by Ted Dunn, PH.D. Published in Human Development magazine. Summer 2010-Volume 31-Number Two.
REASONS FOR THIS ACTION there are too many parishes for the pastoral needs of our area; many of our structures created 50-100 years ago are not suited for today’s ministerial needs; we have an aging population wishing for more youth to give their parish a future; fewer priests are being stretched to serve more parishes; we have aging buildings and dwindling communities to maintain and utilize them; there are flat or declining offertory collections, and in many cases major financial deficit or debt owed; we live in an increasingly secular society showing less interest in religion and church; and Catholics today attend/choose churches very differently than in the past. They will often pass by a church to attend another.
LEGS FOR THE JOURNEY Transformative Visioning Liturgy Finances Service/Outreach Religious Education Evangelization Sacraments Enthusiasm Alienated Catholics Preferential Option for the Poor
WELLSVILLE Merger of Three Parishes One Chooses to Close Council Votes 14-2 to Close Wellsville Small Number Chooses to Appeal To Rome Congregation for the Clergy Signatura Final Resolution
WHY IT WORKED PASSION TRANSPERANCY AVAILABILITY LISTENING EVALUATE – DON’T ABANDON
COLLABORATIVE MINISTRY “STAND ALONE” PARISHES NOT INTERESTED ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF LEADERSHIP DAILY MASS DUPLICATION PAROCHIALISM
MULTIPLE PARISHES PRESSURE ON PRIESTS BLENDING BUILDINGS, COUNCILS, & SCHEDULES DIFFERENT STYLES OF CATHOLICISM DEBT OF ONE ONE HAS A SCHOOL DISPOSITION OF BUILINGS
BI/MULTICULTURAL ISSUES IS IT CULTURAL OR RELIGIOUS? ENCULTURATION HIGH MAINTENANCE GROUPS UNABLE TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT A PARISH
“MEGA” PARISHES FEAR OF LOSING INTIMACY BRINGING IN RELIGIOUS ITEMS FROM THE OTHER CHURCH BUILDING BE INVITING/HOSPITABLE
EVANGELICAL APPROACH WE CAN LEARN FROM EACH OTHER INVITING OTHERS TO OUR CHURCH MUSIC AND HOSPITALITY NUMBER OF MINISTERS VS. OUR CONCEPT “EVANGELIZATION” MAKES PEOPLE NERVOUS
ATTENTION TO SERVICE/POOR MATTHEW 25 – POPE FRANCIS PERCEPTION OF CATHOLCISM SERVICE SPEAKS LOUDEST TO THE YOUNG A DISCONNECT BETWEEN CHURCH & SERVICE
CHURCH GROWTH/DECLINE Those attending and involved Those who come occasionally The spiritual but not religious Youth and Young Adults/Families Alienated or Not Registered
GROWING YOUR CHURCH DO PARISHIONERS REALLY WANT TO DO THIS? “WAIT UNTIL WE ALL DIE….AND THEN JUST CLOSE OUR CHURCH.”
UNIQUE ACTION Radical Call To Do Things Differently Concrete-Focused-Different Not Related to Coming to Church “My Church Does the Same Thing All the Time.” “My Church Never Surprises Me.”
IMPORTANCE OF MASS VIBRANT AND ENTHUSIASTIC PRESIDER – CONGREGATION – MUSIC IF NOT DONE WELL….THEY WILL NOT COME
CATHOLIC DEMENTORS HARRY POTTER CHARACTER No smile..Complain Always..No Response at Mass..Look Sad..Scowl at Noisy Kids..Guard Their Pew They can suck life out of parishes…..
PROGRAMS & CONVERSION RELIGIOSTY and SPIRITUALITY PARISH CONVERSION CULTURAL CONVERSION
RECLAIM THE IMAGE We are centuries old and found on every continent throughout the globe. We established hospitals and orphanages for the poor. We are the largest charity on the planet. We educate more kids than any other religious institution. We established the scientific method and created the college system. We defend all life. Cities throughout the world are named after saints that we revere. We have been guided for over two thousand years by sacred scripture and tradition. We pray for and serve all people. And in a world that is often wrapped in chaos and pain, we offer hope and comfort, solace and direction. In every sense of the word, we are the Catholic Church! USCCB - 2008
RECLAIM THE IMAGE All of the baptized must announce Jesus with our life, with our witness, and with our words. When we do this, the church becomes a mother church that bears children. But when we don’t do it, the church becomes not a mother but a baby sitter church, which takes care of the child to put him to sleep. Pope Francis - 2013