Thursday, February 7, 2008

Budget has impact on planning process

"Our" Milwaukee Catholic Herald reported January 31, 2008. The planning process referred to is the Vision: 21st Century Planning initiative headed by Father James Connell, Vicar for Planning. He will make his recommendations to Archbishop Dolan by March 31st.
Fr. Connell has received feedback during the planning process via "Thoughts and Ponderings," a series of reflection papers that he distributed to 4,000 people involved in ministry in the archdiocese and from whom he has received more than 150 responses, and through consultations he has held in the archdiocese.

Even sending T&P to "people involved in ministry", less than 4% responded. Having participated in some of the prior rounds of Archdiocesan planning, I can understand that.
Fr. Connell has assembled the Vision 21 Committee with which "the responsibility to prepare the recommendations now rests," he wrote in a Jan. 9 e-mail to church leaders in southeastern Wisconsin.

That email doesn't seem to be posted on the Vision: 21st Century Planning page.
One of the ideas Fr. Connell proposed for consideration when he became vicar for planning was fewer, but bigger parishes.

You might have reorg boots, but you'll need reorg waders.
During the interview with your Catholic Herald, he noted that Archbishop Dolan "has stressed that we need to distinguish between the location of the places where worship takes place separate from how we organize ourselves to live the mission of the church."

The priest added that the archbishop is not trying to close parishes.

"Maybe we need to organize the people according to the living of the faith, to how they study the Scriptures, where faith formation takes place, how they live their social ministry activities, how they minister to themselves in the community," he said. "That may be bigger organizations, more clusters, but not changing parish buildings or parish structures."

It will be interesting to see how this can be unequivocally consistent with the Faith In Our Future fund drive's goal of raising $63,000,000 for "Strengthening 211 parishes".

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