Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thoughts and Ponderings - No.2 (Part – II)

This is the the third in a of a four-part series by the Vicar of Planning of our Archdiocese of Milwaukee. He continues, from No. 2 Part I (see my earlier post). He resumes discussing stewardship with point 8 (though "with no intended order of priority"), Justice.
...our budgets must reflect truly just wages and benefits, along with appropriate working expectations and conditions. But, what if paying less than just wages provides funding for additional ministry? I believe that we should do justice and only engage in that which we can afford.

(See my earlier post) This leads into the possibility of doing more with volunteers. (At one St. Al's parish council retreat, the guest speaker took issue with talking about parish "volunteers". Yes, we're not spiritually grown from "self-sown seed" Sister, now please go away. Which the controversy over the word apparently has.)
Speaking of volunteers, the use of much of this talent frequently seems to be restricted to the volunteer’s own parish. We need to expand the use of volunteers to a larger geographic area...

I suppose I could check if some neighboring parish has a liturgy that matches what's in its Christian Formation textbooks.

In number 9 he suggests budgets include building reserves. I might suggest a case study of how St. Al's burned through much of its reserves some years back.

He also goes on to say that some parishes might meet a pastoral need while not being financially self-supporting. Rather than having some better-off parishes assist them, he suggests increasing Archdiocesan assessment on all parishes as a source of subsidies. Unless our Archdiocese first goes bankrupt, how would these assessments be shielded from its creditors?

In number 10 he suggests caution about demolishing buildings; they might turn out to be needed later. Maybe someday [old] St. Anne's will reopen. I suggest similar caution on building; isn't it just as well Archbishop Weakland didn't have the money to replace St. John's?

In number 12 he suggests building ahead of demographics, so that when people move into new areas, parishes are already there for them. That seems as strange as suggesting closing parishes ahead of projected membership declines.

In number 11 he suggests consolidating some parish administration. In number 14, he suggests same for information and communication technology. If it means parish websites would become worth regular visits, he's got a point.

In number 15, we get one of those rare acknowledgements that the Church is larger than the Archdiocese. Is it just around here or have parishes and dioceses gotten more parochial everywhere since the Second Vatican Council?

No comments:

Post a Comment