The fruit of his [Very Rev. James L. Connell, Vicar of Planning] 10-month study is Living Our Faith in the 21st Century, a pastoral plan for the future of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
The 2008 Vision 21 Final Recommendations to the Archbishop are mercifully summarized.
According to Noreen Welte, coordinator of parish mission, the plan envisions our parishes and clusters of parishes being served by ministerial teams, made up of priests, deacons and lay men and women certified for particular ministries. The teams would be commissioned by the archbishop to share the spiritual, pastoral, educational and administrative leadership of the parishes they serve. This manner of leadership is already happening in Fond du Lac, and in our larger parishes where pastors have taken the initiative to develop their staffs into teams of leaders.
Fr. O'Connell suggested larger consolidated parishes from the start, see 'Energizing Our Vibrancy', and a version of that remains the template. The reference to Fond du Lac is to Holy Family Church, formed from the consolidation of six parishes, see New churches symbolize hope in future. The available statistics, the District 8 Planning Commission Report 2006-07, indicate that between 2005 and 2006 Holy Family's registered members declined from 15,426 to 15,348 and Sunday Mass attendance declined from 5,595 (36%) to 4,875 (31%).
Before signing off on the plan, Archbishop Dolan will have a series of meetings with "pastors, directors, deacons, parish council and staff members" at the beginning of December.