Parish Consultations - Saint Robert Bellarmine Parish

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Parish Consultation
for
St Robert Bellarmine Parish
A Discussion for Parishioners
on the
Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission’s
Proposal
on
Ways to Strengthen Our Parishes
Agenda

Opening Prayer

Introduction of Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) and
Finance Committee (FC) Members

Review of the Pastoral Plan Proposal

Break

Feedback Session
◦ Polling
◦ Oral Feedback

Grouping Proposal for St Roberts
◦ Feedback

Next Steps
Respectfully request that you hold your questions until the end
(Paper and pens provided to take notes so you do not forget)
Background

On December 5, Cardinal Seán O’Malley and the
Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission (APPC)
met with priests of the Archdiocese of Boston and with
those serving in archdiocesan parishes to begin the
consultation process regarding the next phase of
Pastoral Planning in the archdiocese.

As part of its scope, the APPC has developed some
principles and preliminary recommendations for
strengthening the archdiocese’s parish-based ministries,
evangelization efforts and parish staffing.
Objective for Tonight’s Meeting

To share with you the Archdiocese of
Boston’s proposal regarding a new way of
serving God’s people and to hear back
your honest hopes and concerns.

Key things to remember as you listen:
◦ It is a proposal (nothing is decided yet)
◦ It is being presented to you as it was presented to
Fr Rick, our Parish Staff, the PPC and the FC
◦ We need your feedback!!!
Meetings held to date

There have already been a series of Consultations
by the Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission
(APPC);
◦ Round One on Principles
 Held with Pastors and Pastoral Staff Members.
◦ Round Two on Potential Groupings
 Held with Pastors and Pastoral Staff Members.
◦ Round Three
 A series of 20+ Consultations held all across the Archdiocese with
Pastoral and Finance Council Members.
 Attended by members of St Robert’s PPC and FC on February 8th
Tonight is The Next Step

Town Hall Style Meetings
◦ To be held by Parishes of the Archdiocese for all their
Parishioners
 Tonight for our parish
 Potential 2nd meeting in April (if needed)
 For Parishioners who could not make tonight’s meeting
 All parishes must hold meetings and feed back their findings
to the APPC by May 1st
After receiving input from these meetings, the
APPC will then prepare a final recommendation
to Cardinal Seán for his decision.
Consultation about What?
A Way to Strengthen Parishes for a
“new evangelization.”
What is the APPC?

20 members

Clergy and laity

From across the Archdiocese

Representing the interests and concerns
of priests and parishioners.
A Little History

APPC formed in January 2011 to review
all data / research about situation of
pastoral planning;

Charged to come up with a pastoral
planning recommendation to the Cardinal.
Highlights of findings thus far

Number of priests available for parish ministry
is expected to drop from 346 to 180 in the
next 10 years.

Potential loss of up to 60-80% of our trained lay
professional ministers during the same period

Loss of church participation – less than 16% of
Catholics go to Church.

40% of parishes unable to pay bills from
offertories – number growing.
Highlights of findings thus far

Inability to direct energy, resources,
programs and personnel to young
people/young adults.

Only 39% of available pew space is being
filled on Sundays.
Strategic Priorities of the Cardinal

Welcoming Catholics to a Conversion
of Life;

Growing the Church through a new
evangelization;

Strengthening our Parishes;

Developing excellence in faith
formation for all;

Re-energizing Pastoral Leadership.
From Maintenance to Mission

Today, most parishes are organized
largely to maintain what is.
◦ Unfortunately - "what is" is not working well enough
and cannot work effectively into the future.
◦ The reality is that less than 16% of Catholics go to
Church.

Therefore, the Cardinal wants parishes to
be organized around a new mission of
evangelization and outreach.
◦ That leads to how we serve our parishes.
This Consultation
A Proposal of the APPC
on
How to Strengthen Our Parishes
The Process
Considerations for the APPC

What are other dioceses doing?

What are the “best practices”?

What has the Archdiocese done thus far?

What should we not do?

What should we do that can accelerate
the new evangelization needed?
The APPC Proposal:
What it is NOT!

It is not a proposal to close parishes.

It is not a proposal to merge parishes.

It is not a proposal to close churches.

It is not a proposal to restructure
parishes.
The APPC Proposal:
What it is

It is a proposal to re-organize the way we
serve parishes.

It is a proposal to re-structure the way
we minister to the pastoral needs of
people in our parishes.

It is a proposal about the way we train
for and staff our parishes into the
future.
The APPC Proposal:
What it is.
Another stage in the evolution of how we
serve the pastoral needs of parishes1950’s – Pastor, senior curate, junior curates,
nuns/sisters, janitor-maintenance.
1970’s – Pastor, fewer curates, fewer sisters,
emergence of lay professional ministries.
2010’s – Pastor of multiple parishes, multiple
staffs, multiple councils. (19% of our
parishes!)
The APPC Proposal:
What it is
A Pastoral Collaborative
A linkage of 2 or more parishes under the
leadership of one pastor, served by one
pastoral staff and advised by one pastoral
council and one finance council.
Pastoral Collaborative
Each parish retains its canonical identity
as a parish;
 Each parish retains its obligations as a
parish;
 No money flows back and forth between
parishes in a PC;
 Each parish retains its customs and
traditions.

Pastoral Collaborative:
What’s Different?

Served by one pastor;

For the time being, served by assistant
priests;

Served by one pastoral staff;

One parish pastoral council;

One parish finance council.
How is the Staff Paid?

Each parish is assessed a certain amount
based on an allocated formula. The cost of
the pastoral staff is shared.

All other expenses of the parish are paid
for from the regular income sources of
the parish.
 For example, in a collaborative between St B
and St C– the roof of St B’s is the financial
obligation of St. B’s.
How was the proposal for PC
groupings made?

The APPC wanted to present something
substantial.

Steps:
◦ What’s the vision – goal in mind?
◦ What are reasonable criteria for grouping parishes
for a new serving model?
◦ Developed, reviewed, debated and finally came up
with a list of 10 criteria.
◦ Applied the 10 criteria.
◦ Reviewed criteria with focus and test groups.
General Criteria
The fundamental vision and purpose for grouping
parishes into new pastoral collaboratives was
To keep parishes open and organized for a new
evangelization.
Beyond this, the Planning Commission was guided
by four general principles:
General Principles
1. Fairness

Given our limited resources, we wanted to create a
network of pastoral service focused on evangelization and
outreach and that was fair across the Archdiocese.

This plan has guidelines that apply to all parishes and
flexibility in the way these guidelines will be implemented.
General Principles
2. Partnership
In the past, parishes functioned largely independent of one another.

◦
Parishes, unhappily, rarely shared time or talent across parochial
boundaries.

This plan provides a whole new paradigm for parish ministry, revolved
around a “theology of partnership” and communion.

All, but a few very large or remote, parishes will be partnered with
other parishes so that we can be the welcoming, nourishing, thriving
and evangelizing community we desire to be.
General Principles
3. Fewest number of financially
troubled parishes

In order to secure the Archdiocese and its parishes as
centers for the new evangelization of Christ’s Good
News, we have to be both more productive and more
nourishing in order to reduce the increasing financial
pressure on parishes.

Parishes will be able to allocate more resources for
pastoral initiatives and less for maintaining facilities and
programs that are growing less attractive..
General Principles
4. Avoid redundancy and
duplication of pastoral services

We all know that an Archdiocese with more than 200
years of history can accumulate a lot of programs or ways
of doing things that no longer work effectively.

By minimizing redundancy and duplication of services, and
working together, we hope to create the resources and
capacities whereby our parishes can serve one another
better and become welcoming, nourishing, thriving and
evangelizing Eucharistic communities for both the
traditional and the “new” generation of Catholics.
Additional Criteria
5.
Geographical Proximity
6.
A Combined Weekly Offertory of over $500,000 per year
7.
Sufficient Other Income to Cover the Remaining Operating
Expenses
8.
1600 Mass Attendees per Weekend in the Pastoral
Collaborative
9.
Current Sacramental Index Numbers and Projections
10.
Current Demographic Trends and Projections
These criteria were not taken in isolation.
No linkage was determined on one factor alone.
Parishes were linked that shared a preponderance of these criteria
Saint Robert Bellarmine Parish
Numbers
6.
Weekly Offertory per year: $351,035 ( St A’s - $896,459)
7.
Other Income for Remaining Operating Expenses: ~$150,000
8.
Mass Attendees per Weekend: 514 ( St A’s -1730)
9.
Current Sacramental Index Numbers and Projections: 54 (199)
Sacramental Index (SI) = Baptisms + Funerals + 2 x Weddings
10.
Current Demographic Trends and Projections:
◦
LOWER BAPTISMS AND FIRST COMMUNIONS
◦
BIRTH RATE IN ANDOVER HAS DROPPED DRAMATICALLY
In Summary
• These criteria were not taken in
isolation.
• No linkage was determined on one
factor alone.
• Parishes were linked that shared a
preponderance of these criteria
Another part of the proposal…
When a new Pastoral Collaborative is
formed, the pastor of this PC is not one
of the original pastors.
Why? To avoid a “win/lose” situation.
This is a PROPOSAL, as well!
Where are we now?

The idea/proposal is out there.

The Archdiocese wants feedback!

What’s right? What’s wrong? Why?

Do you have a better idea?
What’s to remember?

No closing of parishes or churches in this
proposal.

Parishes retain their identity and their assets.

This proposal is about a new way of serving
parishes.

This is a PROPOSAL. No done deal.

The APPC still has 4 other mission initiatives to
research and review.

Any implementation will likely be done gradually
and organically, phased in over time. (This will not
happen tomorrow!)
Break
Feedback
1.
Polling Feedback
2.
Oral Feedback
Consultation with Parishioners
of
St Robert Bellarmine Parish
Strengthening Our Parishes
Meeting with Parishioners on Pastoral Planning
• Please take a remote from the table.
• These will be used to get your feedback on a number of multiple
choice questions
• When you answer a question you should see a green light flash
– This tells you that your response has been received
• You can change you answer if you need to but once everyone
has voted the results will be displayed automatically
• Let’s try a practice question:
What is your favorite kind of ice
cream?
A.) Vanilla
B.) Chocolate
C.) Cookie Dough
D.) Chocolate Chip
E.) Rocky Road
Who are you?
A.) Weekly Mass Attendee
B.) Attend GOF and Mass occasionally
C.) Attend Mass occasionally
D.) Attend Mass only on major Holy Days
E.) Do not Attend Mass
How long have you been a member of
St Robert’s?
A.) Less than 5 years
B.) 5 to 10 years
C.) 11 to 20 years
D.) 21 to 30 years
E.) Greater than 30 years
In which mode do you think the
Archdiocese has been since 2008?
A.) Mission
B.) Maintenance
C.) Survival
D.) Crisis
E.) Not Sure
What is your level of agreement with Cardinal
Sean’s vision that evangelization be the
present and long term task of the
Archdiocese?
A.) Strongly Agree
B.) Agree
C.) Neutral
D.) Disagree
E.) Strongly Disagree
What is your level of agreement with the goal
that we must grow the Church of Boston by
bringing Catholics back to the practice of the
faith?
A.) Strongly Agree
B.) Agree
C.) Neutral
D.) Disagree
E.) Strongly Disagree
What is your level of agreement with the following
statement: “The strengthening of parishes should
NOT be achieved by another round of closing 100 or
more parishes and churches.”
A.) Strongly Agree
B.) Agree
C.) Neutral
D.) Disagree
E.) Strongly Disagree
What is your level of agreement with the
following statement: “The principles and
criteria used for determining pastoral
collaboratives are adequate.”
A.) Strongly Agree
B.) Agree
C.) Neutral
D.) Disagree
E.) Strongly Disagree
What is your level of agreement with the
following statement: “Pastors, staffs, and
council members should be properly trained
for multiple parish pastoring situations.”
A.) Strongly Agree
B.) Agree
C.) Neutral
D.) Disagree
E.) Strongly Disagree
Understanding the Following 3 Questions
• 1) How open are you of having a pastor from outside
your proposed collaborative become your pastor?
• 2) How open are you of having the pastor of another
parish in your proposed pastoral collaborative
become your pastor?
• 3) How open are you of having your pastor become
the pastor of the parishes in your proposed pastoral
collaborative?
How open are you to having a pastor
from outside your proposed
collaborative become your pastor?
A.) Very Open
B.) Open
C.) Not Sure
D.) Not Open
E.) Strongly Not Open
How open are you to having the pastor
of another parish in your proposed
collaborative become your pastor?
A.) Very Open
B.) Open
C.) Not Sure
D.) Not Open
E.) Strongly Not Open
How open are you to having your pastor
become the pastor of the parishes in your
proposed pastoral collaborative?
A.) Very Open
B.) Open
C.) Not Sure
D.) Not Open
E.) Strongly Not Open
If the Cardinal were to implement the
Pastoral Service Team model, how do you
think the implementation should take
place?
A.) All at once, throughout the Archdiocese
B.) By Region
C.) In phases, over a period of time
D.) Not sure
Does this proposal of a Pastoral Service
Team model take us in the direction you
believe we need for the Archdiocese?
A.) The Right Direction
B.) Close to the Right Direction
C.) Neutral
D.) The Wrong Direction
Oral Feedback
2 Microphones available for you to use:

◦
1 in front of hall, 1 in back of hall

Please try to be to the point and as brief
as possible so everyone who wants to
speak will have a chance

Will have someone taking notes to make
sure we capture your questions &
thoughts to forward to the Archdiocese
The Parish Groupings

Were created after:
◦ A round of consultations on the principles.
◦ A round of consultations with pastors and
pastoral staff on the groupings themselves.
Local Grouping Recommendations
St Robert Bellarmine Parish
St Augustine’s Parish
Andover/Tewksbury
Andover
St William
Tewksbury
St Michael
North Andover
Saint Patrick
Corpus Christi
Lawrence
Lawrence
Saint Mary of the Assumption
Lawrence
St Anthony
Holy Trinity
Immaculate Conception
Lowell
Lowell
Lowell
Saint Lucy
Saint Monica
Our Lady of Good Council
Methuen
Methuen
Methuen
Oral Feedback on Pairings
2 Microphones available for you to use:

◦
1 in front of hall, 1 in back of hall

Remember - Please try to be to the
point and as brief as possible so
everyone who wants to speak will have
a chance

Will have someone taking notes to make
sure we capture your questions &
thoughts to forward to the Archdiocese
Next Steps
Homework Assignment
1.
◦
◦
All parishes asked to fill out a Consultation
Questionnaire

Consolidated feedback from all parishioners

Copies here for everyone to take home
Let’s take a quick look at the questions
Homework Assignment Questions
The APPC has developed a collaborative concept that looks
to the best possible partnerships between parishes to meet
the goal of improving evangelization.
1.
Does the combination we are proposing for the Parish you are
associated with seem to meet this goal of improving
evangelization? (Why? Why Not?)
2.
Remembering that our objectives are to be more welcoming,
nourishing, thriving and evangelizing communities than we already
are. What are the advantages of this combination, not only for
your parish but for the parishes included in your collaborative?
Homework Assignment Questions
3.
What are the possible problems with the parishes we are
proposing collaborating/sharing a pastoral staff together? Please
share any real pitfalls you could identify. (Please share any historical,
social, or cultural information that should be taken into
consideration.) Is there any kind of information you would need to
be supplied to you, to help you provide a fuller answer to this
question?
4.
Remembering the general criteria set out in order to achieve the
ideas of Fairness, Partnership, Financial Viability, and Pastoral
Effectiveness, do you have comments on the criteria used or
ways to improve the 6 measurements discussed during our
session?
Homework Assignment Questions
5.
Keeping the criteria used and the overall goals in mind, do you
have a better idea about parish combinations with your parish
that seem more workable to you, and why?
6.
Are there other criteria that should be taken into account
specific to your parish and geography?
7.
We would be receptive to any general suggestions about multi
parish pastoring that you feel would help the APPC in making
it's ultimate recommendation to Cardinal Sean and the Diocese.
(Please use the other side of this sheet!)
Next Steps
Homework Assignment
1.
◦
◦
◦
Can be




Mailed
E-mailed
Dropped in the designated box at the back of Church
Dropped off to the Parish Office
Must be returned by Tuesday, March 20th
Feedback to be collated and returned to APPC
by May 1st
Be Heard! Return your comments!
For More Information

Go to the website for Pastoral Planning for
the Archdiocese of Boston at:
www.planning2012.com
Closing Prayer
Thank You For Coming!
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