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!