Bulletin Article to Introduce Planning:
Planning for Our Continuing Future
My dear brothers and sisters of <parish name here>, starting this last fall, Bishop Matano and other diocesan representatives reached out to the pastors of Wayne County and asked us all to enter into a process of collaborative pastoral planning. The purpose of this new phase of pastoral planning is to ensure the ongoing vitality of the Catholic faith in Wayne County in light of upcoming decreases in the number of active priests and decreases in mass attendance*.
Through this process we will assess ministry needs as well as administrative needs to determine what our priorities for ministry are and what staff is needed for this. We will also be looking at current building condition and usage.
To carry out this planning process, an ad hoc committee has been convened that includes all five pastors in Wayne County, both Finance Directors, as well as a representative from each Parish Pastoral Council and Finance Council. There is also representation from parish staff as well as Fr. Jesus Flores from migrant ministry.
The committee has just begun and is currently gathering preliminary information. Throughout this process we ask that you pray that we be led by the Holy Spirit to develop a plan that is in accord with God’s will. Please pray that our focus be not just on numbers but on the people we serve and the gifts and strengths each parish has to offer. As part of this process, we will provide updates through our bulletin, Internet, and pulpit announcements. Thank you so much.
*You can find demographics and statistics online at https://oprp.dor.org/.
April 8 Update for Parishes:
The pastoral planning team has been working very hard gathering data and doing preliminary evaluations on clustering scenarios. All of the data is available online on the Wayne Council Pastoral Planning page of the Diocesan Office of Pastoral Resources and Planning website: oprp.dor.org. Click on the “Active Pastoral Planning Groups” tab. So far, after reviewing multiple scenarios and based on the data, the team has eliminated those which will not be considered as we move forward. For the next step, 5 remaining scenarios will be sent for further input to the Pastoral and Finance Councils of each parish. Summaries of the benefits and challenges of each scenario, as well as the team’s recommendation to the bishop, will be posted after that input process. The scenarios are only one part of the work asked of the pastoral planning team. Go online to read more!