This is the third and final week I will be talking about our parish self-assessment. This part asked the question “If your parish were to have only ONE full-time priest, (or also consider NO full-time priest) which of the following seven alternatives would best provide for the spiritual and pastoral needs of the parish?
Structure rank description
Priest – Pastor 1 (parish is viable and should retain a priest-pastor)
Consolidation 4 (parish could be consolidated with a neighboring parish)
Twinning 3 (One pastor with two or more parishes)
Clustering 2 (two or more priests shared between semi=autonomous parishes)
Parish Life Coordinator 6 (a deacon or lay person leads the parish, priest provides sacraments)
Ethnic/Cultural Center 5 (Convert parish to an ethnic or cultural ministry center)
Closure 7 (parish is no longer viable and should be closed)
The rankings were what we determined was most appropriate for St. Joseph’s. The reasons for theses rankings were as follows:
Priest-Pastor – This is the intended structure for a parish. St. Joseph’s is at a prominent location where it is important to keep a strong Catholic presence. The parish has strong resources, financial viability, and history.
Clustering – Geographically the parish is close to other parishes and shares a cultural and socioeconomic profile with them. We already share some services and ministries (PSR) and work in coordination with neighboring parishes.
Twinning – Similar to clustering, but in addition we have a strong history of parishioners being connected to our parish along with a neighboring parish. (Specifically Our Lady of Lourdes)
Consolidation – A close geographic location to other parishes would make this easier for parishioners and priests than it would for parishes in more rural locations. The valuable parish church building and location serve a unique need in the business community that could be maintained even if consolidated.
(If there was no full-time priest available for the parish and the Priest-Pastor structure was not an option the rankings stayed in the same order, just with the Priest-pastor structure removed.)
As you can see, maintaining our current parish structure was not only considered preferred but also justified. But it is necessary to consider which of the other structures might be possible if a change was needed so that we can make more informed decisions and plans for the future. I would like to thank all of those who have participated in this self-assessment over the last few months and hope that we can use this information to grow as a parish and provide the opportunity for individuals to live out and grow in their faith.