Wayne County Pastoral Planning
August 2018 Update
Where are we with pastoral planning?
The members of the Wayne County Planning Team continue to work on the formation of recommendations to address the areas requested by Bishop Matano. Please visit oprp.dor.org and click the “Active Pastoral Planning Groups” tab to follow all of the updates and information.
Which configuration scenario was chosen for recommendation by the team?
At our July meeting, the team unanimously chose to recommend the configuration scenario of 2 Pastors and 2 Parochial Vicars, which clusters SKD and SMK; and also clusters CCBT, SJW, and SM. Deacon Bob Lee sent our recommendation on to Bishop Matano on July 19, and on July 23rd we received a favorable reply, with the next step being a presentation to the Presbyteral Council in September. Deacon Lee’s letter, detailing the benefits and challenges of this scenario, as well as the Bishop’s reply can be found on the Diocesan Pastoral Resources and Planning website.
In his response to the planning team the Bishop has suggested the team may continue working on our recommendations for Mass schedules, human resources (paid and volunteer), and building infrastructure. Our work on recommendations will continue through the winter. Once we have made our recommendations, implementation, including Pastor and Parochial Vicar assignments will be determined by the Bishop and the Priest Personnel Board, in conversation with priests and in light of needs across the diocese.
The surveys completed in June as well as the data collected from each of the five parishes will be used to guide the planning team as we move forward with these most important recommendations. The surveys are now up on the diocesan website by region.
Thank you for your continued support as we navigate this most important process!
Parish Abbreviations: St. Maximilian Kolbe (SMK); Community of the Blessed Trinity (CCBT); St. Katharine Drexel (SKD); St. Michael (SM); St. Joseph the Worker (SJW)
Wayne County Pastoral Planning Update
On July 19th, the five parishes of Wayne County who have been meeting monthly since January 2018, sent Bishop Matano a letter to inform him that the Planning Team unanimously selected a clustering scenario comprised of two Pastors and two Parochial Vicars* which clusters Wayne County parishes into two groups: St. Maximilian Kolbe with St. Katharine Drexel in the West, and St. Michael’s of Newark with St. Joseph the Worker and Catholic Community of the Blessed Trinity in the East. This clustering scenario will offer a better balanced distribution of parishioners by cluster in Wayne County – – 1766 parishioners within the Western cluster and 1687 parishioners within the Eastern cluster. This scenario may also serve to mitigate the effects of continuing population declines in Eastern Wayne County, by linking smaller parishes with the larger St. Michael’s parish, thus strengthening all parishes for the long term. The selected scenario also provides superior balance over other evaluated models in that both a Pastor with a Parochial Vicar will be assigned to each new cluster thus providing continuous presence, ministerial availability, and the ability to determine between themselves, the optimum employment of their services to best provide for the cluster, including managing distance.
By reply letter dated 23 July, Bishop Matano indicated a positive response to our recommendations and invited the Planning Team principals to consult with the Diocesan College of Consultors and the Diocesan Presbyteral Council on our analysis and recommendations on 4 September 2018. In the meantime, at our next meeting scheduled for 8 August, we will be discussing, deliberating on and drafting up new Mass schedules that reflect a new normal based on a new clustering configuration as well as the availability of one Pastor and one Parochial Vicar. We will keep you informed regularly as the planning process continues.
* A Parochial Vicar is an ordained priest who is assigned to assist a Pastor.
Reminder: The Wayne Council Pastoral Planning page of the Diocesan Office of Pastoral Resources and Planning website: oprp.dor.org. All of the data we are using is available online just click on the “Active Pastoral Planning Groups” tab. Go online to read more!
Please click on the link below for an update on the progress of the Wayne County Pastoral Planning progress.
My dear brothers and sisters of the Catholic Community of the Blessed Trinity, in February I informed you by way of a bulletin insert that in late 2017, Bishop Matano and other diocesan representatives had reached out to the pastors of Wayne County asking us all to enter into a process of collaborative pastoral planning. The purpose of this pastoral planning process is to ensure the ongoing vitality of the Catholic faith in Wayne County in light of a diminishing population base, particularly in eastern Wayne County, decreases in mass attendance, and, perhaps most impacting, an anticipated shortfall in the number of active priests that could be assigned to Wayne County Parishes. That initial bulletin insert was perpetuated for several additional weeks as an article in our bulletin. To carry out the requirements of this planning process, a Wayne County Planning Team was established to include all five pastors in Wayne County, along with representatives from each Parish’s Pastoral and Finance Councils. The individuals from the Catholic Community of the Blessed Trinity who are on this Planning Team include Deacon Bob Lee, Mary DeLisio, Doug Jablonski and myself. The committee, commissioned on 31 January 2018, has met three times since then, working principally to collect and assess relevant information with an eye toward assessing the best possible alignment of existing Parishes vis a vis existing demographics, priest availability and our ability to satisfy known and anticipated ministry needs. This process includes an assessment of administrative needs and building requirements as well. Our team has been working very hard gathering data and doing preliminary evaluations on clustering scenarios. So far, after reviewing multiple scenarios and based on a review of all available data, the team has eliminated those clustering scenarios which will not be considered as we move forward. For the next step, five remaining clustering scenarios will be sent for further input to the Pastoral and Finance Councils of each parish, including the Catholic Community of the Blessed Trinity. 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 is complete. You are most welcome to go online if you wish to seek further information. All of the data we are using is available online on the Wayne Council Pastoral Planning page of the Diocesan Office of Pastoral Resources and Planning website: oprp.dor.org. Just click on the “Active Pastoral Planning Groups” tab. Go online to read more! Blessings to you all, Fr. Mike
My dear brothers and sisters of Blessed Trinity, 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 and Luci Romero from our 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 http:// oprp.dor.org/.