Scenarios are possibilities regarding new parish and school structures in the grouping that enables the faith communities of the entire grouping to achieve the mission imperatives of Renew My Church. They include:
- Status of the parishes, e.g.:
- Remain as is
- Join together with another parish and all church buildings remain open
- Join together with another parish and some church building(s) close
- Parish leadership (i.e., full time resident pastor, shared pastor)
- School status (i.e., remain open, close, merge with another school)
How Scenarios are Developed
Proposed scenarios are developed using demographic data, Mass and school attendance, as well as financial and facility (building) conditions. The scenarios reflect input from archdiocese staff, vicariate leaders, and local pastors. These scenarios provided to grouping and parish teams are meant to serve as conversation starters throughout the grouping conversations and are in no way conclusive. When scenarios are presented to the grouping teams for feedback, no decisions have been made. In fact, new scenarios can—and often are—developed during the discussions that take place throughout the discernment and decisions phase.
Foundational Principles for Parish Structural Vitality and Viability
The spiritual and structural renewal to which we are called to foster are dependent upon one another. The best stewardship of our resources (structural renewal) can allow us to invest more into the ministries that directly work toward making disciples, building community and inspiring witness (spiritual renewal). These foundational principles serve as a guide as we consider what we need to change structurally, given resource realities, and how parishes can be more effective through collaboration:
- Vitality of pastoral life that supports new and vibrant ways to make disciples, build community, and inspire witness. This includes the following considerations:
- Based on the number of pastors expected to be available across the Archdiocese in the future, a minimum of 800 parishioners attending weekend Mass are needed to be assigned a full-time resident pastor
- To enliven the work of evangelization, formation, worship, and pastoral care in today’s time and culture, parishes ordinarily will build a strong a staff team to support the pastor. Staff teams will be professionally trained and justly paid. To support this staffing and basic operations, such as paying utilities, parishes generally will need operating revenue of $750,000 or more (excluding rental income).
- Balanced workloads for priests, including the sacramental life, pastoral care, and administration of the parish.
- Facilities that are affordable and provide adequate, safe space, capacity for growth, and accessibility.
- Parish financial stability. Rental or extraordinary income should be used for investment and not to cover ordinary operating expenses.