Structural Change

Structural Change

Many of our parishes were spending most of their resources simply maintaining their buildings, unable to afford the ministry staff needed for the mission of making and forming disciples.

In order to focus on this mission, we developed and executed a carefully guided process of grouping, uniting and even closing some parishes, so that resources could be refocused to create stronger, more vibrant parishes filled with and prepared to share the love of Christ.

During the structural renewal process, we evaluated business structures (how we operate), buildings, staffing and financial requirements of existing parishes, in order to build a firm foundation for the work of evangelization in our new missionary age … all to bring more people to Jesus Christ as His disciples, strengthened and formed through the vibrant, sacramental life of His Church.

The structural renewal process included two key phases:

  • Discernment and Decisions - Parishes across the archdiocese were formed into about 100 groupings. Within each grouping, a “grouping feedback and discernment team (GFDT),” was selected by the pastors of those parishes. The GFDT reflected upon the current realities of their communities and discussed different configurations of parishes and schools in that grouping that would work best together. This team received feedback from their parish communities and provided a summary report to an archdiocesan commission, which reviewed the pastoral rationale for any proposed changes and made a recommendation to Cardinal Cupich.
    Cardinal Cupich made the final decision regarding any structural changes affecting the grouping parishes based on the recommendations and information he received.
  • Organization Transition - When structural changes were finalized, a dedicated support team from the archdiocese worked on-site to help pastors and parish leaders create a unified parish, manage the transition and ensure the new parish had strong, sustainable operational foundations and resources, upon which the great work of ministry could be built.