The heart of our Renew My Church efforts is the parish grouping process – the goal of which is to ensure that all parishes across the archdiocese have the vision, leadership, resources, and operational foundation necessary to create an effective culture of evangelization that makes disciples, builds communities, and inspires witness.
Why Group Parishes Together?
- Changing church attendance patterns over many decades has left many parishes heavily burdened by operational and financial concerns that limit their ability to have expansive ministry programs around evangelization and discipleship formation.
- A decreasing number of priests available to serve at parishes creates a need to rethink our leadership model to include a stronger lay leadership core team with proper governance structures for accountability.
- There is a need to ensure that we have a common understanding of proven evangelization programs and processes that are rooted in Catholic teaching.
Discernment and Decisions: Pastors, lay leaders, parishioners and school families prayerfully consider different configurations of parishes and schools, such as multi-site parishes and schools or merged parishes and schools identifying opportunities for essential collaboration within the groupings, culminating in a pastoral rationale feedback given to the archdiocese as vital input for Cardinal Cupich’s decision on a new configuration.
Operations Transitions: Supported by the archdiocese, new parish and/or school configurations are implemented with resources and vision to support strong vitality.
Building the New Reality: Parishes and schools develop new pastoral plans for mission vitality for today’s times.
Accompaniment: Dedicated support is provided to accompany pastors and parish teams through the challenges of change that come with renewal and embracing new approaches to ministry.
Pastoral Leadership Support: Ongoing support from the archdiocese is provided for pastors to effectively lead their parishes through change.
Building an Evangelizing Culture: Ongoing efforts are offered by the archdiocese to support all parishes (regardless of the timing of the grouping activation) to create an evangelizing culture that deepens discipleship and equips them to bring others into an encounter with Our Lord.