Heavenly Father, hear our prayer. Moved by your Holy Spirit dwelling within our hearts, we humbly ask you, Father, to bless the Diocese of Scranton at this time of profound parish renewal. Send your Holy Spirit upon our clergy, religious and lay faithful, so that we may imitate the fidelity, love and zeal of the early Church. Grant us the humility to preserve and teach the Catholic faith which has been handed on to us, so that we may worship you in Spirit and in Truth. Increase our charity, so that we may generously attend to those who pass before us in need. Bless us with missionary zeal, so that through the proclamation of the Good News, we may be salt, light and leaven to those who are distant from your love.
Holy Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, Saint Peter, St. Paul, Saint John Neumann, Saint Katharine Drexel, St. Lucy, St. Frances Cabrini and all the saints, allow us to join our prayers to yours. Through our union with you in prayer, lead us to the glorious banquet of Heaven, where you praise the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who is Lord forever and ever.
CALLED TO HOLINESS AND MISSION
The Diocese of Scranton is embarking on a comprehensive planning project that will focus on the spiritual and pastoral renewal of every parish.
Part One of a series of questions and answers about the project.
1. WHY IS THE PARISH CALLED TO HOLINESS AND MISSION PARISH PLANNING PROJECT NECESSARY? The status quo regarding parish life in the 224 current parishes in the Diocese of Scranton is no longer sustainable. Demographic shifts are creating new needs. Priests cannot continue to be expected to serve more and more parishes and remain healthy in mind, body and spirit. Financial viability amd the needed up-keep of buildings is a concern in some areas.
Bishop Martino has asked all parishes to suggest ways to the Diocesean Planning Commission that they might be configured in the future to make the best use of all resources and to enhance ministry at the local level.
2. WHAT ARE THE GOALS FOR CALLED TO HOLINESS AND MISSION? The parish planning project for the Diocese of Scranton is inspired by the following goals: 1. To foster the personal and communal holiness of Catholics and support them to deepen their commitment in living out the mission of the Church. 2. To enhance quality parish life throughout the Diocese of Scranton. 3. To strengthen the presence and ministry of the Church in the urban, suburban and rural areas of the four regions and eleven counties. 4. To increase collaboration between and among leaders, parishes and the whole Diocese of Scranton. 5. To act as good stewards of all human, financial and facility rescources. 6. To support increased understanding of and action for the assumptions and criteria related to vibrant parish life. 7. To build a greater sense of unity within the rich ethnic, cultural and generational diversity present within the local Church. 8. To work on the deanery, vicarite and diocesan wide revitalization.
3. ARE ALL PARISHES IMPACTED? Bishop Martino has the expectation that all parishes will be part of the Called to Holiness and Mission process. In his Dec. 13 pastoral letter to all Catholics in the Diocese of Scranton the Bishop states: "Every parish of the Diocese will participate in this Diocesean Pastoral Planning process." Various possibilities may emerge: * A parish may discover that the mission of the parish is comprised by being to small or that with its limited rescources it cannot accomplish its mission. * A parish might come to the awareness of a need to become consolidated with another parish and become a new cannonical parish with one pastor. * Other parishes may come to the awareness of the advantage of being linked with another parish and share a common pastor and resources. * Other parishes will come to see the advantages of entering into a partnership with another parish, each having their own proper pastor but now sharing resources and working together.
4. WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE MODELS OR CLUSTERS FOR PARISH ORGANIZATION? There are four major models for parishes of the future.
MODEL ONE: CONSOLIDATED PARISH Consolidated parishes create a new parish configuration which is able to provide many more activities and opportunities than the original parishes could have managed on their own. the consolidation process allows parishes to: 1. Use priestly leadership more effectively so that more communities can celebrate the sacraments regularly. (By having fewer parishes, more people will be served without burdening the priests who are currently serving parishes); 2. Join forces to form a larger, more vibrant worshipping community. 3. Reduce overhead, and use resources more effectively and efficiently.
When done sensetively and cooperatively, the consolidation of parishes will ordinarly create a more viable parish situation. A consolidated parish happens when: * Two or more parishes come together to form a new parish. * A new name is given to the parish which may be a band new name or a combination of the former parish names. Usually the new parish has one worship site, but permission may be given for several worship sites for a limited time period.
MODEL TWO: LINKED PARISHES Many parishes are already linked in the Diocese of Scranton. Linked parishes happen when two or more parishes share a pastor. Linked parishes do as many things possible cooperatively, especially given that the pastor/administrator is striving to serve two or more seperate parishes. Characteristics of linked parishes include: * The parishes remain independent corporations and canonical entities. * The parishes are seperate communities of faith. * The parishes are encouraged to work toward combining Parish Pastoral Council meetings and to establish common committees where possible. * According to Canon Law, linked parishes must have seperate finance councils. * Linked parishes do many things cooperatively, such as programs and in-services. * Joint staff meetings where cooperative planning happens are marks of well functioning linked parishes.
MODEL THREE: PARTNERSHIP-PARISHES Parishes enter into partnerships with other parishes when: * They create joint programs. * When appropriate, they share staff to enhance the quality of ministry and practice good steward-ship of resources. * They share in-services or retreats for parish pastoral councils, finance councils, or parish committees.
Examples of ways parishes can partner include: * A common cathechetical Program * A shared youth ministry program or adult formation program * Support for a common Catholic School * A joint RCIA program * A shared parish outreach program
The key to successful partnership-parishes is an attitude of cooperation which results in finding opportunities for sharing resources to enhance quality of ministry in each parish. Partnership-parishes also work together, where possible, on "twinning" with inner city parishes or in support of a mission parish outside of the United States.
MODEL FOUR: TO PASTOR IN SOLIDUM (TEAM) This model envisions two or more priests working as a team and serving three or more parishes. The canonical team (priests) often works closely with deacons and lay people as part of a pastoral team.
5. HOW WILL PARISHES BE INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS? Pastors are asked to appoint a CORE TEAM of five people (pastor plus four) to help them guide the planning process, which has eight steps.
1. Conversation-At the Parish and Cluster level evaluating the current reality and looking at the future (January-June 2008)
2. Suggestion-of Model with rational to Diocesan Planning Commission by the Cluster (Due June 15, 2008)
3. Preliminay Recommendation-of Diocesan Planning Commission back to Cluster of Parishes (by July 31, 2008)
4. Conversation-about the recommendation at the Cluster level (by October 1, 2008)
5. Response-to the Diocesan Planning Commission (by October 1, 2008)
6. Fianl Recommendations-of the Diocesan Planning Commission to Bishop Martino (by November 1, 2008)
7. Decision-by the Bishop based on the Recommendations made to him by the Diocesan Planning Commission January 2009)
8. Implementation-(Begins July 2009)
Throughout the process there will be many ways for parishioners to be involved in the process such as town hall meetings, parish assemblies, committee work, focus groups, etc.
6. WILL OUR INVOLVEMENT IN CALLED TO HOLINESS AND MISSION REALLY CHANGE ANYTHING? HASN'T EVERYTHING BEEN DECIDED ALREADY?
While the status quo is no longer sustainable, parishes have the responsibility to participate in the process and to explore viable ways to work together in accordance with the goals of the process. Parish leaders and parishioners are asked to remain open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to commit to a process of conversation and reflection. No decisions have been made about the future of any parish in the Diocese of Scranton. Bishop Martino will make decisions after he has the recommendations of the Diocesan Planning Commission.
7. WHO IS ON THE DIOCESAN PLANNING COMMISSION? The Diocesan Planning Commission has been appointed by Bishop Martino and consists of the following priests, deacons, Religious and lay people:
Msgr. Vincent J Grimalia, V.G., Chairman; Msgr. Joseph C. Bambera, Co-Vice Chair; Msgr. John J. Bendick; Father Gregory T. Finn. O.S.J.; Sister Jane Gaughan, I.H. M.; Joseph T Girio; Deacon Edward T. Kelly, Co-Secretary; Michael C. Kilmer; Father Joseph R. Kopaz, V.G.; Father Glenn E. McCreary; Maurice F. Meagher; Neil Oberto; Father Richard J. Polmounter; Msgr. Joseph G. Quinn; Father August A. Ricciardi; Deacon Joseph S. Romanik, Co-Secretary; Father Robert J. Simon; Mrs. Mary Lou Zaleski.
The work of the Diocesan Planning Commission will be supported by various members of the Diocesan staff as required.
8. MANY IN OUR PARISH HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED, MARRIED, AND BURIED FROM OUR CHURCH. HOW CAN YOU EVEN DISCUSS CLOSING A CHURCH SO IMPORTANT TO THE FAMILY HERITAGE OF SO MANY PEOPLE?
This is a sensative and important question. Each parish has a proud and meaningful history. This history is personal and significant for each person and community.
At the same time, many things have changed since the decisions years ago regarding where parishes and schools would be located. Good stewardship of resources and to enhance ministry at the local level throughout the many counties in the Diocese of Scranton.
The discussion must go forward with as much participation as possible, so that we can discover a new way of being Church that also remembers and celebrates the past.
9. WHAT HAPPENS TO A CHURCH THAT IS CLOSED? WILL THE DIOCESE DEMOLISH THE CHURCH AND SELL OFF THE PROPERTY TO SOME DEVELOPER?
No, decisions have been made about closing any churches at this time. What has been decided is to initiate Called to Holiness and Mission, where parishes are invited to evaluate themselves according to the Criteria set up by the Diocesan Planning Commission. When parishes consolidate they form a new parish (see question 4, model 1) and all the assets and liabilities usually go the the newly formed parish , not to the Diocese of Scranton. It is possible that on designated occassions a particular church, which is not the primary worship site for the new parish, may be used for Mass or funerals or weddings. No properties are sold without the Bishop's permisssion, which is sought by the pastor of the newly formed parish.
10. WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA THE DIOCESAN PLANNING COMMISSION WILL BE USINGTO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS?
The Diocesan Planning Commission will use the same criteria in its recommendations that the parishes and cluster of parishes use to evaluate themselves. From that evaluation of the current reality and the initial planning for the future, the clusters will make a suggestion on how they might be configured in the future. The criteria used by both of the parishes, the clusters and the Planning Commission follow.
Eucharist, Prayer and Communion 1. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the life and mission of the parish. 2. Sacramental celebrations and devotional practices reflect the cultural heritage of the people assembled. 3. Disciples are formed by the Eucharist who support and are in communion with parish members as well as the larger church and global society. 4. A spirit of communion encourages a collaborative style of leadership where all are valued and respected.
Evangelization, Education and Formation 1. Evangelization is recognized as an essential aspect of the life and mission of the parish. 2. The parish provides excellant caatechetical and formational experiences for all ages. 3. The parish actively encourages and supports diocesan Catholic schools in their operation and mission.
Vocation 1. Parishioners are encouraged to cultivate a culture of vocation in the parish and are educated to "live their lives as a vocation" (Pope Benedict XVI) to holiness and mission. 2. Formation and education in vocational awareness is an integral part of the parish catechetical programs and the religious formation program in the Catholic School.
Stewardship and Justice 1. Parishioners are educated and formed in stewardship where all disciples share their time, talent and treasure. 2. Social justice, advocacy and outreach programs are well integrated into parish life in the spirit of good stewardship. 3. A comprehensive view of being good stewards of God's gifts, of creation, of vocation, and of the Church is embodied in all aspects of parish life.
Stewardship and Administration 1. The pastor, staff, parish councils and finance councils exert effective leadership that embodies stewardship and points to the future. 2. The parish is financially stable and exercised good stewardship of its resources. 3. Working with neighboring parishes and sharing resources is operational in the parish. 4. The parish exercises good stewardship of human resources as it works positively and creatively with the diminishing number of priests. 5. The parish is taking into account its geographic proximity to other parishes and its Mass attendance when it plans the future. 6. The parish has adequate and well-maintained facilities to carry out its mission. 8. The parish supports the programs and ministries of the diocese and the universal Church.
11. HOW WILL CALLED TO HOLINESS AND MISSION IMPACT SCHOOLS? Part of the process of Called to Holiness and Mission includes respecting the planning already completed for Catholic schools. The Diocesan schools will be supported in terms of Catholic identity, accrediation, excellant curricular experiences, along with parental and parish support. Every effort will be made to amake sure Catholic schools are acessible, available and affordable throughout the Diocese of Scranton.
12. WHY WAS THE GROUP HIRED? Bishop Martino hired The Reid Group, a nationally recognized church consulting firm, to help the Diocese of Scranton plan for the future. The groups mission is to help leaders and organizations transform challenges into opportunities to create a better world. They are successfully doing this currently by assisting with parish planning in the Archdiocese of Newark, the Diocese of Madison, and the Diocese of Green Bay. They also have an effective record of planning in the Archdiocese of Anchorage and the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Orange, California; and Reno, Nevada.
CALL TO MISSION AND HOLINESS STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS
The strategic planning process for the Diocese of Scranton to realign the parishes is underway. The process is called "Call to Mission and Holiness Strategic Planning Process."
Our Core Committee has been working to fill out the rather lengthy reports that were required for the first phase. These reports give a snapshot of our parish and give its strengths and weaknesses. As part of Phase Two there will soon be a parish survey available in the back of t he Church for anyone who wished to participate in the process.
Our cluster partners are: SS. Peter & Paul Parish, St. Ann's Basilica Parish, St. Patrick's Parish and St. Michael's Parish.
Please keep your parish priests, deacon and Core Committee in your prayers as they begin working with other core parishes to make recommendations for the future. Please remember, these are only recommendations. The Core Committee do not decide the outcome of the process. That will be in the hands of the bishop and a committee of some 20 priests and lay people from all over the diocese.
Please feel free to talk to any core member or to the pastor if you have any concerns. The members of the Core Planning Team are: Deacon Steve Napoli, Henry Sallusti, Gerard Auriemma, Sam Cherra and Mari Hendrian.
It is important to realize that the diocese is undergoing profound changes in every area. These changes will occur whether we plan for them or not. We can either manage the change as best we can or keep doing crisis mangement and watch it get much worse. Either way change will occur.
An example of an area we have no control over is the demographics of the diocese. The traditional strength of the diocese was once Luzerne and Lackawanna counties. These counties accounted for the vast majority of Catholics, church buildings and other parish buildings in the diocese. Today, they account for the vast majority of churches and other buildings. The population is declining and becoming elderly. The cities are dwindling as people move to the outskirts or just move out of the region. Scranton is only one-fourth of what it was just three decades ago. Add to this the declining number of priests and one begins to realize that change is coming.
What are the chances that our parish survives...only God knows. We are a strong and vibrant parish and if we keep up our Mass attendance up and continue to encourage more families to join our parish we stand a very good chance of surviving. The core committee can only do the reports; all of us must work to continue to make our parish strong and vibrant.
CALL TO MISSION AND HOLINESS STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS
The Strategic planning process for the Diocese of Scranton to realign the parishes is continuing in its second phase. The process is called "Call to Mission and Holiness Strategic Planning Process." Our cluster partners are: SS. Peter and Paul Parish, St. Ann's Basilica Parish, St. Patrick's and St. Michael's Parish.
We are about to complete the second phase which is our recommendation to the Diocesean Planning Committee who, in January of 2009, will recommend to the bishop the parishes that should close, be linked with another parish or form a partnership with other parishes. The Diocesean committee is made up of priests and lay people from around the diocese. Their recommendations will be sent to the affected parishes to give them one last chance to make their case if they are not in agreement with the findings. In July of 2009, Bishop Martino will announce his final decision.
AND OUR CLUSTER RECOMMENDATION WAS??????????????????
The majority of core members (23 out of 25)supported the PARTNERSHIP MODEL (wiht the linkage between St. Lucy and SS. Peter & Paul continued). This is the model that will be recommended to the Diocesean Planning Committee.
The four models to choose from: Consolidation, Partnership. Linked and Team.
Partnership Model: All parishes stay as they are. What changes is that the parishes work closer together in projects like hiring a youth minister for the West Side parishes. The salary would be split among the parishes. We already partner with our Advent and Lenten Penance Services. However, it was suggested that there are other areas a combined effort would better accomplish ministry, i.e.: evangelization to the lapsed Catholics and unchurched people in the West Side, a combined Parish Mission, Forty Hours, processions, even a combined CCD program. These are a few things proposed at the last meeting.
Linked Model: This is the model that already exists between St. Lucy's Parish and SS. Peter and Paul Parish. Linked parishes share a common pastor ( nad maybe an assistant) but remain independent parishes.
Consolidation Model: Speaks for itself. In this model one or more parishes will cease to exist.
Team Model: This is a model where several priests, living in one rectory, would take care of several parishes around them.
It was felt by most core members that at the present time all parishes have enough parishioners to justify the Partnership Model. The wild card is the engineering study that hs still to be done. As has happended already in the diocese, several parishes were consolidated in one Church only to find out later that one church was structurally unsound. From the outside it looked good but upon closer inspection was found to be non-viable. Who knows how many other structures are also unsound or will cost millions to repair? Thus no matter how large a parish, whether it be territorial or personal, whether wealthy or broke, paying its bills or not, NO ONE KNOWS THE OUTCOME OF THE FINAL DECISIONS BISHOP MARTINO WILL MAKE (except God).
UPDATE: CALLED TO HOLINESS AND MISSION Diocesan Pastoral Planning
On April 28, 2008, the West Scranton Cluster Core Group overwhemingly selected and proposed the Partnership Model-with each parish retaining its own identity. The Cluster Group consists of Pastors and Core members of St. Ann's, St. Lucy's, St. Michael's, St. Patrick's, and SS. Peter & Paul parishes. The Partnership Model allows paroishes to remain seperate and individuals entities, yet agreed to fully share resources and programs.
The cluster Group's suggested model and rationale was submitted to the Diocesan Consulting group, The Reid Group, on June 28, 2008, for their review and response.
Their response has been received and, in accordance with planning guidelines, the Cluster Team's reply, affirming its suggested Partnership Model, has been forwarded to the Diocesan Planning Commision for thier review and response. Such action will include a Preliminary Recommendation with its rationale to the Cluster Team, due July 15, 2008.
Other suggested models would include: (1) Consolidated Parishes-would create a new parish configuration as two or more parishes coming together with a new name given to the new parish. (2) Linked Parishes-will happen when two or more parishes share the mission and ministry of the parishes in a cooperative manner and may share staff and programs. (3) Pastors on Solidum (Team Approach)-This model envisions two or more priests working as a team and serving three or more parishes.
During the Summer period July and August 2008, the Cluster Team will convene for discussions and deliberations. Then by October 1, 2008, react to any of the Planning Commission's Preliminary Recommendation that may differ from the Cluster's Suggested Partnership Model or to provide additional data or planning to solidify the rationale of its proposed Model. Also to be considered will be the results of parish structural studies.
In November 2008, the Final Recommendations of the Diocesan Planning Commissions with a rationale will be forwarded to Bishop Martino, which will be the 6th of the 8 steps of the Planning Process. At present we are in the 2nd step.
One major and indisputable factor in this parish and pastoral planning process is the decreasing number of active priests available for assignment to diocesan parishes...and projections for the future are not bright. At present the number is 186. By year 2012 there will be 147. This will result in some sort of change in almost every parish...as at present there are 195 parishes in the Diocese along with 85 mission churches.
Please continue to pray for the success of this profound Diocesan Renewal and particularly for those involved in this process.
We are in a critical and transitional period of the Church. With confidence we should prepare ourselves to grasp and embrace the opportunity to help strengthen the life mission and ministry ofour parishes.
CALLED TO HOLINESS AND MISSION PASTORAL PLANNING IN THE DIOCESE OF SCRANTON
STATUS REPORT AND TIMELINE
In a meeting for all priests and deacons and a subsequent pastoral letter, Bishop Martinc announces comprehensive planning project for the spiritual and pastoral renewal of every parish in the 11 counties of the Diocese. Bishop appoints Diocesan Planning Commission comprised of priests, deacons, religious and lay people. The Reid Group, national pastoral planning consultants, is commissioned to facilitate the process.
January 2008 A Parish Core Team is formed in each parish. Consisting of the pastor and four other parish members, the Core Team is responsible for completing all required work at the parish level and keeping all parishioners informed.
January 28-30, 2008 Eight regional meetings are held, at which The Reid Group prepares Parish Core Teams to conduct self-evaluations of their parishes based on data compiled for the Diocese by each pastor. Facilitators are also prepared to assist, upon request, with future pastoral planning meetings.
In light of the 20 criteria for parish renewal approved by Bishop Martino, Parish Core Teams perform evaluations of their parish's liturgical and sacramental life, evangelization activities, demographics, ministries, finances and programs. The results are presented to Parish Finance and Pastoral Councils, and pastors invite all parishioners to meetings to provide information and seek input from parishioners. Pastors also keep parishioners informed through bulletin and/or pulpit announcements.
April-June 2008 The 224 parishes in the Diocese are grouped into 50 Clusters; each cluster has a Cluster Core Team consisting of the Parish Core Team members from the parishes in the Cluster. Regional orientation meetings are held to prepare Cluster Core Teams for their task: studying the parish self-evaluations that were completed by the Parish Core Teams, and suggesting one or more of four models for the parishes in their Cluster: consolidation to form a new parish entity, linking of two or more parishes under one pastor, establishing partnerships with other parishes to operate joint programs and share resources, and forming teams of two or more priests, deacons and lay people who would serve multiple parishes. Parishioners are kept informed through either meetings, bulletin and/or pulpit announcements.
June 3-September 2, 2008 Pastors arrange for professional evaluations of their churches and other facilities currently in use. Evaluations will be submitted to Diocesan facilities manager by September 2.
June 15, 2008 The suggestions from each Cluster Core Team are presented to the Diocesan Planning Commission.
June 30-July 2, 2008 Diocesan Planning Commission meets to review suggestions submitted by Cluster Core Teams, and responds by formulating preliminary recommendations for each Cluster.
July 19-20, 2008 All parishioners will receive pastoral planning timeline in parish bulletins
July 26-27, 2008 Announcement Weekend: Each pastor will announce to entire parish the preliminary recommendations of the Diocese Planning Commission for their Cluster and publishes these recommendations in the parish bulletin.
Week of July 28, 2008 Regional meetings will be held for Cluster Core Teams to receive instructions for conversation and response to the preliminary recommendations.
July-October 1, 2008 Cluster Core Teams coordinate conversations at the parish level regarding the preliminary recommendations. A formal response to these recommendations will be submitted to the Diocesan Planning Commission by October 1.
October-November 2008 Diocesan Planning Commission will gather for prayer, discernment and review of the responses from the Cluster Core Teams. The Planning Commission will make the final recommendations to Bishop Martino.
November 2008-January 2009 Bishop Martino will study final recommendations, consult with Diocesan advisory bodies, and announce the final plan for parish reconfiguration.
July 2009 Implementation will begin.
V E R
DIOCESE OF SCRANTON
Called To Holiness And Mission: Pastoral Planning in the Diocese of Scranton Preliminary Recommendations of the Planning Commission
COUNTY: Lackawanna REGION: North CLUSTER # 1
PARISHES: St. Ann, Scranton; SS. Peter & Paul, Scranton; St. Lucy, Scranton; St. Patrick, Scranton; St. Michael, Scranton
We wish to thank you for the prayer, reflection and work which you have put into Called to Holiness and Mission to date. We appreciate the time and effort you have given to evaluating your parishes based on the Criteria established by the Planning Commission and making a Suggestion for your future.
We commend you for:
Recognizing the growing Hispanic population in the area and your willingness to respond to their needs.
Your sensitivity to the many changes that have already happened in your cluster.
A willingness to work together in the future.
We have taken seriously your desire to be in partnership and understand that your rationale is based on the following factors:
You have experienced a significant amount of change, and you would like to limit further structural changes at this time.
You want your parishes to maintain their vibrancy and celebrate their unique identities and rich heritage.
You want to build on your success with supporting a common Catholic School, believing you can be successful with plans for regional efforts towards CCD, RCIA, Religious Education and Formation, and a regional youth ministry.
However, based on our study of your cluster reports, the challenges you identified on your Parish Summary Report Form, the goals of Called to Holiness and Mission as stated by Bishop Martino, our listening to you and our best thinking, we respectfully disagree with your suggestion.
Therefore, we recommend that as a cluster you enter into:
Model One: Consolidated Parish between SS. Peter and Paul, Scranton, and St. Lucy, Scranton. We also recommend that the parish site be at St. Lucy, pending the facility assessment results. There will be a second worship site at SS. Peter and Paul that will be reviewed after two years.
Model One: Consolidated Parish between St. Michael, Scranton, and St. Patrick, Scranton.
We also recommend that the parish site be at St. Patrick pending the facility assessment results and in the event that the Fraternity of St. Peter could no longer staff St. Michael.
• Model Three: Partnership between St. Ann, Scranton, St. Patrick, Scranton, and the community resulting from the consolidation of St. Lucy and SS. Peter and Paul.
DIOCESE OF SCRANTON
Called To Holiness And Mission: Pastoral Planning in the Diocese ofScranton Preliminary Recommendations of the Planning Commission
We further recommend that:
The worship site at Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel of St. Patrick Parish be reviewed after two years.
The rich ethnic heritage of the people in your area be honored and celebrated whenever appropriate.
A new Mass schedule be developed that reflects good stewardship of priestly resources and maximizes opportunities for larger assemblies to provide a more robust celebration of the liturgy.
You share our Preliminary Recommendations and rationale with each of your parish communities, and invite their questions and feedback on an ongoing basis now through September.
Upon reception of the Bishop's directives for your cluster, please establish a Cluster Implementation Team to design ways to fulfill the directives.
We make these recommendations based on your own parish study and concepts found in the materials you provided. Our thinking is also based on your desire and ours to have a strong Catholic Presence in your area. In addition, we considered:
The dense population in your area, in particular the elderly population.
The growing Hispanic population in the West Side.
1. THIS IS PRELIMINARY: structural studies have not been completed and our Cluster has not yet responded to these preliminary decisions. Indeed the whole Cluster #1 recommendations may change dramatically.
2. St. Lucy's/SS Peter and Paul Core Teams will respond to the Planning Commission's preliminary recommendation. If the bishop decides to have the two-year evaluation recommended by the Planning Commission, there will be another chance to make our case. As the pastor of both parishes I have always been committed to continuing to develop a closer working relationship of our parishes. Our best course of action is to stay realistic and united.
JULY 30, 2008: General meeting of all core teams to discuss the next stage at St. Joseph's Center, Minooka.
AUGUST 2008: Cluster #1 will meet and respond to the Planning Commission Preliminary Recommendations.
OCTOBER 2008: The Planning Commission will prepare its Final Recommendations and send them to Bishop Martino.
NOVEMBER 2008: From November 2008 through January 2009, Bishop Martino will study the Planning Commission recommendations and make the final decisions.
JULY 2009: Implementation of the bishop's decisions will begin
The Bishop's Final Decision for Cluster 1
Cluster 1- the parishes of St. Ann, Scranton, SS. Peter & Paul, Scranton; St. Lucy, Scranton; At. Patrick, Scranton; St. Michael, Scranton:
*SS. Peter & Paul, Scranton and St. Lucy, Scranton, will remain linked but this will be reevaluated no later than July 2011. It is further directed that the linked parishes will develop a proactive plan to partner in the combining of activities, resources, personnel, RCIA, Sacramental preparation, and CCD.
*St. Michael, Scranton and St. Patrick, Scranton will consolidate at the St. Patrick site in the remote possibility that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter withdraws from st. Michael parish. If that were to occur, plans will be made to accomodate the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at a new location.
*The worship site at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel of St. Patrick Parish is to be reviewed after two years.
*The creation of a Partnership among St. Ann, Scranton, St. Patrick, Scranton, St. Michael, Scranton, St. Lucy, Scranton and SS. Peter & Paul, Scranton no later than July 2009.