July 19, 2020

On Pentecost Sunday, May 31, the Archbishop announced a new initiative called “Families of Parishes.” This will affect us and all parishes in the Archdiocese. I don’t know much at this point, but will keep you informed as things move forward. Last week we shared a section from “Frequently Asked Questions” issued by the AOD. This week we share another section. Stay tuned! You can read the whole document at:

https://www.familiesofparishes.org/

Who will lead each Family of Parishes?  What will happen to the other pastor/administrators in each Family?

From Pentecost to Advent, a team of priests and Curia leaders will advise Archbishop Vigneron on the new governance and leadership structure for all the Families of Parishes in the Archdiocese. This time of discernment will include studying models other dioceses have used. There will be consultation with these dioceses about what has worked and what hasn’t worked. The goal is to establish a new structure that allows for multiple priests to serve the Family of Parishes with their unique talents and experiences, creating a leadership and governance structure that maximizes all our resources for mission.

We know that roles will change for many priests. Based on conversations with other dioceses that have adopted similar models, we are confident that the structures for Families of Parishes will make the best use of our priests’ talents and charisms, allowing them to spend more time focusing on the very important work for which they were ordained: less focus on administration and more time ministering to the people of God.

How will parishes prepare for the transition to a Family of Parishes?

Each wave will have a six-month preparation phase. Because we are a very large Archdiocese, we are planning two “waves” of transitions to Families of Parishes, one in 2021 and the other in 2022. The Preparation phase will involve training and dialogue for priests and laity focused on what is changing and how to restructure operations to support the necessary changes. During the preparation phase, each Family of Parishes will begin to discuss the practical ways in which the clergy, staff, and parishes will interact within the Family, as well as finalize the new leadership structure, including items such as leadership teams, key staff mission, and operations staff positions. Lastly, during this phase, each Family of Parishes will explore and establish any necessary changes to Mass schedules, confession schedules, etc. It will be up to each Parish Family to work together, with assistance from the Archdiocese, to make decisions in the best interest of the parishes in the Family.

This process will be rooted in prayer, will be respectful of building and maintaining relationships, and will be marked by quick and honest responses to questions and concerns that are raised.

Fr. Jeff