July 26, 2020

From the AOD website about the new initiative, Families of Parishes.

How will Families of Parishes impact parish staff?

These decisions will be left to the discernment of each Family of Parishes, with assistance, as needed, from the Curia. All decisions will be guided by a complete focus on mission and the best interest of the entire Family of Parishes.

While it is possible that we may lose some staff members (e.g., if some parishes opt to share one bookkeeper instead of each maintaining their own), some Families will be able to add positions that better serve the mission going forward.

How will ministering in a Family of Parishes affect the lives of priests?

Although the exact model(s) have not yet been determined, it will be the case that a number of priests will share the work of caring for a Family of Parishes. They will be able to leverage their charisms and strengths in the work that they do and will find themselves supported by a talented and trained lay staff and, in many cases, one or more deacons. Those priests serving as pastors of a Family of Parishes will be responsible for administration. All priests, regardless of their role within the Family of Parishes, will have more time to engage in the work of ministering to their parish community.

As members of Families of Parishes, at-risk and aging priests will be able to continue in ministry in ways that protect their health while still making valuable contributions to the parishes. They will no longer shoulder the burden of choosing between retirements or handling all aspects of running their parish communities.

How will becoming a Family of Parishes affect the lives of parishioners?

Parishioners will become part of a larger faith family, working together and leveraging resources in pursuit of our mission to unleash the Gospel. They will worship alongside and work with other members of their new Family. They will be ministered to by multiple priests serving the Family of Parishes, and, in many cases, access to the Sacraments may be increased.

Fr. Jeff