Investigated will be parish finances, our parochial school, religious education programming, youth and young adult ministry, worship/liturgical life, parish development efforts, parish community and social outreach, parish facilities and grounds, parish personnel, etc. Once these interviews are completed, the Council will see if they are exhaustive of parish areas or if new ministries need to be planned.
Then, through a series of focus groups, parish stakeholders in diverse areas will contribute their insights. Eventually the Council will move from a strategic plan to tactical issues relevant to the strategically planned areas of concern.
The Parish Council recognizes that the parish mission statement generically must be kept in focus. The Catholic Church worldwide, and in particular in Western New York, faces many serious issues that will radically affect its future. Among these concerns are the need for pastoral ministers and how to provide regular sacramental/liturgical life for our people. Social and cultural realities are shifting daily and the future parish needs to be positioned to respond creatively with ministerial innovations responsive to potential believers of a new stripe, while retaining and faithfully serving those who remain in older traditions.
I hope our Council’s work will position us well for the future. My gratitude to our Council Chairperson, Vic Martucci, and to all its members who are facilitating this project. I urge your cooperation if you are contacted. You may also get involved by offering Vic your services should you think them relevant and needed.
As Fr. John and I begin to prepare for our “golden years,” we wish to do all we can to leave you a parish well prepared for changes to come.
Mr. Dennis Mahaney, from the diocesan Office of Parish Life, is assisting us as a consultant in our planning. Would you please pray for the success of the Parish Council’s strategic planning process. May all that is done allow us to grow evermore faithfully into Jesus Christ as His disciples.