All Things New Parish Feedback Summary
Last week, the Archdiocese sent me the final summary of the feedback from our parishion- ers. The summaries from all the parishes should be up on the All Things New website. (I wrote this article before they were up.) Each pastor was to supplement this feedback by answering two final questions: 1) is there anything missing from the feedback; 2) is there anything inaccurate about the feed- back? You can read our feedback your- selves, but let me tell you what my final re- ply was.
What was missing? I wanted to be sure to let the Archdiocese know about the importance of our school to the overall parish mission. Holy Re- deemer is more, much more, than our school, to be sure. But our school is central to our mission as a parish community. If I have one criticism about the entire process of All Things New it is that it
seems that Catholic education was an after- thought in the strategic planning process. It was a bit more vital than that and should have been included prominently in the pro- cess. It is painfully obvious from the various models that this was not the case. They saw the number of parishioners and made deter- minations with that in mind. They did not consider the number of students attending school and the physical size of those schools.
What was inaccurate? Obviously, Model C is the plan that most (if not all) of Holy Re- deemer parishioners endorsed. Model C is where HR remains as a stand-alone parish. Every parish in the Archdiocese would have felt the same. But I told the Archdiocese that this endorsement does not mean that HR parishioners are opposed to any sort of merger whatsoever. The problem is this: as you look at the six parishes that border Holy (St. Mary Magdalen, Immaculate Conception, St. Michael’s, Cure of Ars, Annunciation and
Mary, Queen of Peace), the other two plans had us merging with the three largest parish- es (Mary Magdalen, Annunciation and Queen of Peace). And in those other models, the merger is with, not one, but TWO of those larger parishes. To me, this makes very little sense. There would be issues with classroom space and issues with parking for Sunday liturgies.
What do I think is going to happen? As I have said repeatedly, both publically and in private conversations, I COULD BE TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT ALL THIS. Nevertheless… A lot depends how strict the borders of the Planning Areas are. I do not believe that ei- ther Model A or B work very well for any of the parishes involved. I tend to think that a form of Model C will happen with us joining together with another parish.
The priests of the Archdiocese have a meeting on February 2nd to discuss a newly formed model.
That should be interesting. Stay tuned.
Just remember this: No matter what happens, all will be well.
Next weekend, I will be out of town. I am heading to Houston, Texas to meet with pa- rishioners from my cousin’s parish whom I will be leading on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I should know if there is any room on the trip for any of you to join. The pilgrim- age is October 22-31, 2023.