Beacons of Light
For over a year now, the archdiocese has been engaged in a huge project of pastoral planning leading up to the restructuring of our parishes and schools.
The process is now about to take a monumental step as the draft model of the suggested FAMILY OF PARISHES will be presented to our archdiocesan community next week.
A meeting for all the active diocesan and religious order priests will be held at Good Shepherd Parish on Wednesday, September 29th. The next day, Thursday, September 30th, the principals and leadership personnel from all of our archdiocesan schools will gather at the same location. At those meetings an opportunity will be provided for the clergy and educators to view and offer input on the drafting models of the FAMILIES OF PARISHES.
Immediately following those meetings, the pastoral plan will be made public. Parish members can access this information beginning on Friday, October 1st via the Beacons of Light web page at https://catholicaoc.org/beacons-of-light/parish-families. Once there, click on the My Parish tab in the upper right hand corner to find St. Martin of Tours. With the publication of this information, a PUBLIC REVIEW of the model will take place for twenty days (October 1 – 20). During this time, you are strongly encouraged to share your ideas, thoughts and reflections about the plan. After this period of public review of the models, the archdiocese and their consultants may embark on some tweaking that needs to take place based on the feedback that is received.
Once the work is completed on the make-up of the “FAMILIES” – and all of the important background data is compiled for each FAMILY and the final maps prepared showing the territorial boundaries as well as the boundaries of the six newly defined deaneries, - the Archbishop will approve and promulgate the plan by Thanksgiving. It is after that, that the hard work of blending, forming and becoming FAMILIES begins.
If the timeline holds true, by next summer our present 210 parishes will have evolved into approximately 65 FAMILY OF PARISHES. By the end of June, with a number of priests retiring and many others receiving new assignments, there will be roughly 125 priests ministering in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Each FAMILY will be pastored by one priest and characterized by collaboration and shared resources. A parochial vicar (or multiple parochial vicars) and deacons may also serve a FAMILY OF PARISHES.
Needless to say, all of this can be overwhelming and painful for all of our parishioners in the pew, the clergy and our dedicated pastoral staffs. This call for significant change and renewal in our parish lifestyle comes at a most difficult time for society in general and is augmented by the COVID-19 situation. However, like in any times of upheaval in our lives, this is where our faith as God’s people becomes so important. Perhaps a good place to root that prayer in the coming days and months is in Jesus’ promise to us and to the whole Church on the day of his Ascension: “Know that I will always be with you, until the end of time.” The Holy Spirit will show us the way! Let us pray for each other as we walk this journey of faith and hope together …
PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Gracious God, teach us to thank you for the past, to trust you for the future, to serve you in the present, celebrating every day you give us with glad and joyful praise.