People of the Resurrection...
There have been so many things coming at us in this stretch of ‘Anything-But-Ordinary’ Ordinary Time. I wonder if you’re breathless, like I am at this point? The old saying: “God never gives us more than we can handle.” gets pushed to the limit.
So may I offer a bit more follow-up from the Annual Clergy Congress last week? We spent time looking at “Best Practices for Parishes” both at the national and local levels.
Nearby, St. Mary Parishes in Omro & Winneconne have developed a ‘dynamite’ plan to launch Alpha for the whole parish Community! Manitowoc Franciscan Sister, Pam Biehl is the Parish Leader there.
And in Oshkosh, at Most Blessed Sacrament Parish (St. Mary/St. Peter merger), the parish has completely “reimagined” everything – no sacred cows protected – anywhere! The result has been amazing! They’ve developed a ‘beefed up’ Generations Faith Formation Ministry, which has wide parishioner buy-in; their communal prayer-life has been powerfully amped up!
And at a national level, St. John the Evangelist Parish, Diocese of Gary, Indiana reported in. Their pastor, Diocesan Father, Sammy Maletta, shared his 17-year experience of helping to revive a lagging parish, after the ‘mega-church’ model, with great success.
For me, his reflection posed some challenges. Coached himself by a mega-church pastor, Father Sammy encouraged us to move from a ‘personal’ model of pastoring, to a ‘corporate’ one. This would involve pastors letting go of much of the 1-to-1 people stuff, lots of the administrative stuff, and a good share of the preaching and teaching!? The trade-off – the pastor becomes the ‘dreamer/visionary’ along with a ‘Leadership Circle’ and the Pastoral Council.
I wasn’t sold on all of that, to be honest with you; it seemed to remove from the pastor’s plate many of the primary ministries which drew a lot of us to priesthood and parish ministry in the first place.
But there you go – some sense for you of the input and conversations which Parish Leaders, International Priests, ‘native’ Parish Priests & Pastors along with Bishop Ricken are having these ‘Anything-But-Ordinary’ days.
In all of it, we please we pray -
“God bless us...EVERY one”!