Biggest challenge: Weekly attendance at Eucharist

 The nuns were excellent, but, with imagination and  training, laypeople do and can excel

       The nuns were disciplinarians and                     discipline (for children!) still plays a role in any        good parish

       New types of loving service engage more        parishioners







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Parish Culture Development Plan




Dr. Morey and Fr. Piderit are responsible for developing the plan, but the plan itself will rely on extensive consultation and collaboration with the parish staff.  In particular, the Catholic Education Institute will develop a plan that is innovative and practical, but also one that fits the talents and aspirations of the parish staff.  The pastor, of course, determines what components of the plan he wants to implement and in what sequence.  But even an excellent plan is only as good as its execution.  For this reason, the Catholic Education Institute focuses on formulating a plan that enjoys enthusiastic support of both the pastor and the parish team.


One component of the plan is the establishment of a clear, brief, and actionable mission statement.  Such a mission statement is not intended to be effective for ten years or more.  Rather, it is a short-term mission statement that conveys the aspirations of the parish over the next five or six years.  In our judgment, this is a more realistic and effective type of statement.  It can be developed within a period of months rather than over a year or more of extensive deliberations.  Furthermore, it alerts parishioners to the types of emphases they can expect over the next five or six years.


The more substantive part of the plan identifies ten to fifteen practical parish initiatives that can be introduced gradually over the three or four years following the completion of the Cultural Development Plan.  The initiatives focus on the three central roles of a parish: prayer, evangelization, and loving service.  The category of prayer includes both sacramental or regular liturgical prayer as well as variations on new initiatives for community prayer.  Recommendations for evangelization offer ways for groups within the parish to witness to the Gospel and also to draw considerably more people into at least the periphery of parish activity.   Proposed activities in loving service are intended to allow a good percentage of the parish (25 percent or more) regularly to engage in loving service.


Dr. Morey and Father Piderit impose a constraint on the plan eventually submitted to the parish.  In their view, the cost of implementing the activities should be minimal; most innovations should be possible through the use of current personnel.  As an outer bound, the sum of recommended innovative activities will not require additional expenditures in excess of 2 percent of current parish expenditures.


In order to develop the plan, Dr. Morey and Fr. Piderit will meet on site with the pastor and the parish team on three occasions.  After each meeting, potential components of a plan will be submitted to the parish team for review, comment, and recommendations.


The total cost for developing a Parish Cultural Development Plan is $2,000 plus travel expenses.