The following update appears in this week's Holy Cross bulletin and the Steering Committee has asked that it also run in the bulletins of the other 5 parishes of the Eastern Greece/Charlotte Planning Group.
Pastoral Planning Update
The Eastern Greece/Charlotte Steering Committee met on Tuesday, June 30 to determine the parish configuration content of the pastoral plan they are drafting this summer. There is no final plan at this point. There will still be numerous meetings including the pastoral councils and parish staffs, as well as town meetings for parishioners before a plan goes to Bishop Clark for his approval.
Here are the two proposals the Steering Committee agreed to include as part of a larger Pastoral Plan:
Proposal #1: Our Lady of Mercy shall be closed, subject to the following:
• The Steering Committee will put in place a transition committee to assist with the transition of Our Lady of Mercy parishioners to the church of their choice, working closely with the Our Lady of Mercy Pastoral Council and staff.
• Each Eastern Greece/Charlotte parish will hold an open house/Mass to welcome Our Lady of Mercy parishioners who may be enrolling in one of the respective parishes.
Proposal #2: Holy Name shall be left open, rather than closed per the recommendation of the finance committee, subject to:
• An outline of a strategic plan to be submitted to the full Steering Committee by the meeting on September 8, 2009.
• The final plan to be submitted by November 2, 2009.
• For the next three years, the parish shall finish each fiscal year without an increase to its diocesan debt and with a positive number for the end of each fiscal year. Should there be an increase in debt to the diocese, or a negative number at the end of any of the next three fiscal years, the parish will begin the process of closing as of July 1 following the fiscal year in which such event occurs.
Once again, there is no final plan at this point. The Steering Committee estimates that a final plan will go to Bishop Clark by the end of 2009. If the recommendation is indeed to close Our Lady of Mercy, that would not happen until sometime in 2010.
As the pastoral planning process continues, the Steering Committee will continue to engage in two-way communication. Please continue to pray for our six Eastern Greece/Charlotte parishes.