Sunday, July 12, 2009

Report from the EG/C Steering Committee

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

July 2009

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.


Interstate Catholic said...

Most DOR churches ran in the red.(July 2008 - June 2009)

Based on that I would say HNOJ has a tough road ahead of them.

Rob said...

I can't envision the HNOJ church lasting much longer than a year.

Mike said...


A couple of folks close to the EG/C Steering Committee agree with you.

Thus far, HNOJ's "financial plan" seems to be more of an outline. They still have to develop a full plan, have it critiqued by the full steering committee, possibly revise it, and submit their final plan by Nov. 2.

I'm told that HNOJ expects the majority of the OLM parishioners to switch to their parish. If that doesn't pan out I don't see much long term hope for them.

Anonymous said...

"I'm told that HNOJ expects the majority of the OLM parishioners to switch to their parish."

This hasn't happened very often with area church closings (parishioners of the closed parish hopping over to the one that remained open). I'd expect a decent chunk to head north to Holy Cross, and others to go south to St. Charles Borromeo, which is a closer drive than Holy Name.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Holy Name is an ugly church. It does not feel like a house of God.

~Dr. K

Mike said...

Actually, Dr. K., I think Our Mother of Sorrows would be a bigger draw than St. Charles. Fr. Alex Bradshaw is a very outgoing and dynamic individual.

Anonymous said...

Them too. The fact that there are so many alternatives for the people of OLM within a short trip means bad things for Holy Name. I would place the guesstimate of people that will move to Holy Name under 33%.

~Dr. K

Anonymous said...
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In the choir loft said...

Dr K. @11:08..I think the diocese twinned (if that's what you call it) OLM and HNOJ exactly because they want both of them closed. So when the close OLM, those still faithful Catholic will go to a church that is simply closer, if they go at all. Then if HNOJ's population does not increase, it will give the DoR the incentive they need to next close HNOJ.

When I"m at HNOJ, I'll try and keep my ear close to the ground and see what's trump there.