CONNECTED IN THE SPIRIT
Holy Family. Our Lady of Perpetual Help. St. Anthony of Padua. St. Mary of the Annunciation
Our Connected in the Spirit pastoral planning entered the next phase on June 29, when our cohort received the Archdiocesan Planning Commission’s Preliminary Recommendations to our Suggestion submitted earlier this summer. The Commission affirmed our suggested “Partnership” model which we discerned after months of prayer, reflection and discussion. That model, as we have proposed it, envisions a deliberate collaboration between our cohort parishes – Holy Family, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Anthony of Padua, and St. Mary of the Annunciation — so as to conserve resources, strengthen and enhance ministry, expand our outreach, and provide more opportunities to deepen our faith and relationships.
The Partnership Model, which we see as a way to grow stronger in faith and friendship, will be manifested and maintained by the creation of an Inter-Parish Council, with representative membership from each cohort parish. That Council will serve as an effective forum to foster and support the exchange of ideas and to facilitate communication between the cohort parishes. Some of the initiatives that the Inter-Parish Council will explore may include the following:
- collaboration in the RCIA process and Youth Ministry;
- joint programs or training opportunities for lay ministry, including bereavement counseling;
- common opportunities for catechesis, formation or workshops; and
- joint para-liturgical celebrations or devotional events.
We made our suggestion for partnering based upon a comprehensive study of the individual dynamics of our parishes and the feedback garnered through conversations with our parishioners. It is our sincere hope that partnering will make our parishes more vibrant places of worship. But, perhaps more importantly, by working together we aspire to increase the living presence of Jesus Christ in our local community.
The Archdiocesan Planning Commission will make a Final Recommendation to Archbishop Tobin by or about October 1, and he will ultimately make the final decision for planning purposes. If our Partnership Model is approved, we will immediately begin preparing to implement that model by July, 2017.
As a cohort, we are grateful for the Archbishop’s challenge to deepen our faith and live the Gospel in the circumstances of our times. Please join us in praying that, by coming together to share our unique gifts and talents, we will discover the beauty of a truly “catholic” church in Southern Indiana.