Preparing for uncertain change: I hope that you have been keeping up with all the news about On Mission for the Church Alive! The Pittsburgh Catholic has been providing great updates and articles. You can, of course, also use the internet and social media to keep abreast of the latest news as well. It is only by understanding the possible future that many of the things happening in our parish will make sense.
What do I mean by that? Well, since On Mission began, we have all known that no final decisions were made (and still haven’t been). However, as news comes out and plans are being discussed, one option is to prepare as if the current possibility will become the final option. This is a catch 22. It means sometimes we prepare for what is coming and sometimes for what will not. Having taken this approach, I think we have been prudent and I know that our parish family has benefited from this tactic. We are a parish that continues to embrace what it means to be Church! We are a parish that is reaching out and expanding our cooperation, collaboration and ministry. We are ready for the change (whatever it might be) that On Mission will bring.
Our promotion of social media and the use of technology is a prime example. Imagine the following possibility− St. Colman, Good Shepherd, St. John Fisher, St. Jude the Apostle, Madonna del Castello, St. Maurice and Word of God parishes being served by one administrator and three assisting priests (see http://onmissionchurchalive.org/recommended-groupings-by-parish/). That is seven parishes with four priests. Communication of information in this possible reality will be challenging. Social media and the use of online calendars can and will help. But the best practices of communication with technology for our parish and our grouping will not just spontaneously arise. So, like many steps we have taken, we are continuing to expand and experiment with the use of technology to help us evangelize. As we do this, please know that the investments we are making are in movable technology and hardware. We have done this so that no matter what final decision is made by On Mission the parish resources now being used will continue to enhance our future parish as we provide a Church Alive and vibrant ministry to our members and neighbors.
I feel very good about Saint Maurice’s position entering the next stage of On Mission! The April 26, 2018 announcements will begin the “transition phase” of On Mission. From May to September, clergy in new parish groupings will determine how to provide pastoral care. New Mass schedules will be developed. Then the implementation phase will begin on October 15, 2018 when the new clergy assignments and Mass schedules take effect.