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"All Things New"

Posted on January 25, 2022 in: Parish Community Special Event

"All Things New"

Just a few All Things New updates from Fr. Nick: Young Adult Survey is being taken, ages 18-39 we want your input by Sept 12th.

School Survey results are out – allthingsnew.archstl.org.  Our Parish Listening Sessions are being scheduled, dates to come soon.

Peace, Fr. Nick

A Letter from Archbishop Rozanski

What is All Things New?
We all know that the Church of today is not the same that it was 50, 100 or 150+ years ago, and yet we are still functioning in many ways out of the same mode of evangelization. We have inherited a great treasure of Catholic institutions from previous generations, but as the Catholic population and society have shifted over the past several decades, they are no longer as effective or sustainable as they once were.

We are closer now to 2050 than to 1950. We need to ask ourselves what our parishes, ministries and institutions need to look like in order to effectively share the faith in a way that is suitable and sustainable for our children and generations to come.

All Things New is evaluating the effectiveness of the Church in St. Louis in proclaiming the Gospel and identifying opportunities for improvement and renewal within all parishes, schools and curia offices and agencies.

Why is the Archdiocese of St. Louis making these changes now?  

Our Catholic population continues to decline and age.

Our priests are aging and as a result, their number is declining.

Mass attendance and sacramental participation continue to decline.

Fewer children attend Catholic Schools and Religious Education (PSR).

Our resources are finite and need to be realigned.

On August 19, 2022, Archbishop Rozanski met with Archdiocesan priests. What was shared?

The Archbishop and Fr. Chris Martin, Vicar for Strategic Planning, shared the next phase of All Things New with archdiocesan priests, which included proposed parish models based on our Planning Areas.

A Planning Area is a number of parishes and schools in a geographic region which will be considered together to develop proposed structural options for the future. There are 15 planning areas in the Archdiocese.

They saw several options as to how parishes in their specific Planning Area could be structured and collaborate in the future. Each option is termed a “model.”

The models are “unfinished” because they need your insight and feedback.

What’s next? 

Archdiocesan priests will evaluate the Planning Areas and Models and offer feedback. Their feedback will be incorporated into the models. Then, the updated Planning Areas and Models will be shared at every parish in listening sessions. The purpose of the listening sessions is to gather your input on these proposed options that are specific to your parish so that over the next year a recommendation can be presented to Archbishop Rozanski for his discernment.

Modelled parishes are generally much larger than current parishes. On average, parishes are 2 to 2.5 x larger.

What happens after the Listening Sessions? 

All parishioners across the Archdiocese will have an opportunity to provide feedback through an open-ended survey about their parish’s model options after the listening sessions.  This feedback will be incorporated into revised models which will be refined with input from the pastors and key parish leaders throughout the winter 2022 and into 2023. Once a final recommended grouping of parishes and schools is determined, the model will also include the following:

Recommendations concerning buildings to be used by the merged parish

The number of priests initially assigned

Suggested evangelization and ministry strategies

What is the timeline for this? 

While decisions will be made in spring 2023, implementation will not begin until fall 2023 and will extend through 2026. Implementation will occur in a phased approach over time to allow for orderly planning and transition at the local level, led by your pastor and supported by the Archdiocese.

What can we as local Catholics do now?

You are encouraged to attend your parish’s listening sessions with open hearts and minds.   Continue to attend Mass, participate in the Sacraments and pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to pour out upon the Church of St. Louis, to grant us the gift of true discernment, so we may do His will in all things.

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Young Adult Survey! Based on the survey results of the Discipleship Maker Index (DMI) that was offered in the spring of this year, seeing an increase in young adult involvement is the top priority of the archdiocese. In response, the "All Things New" Team, the Office of Young Adult Ministry and the Young Adult Ministry Subcommittee have created a survey to gather feedback from young adults.

All young adults whether single, discerning, married, priest or religious, with or without children, ages 18-39 are encouraged to fill out the survey. 

Young adults may anonymously share their beliefs and interests, their needs, their experience in parishes, and their hopes for the future of the Church in St. Louis. 

The survey will close September 12th with a report being published in October. 

To learn more about the Young Adult Survey visit the "All Things New" Website now! 

Take the survey HERE!

Why a young adult survey?

The Disciple Maker Index survey results proved an overwhelming desire to see more young people involved in parish life. Young adults are gifted with the energy, time, creativity, and talents needed by the Church. Young adults are already the torchbearers for society (major athletes, actors, and cultural influencers are young adults) and the future Church.

Recent studies (Notre Dame, Pew) have shown that “the single most important measurable factor for determining the spiritual and religious lives of teenagers and young adults is the religious faith, commitments, and practices of their parents.” (Christian Smith, Young Catholic America). If we want to build a more vibrant Church for tomorrow, we must target the young adults discerning marriage and families today.

In this survey, young adults may anonymously share their beliefs and interests, their needs, their experience in parishes, and their hopes for the future of the church in St. Louis. All responses will be received by the Young Adult Advisory Board and the Office of Young Adult Ministry. Results will be summarized, reviewed, and distributed at a later date.

St. Louis Young Adults! Get Connected!! Click Young Adults to learn more!

Update as of July 8, 2022

Hello,

One group of questions that was on the Disciple Maker Index (DMI) Survey that we took in March was described as Key Leader Perspective.  These questions were about the priority of things you desired from the parish, or the pastor, or the bishop; and other questions were about what you observed.  On our parish website you can find the results to all of the questions in this category, (assumptionbvm.org) but I thought I would just talk about a few of them.

One of the questions about the parish was as follows: “All parishes have opportunities for growth.  If you could only select 3 of the following things that the parish needs more of, which would they be.” Out of twelve possible choices two stood out at over double the responses of any others, the first was to have “More young people involved” and the second was “More volunteers participating in ministries.”  These stood out whether you looked at all the responses or limited the responses to just those parishioners who identified themselves as being heavily involved in the life of the parish.  It should be noted that these also were identified last year when we had our Visioning nights and parish survey for our parish pastoral planning as some of our greatest aspirations and are already included into our parish pastoral plan.  I have heard many people comment about how many of the older volunteers who had been doing a great amount of the volunteering before COVID have taken this opportunity to back away from some of their previous roles.  For many I can only thank them for all they have done for so many years and feel that they need to take a bit of a rest and pass on the opportunities to others, but it has been hard to find those new volunteers.  It should also be noted that the ‘parish need’ that received the lowest votes was “More paid professional staff.”  This leaves the options of either we are going to have to find more volunteers or decide which of the activities or ministries of the parish we will do without.

On a positive note.  Both Msgr. McCumber and myself have noted that we think there are more younger families at Mass over the last few months.  We never want a baby to be crying, but it is good to hear and see them in the pews.

Another question I wanted to mention was the following: “What is your most preferred method of bringing others closer to Christ?”

As you can see, very few of us desire to go door to door to invite people.  We prefer to lead by example or possibly even one-to-one conversations.  I mention this question because evangelization is a key focus for this entire All Things New process. And particularly how each of us can evangelize.  Many identify that they feel ill equipped to do so, and yet I think we all know of examples we have seen or done for others.  Instead of trying to focus on all of us going door to door, I would ask you to consider how you can be a better example, or maybe what might help you to have one-to-one conversations with friends or families if we don’t see ourselves going up to strangers.

Peace,

Fr. Nick

Please check out the "Key Leadership Perspectives" below to learn more!  

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We have a few new updates to share with you regarding the parish-wide diocesan DMI survery. Please see letter from Fr. Nick to learn more!

Why do we need "All Things New"?

We all know that the Church of today is not the same that it was 50, 100 or 150+ years ago, and yet we are still functioning in many ways out of the same mode of evangelization. We have inherited a great treasure of Catholic institutions from previous generations, but as the Catholic population and society have shifted over the past several decades, they are no longer as effective or sustainable as they once were.

We are closer now to 2050 than to 1950. We need to ask ourselves what our parishes, ministries and institutions need to look like in order to effectively share the faith in a way that is suitable and sustainable for our children and generations to come.

All Things New will evaluate the effectiveness of the Church in St. Louis in proclaiming the Gospel and will identify opportunities for improvement and renewal within all parishes, schools and curia offices and agencies. To learn more, please click HERE.

Click here to read a letter from Archbishop Rozanski

Let us together Pray...