ST Gregory

September 18, 2022

BOL Liaison Visit to Form a Pathway Team

Next week, September 26-29, is the four-day priest convocation in West Virginia. Every five years, Archdiocesan priests gather for a four-day convocation to pray together and address pertinent topics to our ministry as priests. Next week, Dan Celucci, CEO of Catholic Leadership Institute, will present some of the week on transition and our Beacons of Light process. Fr. King was excused by the Archbishop from attending, as priests who are at retirement age or are retired may be excused. During that week, the Mass schedules in our family of parishes will be celebrated as usual. Fr. King will celebrate Mass daily at Guardian Angels at 7:30 am. The Comboni Fathers will be celebrating Mass daily at Immaculate Heart of Mary on Monday and Wednesday at 12:00 noon and on Tuesday and Thursday at 8:15 am and at St. John Fisher on Monday and Wednesday at 12:00 noon and on Tuesday and Thursday at 8:00 am during that week. On Wednesday that week I have been asked to preside and preach at the Wednesday Mass at the Convocation honoring the late Archbishop Pilarczyk who died during the pandemic in 2020. I was his care giver for nine years prior to his death. As he has said numerous times to me, “The Lord is in this somewhere.” He must have had some premonition to this transition we are entering into with Beacons of Light. Your prayers would be appreciated during that week.

October 4, 5, and 6, Linda Bonecker, our Beacons of Light Liaison, will be here for an onsite visit to our family of parishes. She will be meeting with the priests, staff, parish pastoral councils as well as some active volunteers. We are proceeding forward with the Beacons Pathway Team formation. The Pathway Team will get pastoral planning started for the future until a Family Leadership Team and Family Pastoral Council are firmly in place. While there are many groups of people who participate in leadership and governance of a parish or Family of Parishes (e.g. pastoral council, full staff, finance council, commissions, etc.), the leadership team has the greatest potential to effectively assist the pastor in implementing the mission of the parish.

Forming a unified Pathway Team and Family Leadership Team (FLT) is one milestone of Phase 1 in the Leadership principle: “Form a unified Family Pastoral Council, Family Leadership Team and staff, each rooted in prayer and supported by healthy teamwork.” It will take time to discern the members of our Family Leadership Team. In the short run (at the beginning of Phase 1 of the Pastoral Planning Pathway), it will be difficult for our Family to have a unified Leadership Team for a variety of reasons:

  • Staff doesn’t know one another yet.
  • A new pastor is still settling in.
  • Representing all parishes may be difficult.
  • Key collaborators haven’t yet been identified or hired.
  • Parishes are still operating mostly independently of one another (which is normal and healthy in the beginning).

Our liaison will guide us through this process. We pray for wisdom, guidance and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to lead us to where God wants us to be. Thanks for your understanding and patience.