Area Catholic Communities in the Diocese of St. Cloud: a new paradigm in Catholic mission, parishes intentionally collaborating and cooperating to be Christ for the world.

Will any of our parishes in our Area Catholic Community be closing?

Bishop Kettler has asked all of the leadership to avoid closing parishes. It does not mean a change in parish status is impossible, but the focus of planning is having parishes work together for the sake of the our mission. (Change of status = oratory, merger, chapel, closure)

Is the plan finalized?

Yes. Bishop Kettler has approved the plan and we are beginning the first steps of implementation. The vision and map are posted on this website.

What is the next step?

Pastors are appointing representatives from each parish to be part of an Area Catholic Community Planning Council. Each member of the council is expected to attend one of the Formation Days in April/May 2019. Each Planning Council will meet once before July 1, 2019. After that time they will begin putting together a pastoral plan for the area. These plans are expected to be submitted to the Planning Office by the end of December.

What about the proposed plan implementation date of July 1, 2019?

The date means that Area Catholic Community implementation will begin. In most areas the plan may unfold in phases over time. Each area is expected to submit goals and objectives to the Planning Office by the end of December 2019. It does not mean everything will change on July 1.

How many priests will be serving our Area Catholic Community?

Overall, the number of parish priests available to serve our 131 parishes in the diocese will decrease over the next ten years. We will need to collaborate and cooperate more as Area Catholic Communities to adjust with our human resources. Some ACCs should expect to have fewer priests available to them.

What does it mean that parishes will be collaborating and cooperating together more?

The lived-experience of most parishes in our diocese has been independent parishes sharing clergy and sometimes lay staff. Independent parishes cannot be sustained as a model for the future. We are one Body of Christ in the Diocese of St. Cloud, though worshiping and living in parishes throughout the diocese. We depend on one another to keep the faith alive. When the cultures and gifts of each parish are united together, we are able to accomplish more. Bishop Kettler wants us to pursue more collaboration and cooperation between parishes for the sake of our mission. What will that look like? That is up to each Area Catholic Community. It will need to be significantly more than we currently do. 

Will Mass schedules change?

Probably. There are too many variables that need to be addressed before decision about Mass time are made, however, most of our parishes in the diocese are seating at 40% or less of their capacity each Mass.

Will the roles of clergy change for the needs of the Area Catholic Community??

Probably. The Priest Personnel Board will be discerning the organization and assignments of the roles of clergy.

Will the roles of lay leadership change for the needs of the Area Catholic Community?

Probably. In order to facilitate the collaboration and cooperation of parishes within an ACC, lay leaders may need to be added or adapted. Our parishes will be stronger through these changes. They will evolve over time.

What will happen with finances of the parishes and Area Catholic Community?

At this time, the finances of each parish will continue to be separate. Each parish will maintain its own finance council that will continue its present work. Each parish will maintain its own accounts. The finances of the parishes will not be co-mingled.

What do these changes mean for our school(s)?

The success and well-being of our school(s) is of critical importance. Each school will continue to operate independently and our parishes will continue to support them.

What about appointing members for the Area Catholic Community planning council?

These members, appointed by the pastor, should be named the Spring of 2019 and are expected to attend on of the Formation days. We are recommending 2 or 3 representatives from each parish comprising of 1) someone from a leadership council, 2) staff, 3) at large member.  All members of your area planning council should be named in your parish bulletins, websites, etc. These are your parish representatives and are willing to hear your concerns.