The draft of the concept of 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 he sake of the our mission. (Change of status = oratory, merger, chapel, closure)

Is the plan finalized?

No. Bishop Kettler has not approved any of the plan. The vision and map is just a draft, though it is the result of may drafts to this point

What is the next step?

Pastors and Parish Councils are to review the vision and map and answer the following question: “Are there any compelling reasons why the proposed configurations of the map should be redrawn?” Current clusters are encourage to hold town hall meetings in order that parishioners have an opportunity to ask questions and offer comments to their pastors and council members.

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

Until Bishop Kettler finalizes a plan, the date is tentative. The plan is still being developed by representatives of clergy and lay people from every deanery, and it is better to have a well-developed plan than to meet a proposed date of implementation. The plan may unfold in phases over time.

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 do down over the next ten years, and so we will need to collaborate and cooperate more as ACCs to adjust with our human resources. Some ACCs should expect to have fewer priests available to them.

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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?

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 picking members for the Area Catholic Community planning team?

Not yet. The plan is not final and the selection of team members would be premature at this time. The formation of an ACC planning team will be part of a future phase.