From the very beginning of All Things New we have been asking the question “Which communities does it make most sense to have come together in light of demographic shifts, evangelization and social outreach efforts, resources, and priest availability?”
Over the past year, the Archdiocese of St. Louis has received feedback from 70,000 parishioners across the Archdiocese through the Disciple Maker Index (DMI) Survey, hosted nearly 350 Listening Sessions at 178 parishes, surveyed 18,000 parish school parents, administrators, teachers, staff, donors, community partners, and volunteers, compiled sacramental, financial and demographic statistics for every parish and school, met with community, civic and business organizations, held focus groups, and had conversations at the deanery and parish levels, both in groups and one on one.
The Archdiocese has continued to ask you, our parishioners, 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, grandchildren, and generations to come.
Using that information, the All Things New planning committee, which consists of clergy and laity, has refined the first set of draft models shared in the Fall. The second draft models reflect the input received across the Archdiocese from the priests, deacons, religious, key parish leaders, and the lay faithful. The models show the Archdiocese being reshaped from 178 individual parish pastorates into 88 pastorates in order to best serve the lay faithful. A pastorate is a community that is under the pastoral care of one pastor and pastoral team.
In some cases, an individual parish may remain as its own pastorate, but may have to adapt some of its ministries and Mass times due to priest availability. In other cases, it may be that two or more parishes remain financially independent of each other but will become a new pastorate sharing one pastor and pastoral team. Finally, in some cases it may be that parishes merge their resources together and become a new pastorate under one pastor and pastoral team. Only after we have discerned which communities ought to come together as a new pastorate can we begin the case-by-case examination of which structure is most prudent for each existing parish. No matter the chosen structure, some worship sites may no longer be used in the future.
The planning committee has analyzed each pastorate to ensure each one has the resources to sustain a new territory and model.
Click here to see the second draft models and to learn more about the All Things New process.
We are asking you to provide any feedback you may have on the second draft models to your pastor or Key Parish Leaders by Wednesday, February 15.
This will be the last set of draft models and the final portion of feedback gathered in order to enable the Archbishop to make a well-informed, discerned decision for the spiritual well-being of the Archdiocese, looking at the extensive feedback of the people and the needs of the Archdiocese. This decision will be announced on May 28, 2023 by Archbishop Rozanski.