Archdiocese of Chicago » Renew My Church
Invitation to Second Parish Session - October 4, 2017

Renew My Church Update and Next Steps - Please attend our next Parish Session on Wednesday, October 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the church for further information and discussion. Your feedback and input are needed.

Jesus Christ calls us to constantly renew His Church. Renew My Church is the Archdiocese of Chicago’s response to His call and our invitation for renewal.

Called by Jesus Christ we are making disciples, building communities and inspiring witness.

Process Overview

Renewal is a process. It requires envisioning, planning, new methods, and new means to bring Jesus Christ to others. There are nearly 100 groupings of parishes and schools across the archdiocese. Each grouping will engage in a process to address necessary questions of structure, how to work together across communities within the grouping, and to establish a strong foundation for vitality through focused evangelization and faith formation efforts.

Our grouping’s current phase in the process is to pause and ask: given current needs, opportunities and resources, what parish and school structures will best support what it takes to strengthen our discipleship and bring others to Jesus Christ in today’s world? Supporting ourselves with the best structures enables us to breathe renewed life into our efforts to make disciples, build communities, and inspire witness.

Initial Scenarios

To initiate discussion, the archdiocese has offered our grouping a set of initial scenarios that show potential models of how parishes and schools in our grouping could be configured in the future. These initial scenarios are conversation starters. No decisions have been made. We are asked to provide feedback on the initial scenarios from the archdiocese and propose alternative scenarios and configuration models.

The archdiocese generated these initial scenarios by applying our grouping’s local realities to a set of criteria to evaluate how a structure would support vitality and ensure viability. We will review these criteria, some of which are listed below, in more detail at our next Parish Session on Wednesday, October 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the church.

  • Based on the projection of pastors available across the archdiocese in the future, parishes ordinarily will need a minimum of 600 parishioners attending Mass each weekend to be assigned a full time resident pastor, with consideration given to particular local and cultural circumstances.
  • To ensure quality resources for worship, pastoral care, religious education, and evangelization, parishes ordinarily will have a justly paid, professionally trained staff team. On average, a parish will need a minimum operating revenue of $500,000 (excluding rental income) to support this staffing and other operating expenses.
  • Balanced workloads for priests, including sacramental life, pastoral care, and parish administration.
  • Parish financial stability and adequate, accessible and safe facilities with capacity for growth.
  • School vitality and financial stability – the potential to enroll a minimum of 240 students in PK-8, considering area demographics and parish student population; to ensure quality education, strong student social development, and sustainable operations.

Our Grouping Initial Scenarios

Below please find the initial scenarios for our grouping. As a reminder, our grouping consists of St. Celestine, St. Cyprian and St. William.

Parish Scenarios

  • Scenario A: One Parish, Three Worship Sites
    All three parishes combine into one canonical parish with one pastor and at least one associate pastor. All three worship sites remain open.
  • Scenario B: Two Parishes, Three Worship Sites
    St. William Parish remains its own canonical parish with one pastor. St. Cyprian Parish and St. Celestine Parish combine into one parish with one pastor. All three worship sites remain open.

School Scenarios

  • Scenario A: One School
    St. Celestine School remains open. St. William School and St. Cyprian School close.
  • Scenario B: One School, Fundraising Efforts for Two Schools
    St. Celestine School remains open. St. William School and St. Cyprian School communities would each make an intentional decision whether or not to undertake efforts to secure sufficient funding and meet enrollment benchmarks to open for the next school year. Benchmarks would be created to assist in this effort.

Next Steps

Important Reminder: These scenarios do not represent any final decisions but, rather, a starting point for discussion. Your feedback and input are needed now more than ever.

May God bless us all on this journey!
Visit archchicago.org/renew to learn more.