An open letter about moving forward with the Faith Formation Preliminary Recommendations:
Faith Formation Task Force unveils preliminary plan
|Task force member Greg Baker, campus minister at Mercyhurst University, presents highlights from Deepening Spiritual Engagement, the document he authored on behalf of the Faith Formation Task Force.
Bishop Lawrence Persico and members of the Faith Formation Task Force and Pastoral Planning Committee unveiled the preliminary plan for faith formation in the Diocese of Erie the week of June 14, 2017.
“With some of the logistics behind us, it’s finally time for you to go back to your parishes and your schools and to stir into flame a renewed passion for the Gospel, and a deeper understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ,” the bishop said at meetings scheduled in Erie, Hermitage and St. Marys.
The task force recommendations deal with six key areas: lifelong formation, vision, parish leadership, diocesan leadership, the role of the family and lay ministry. The full list of recommendations are posted in a link below.
Parishioners in the Diocese of Erie are encouraged to offer their feedback to the plan between June 16 and July 28, 2017. An online survey and instructions are provided in the links below.
Deepening Spiritual Engagement, a document authored by Greg Baker—campus minister at Mercyhurst University and a member of the task force—served as a basis for many of the recommendations that were proposed. All are encouraged to read the document as they prepare to offer feedback.
Catholic Diocese of Erie to open Mother Teresa Academy in downtown Erie
Implementation Guide for parishes not restructuring at this time
New resources are now available for parishes that are merging, those that are partnering and those that are experiencing no changes at this time. Hard copies are being mailed to all priests and all parishes.
'The church is a living organism, the living body of Our Risen Lord...' -- homily by Father Joseph Campbell
Father Joseph Campbell, who served as pastor of St. Anthony, Sharon; St. Stanislaus Kostka-Holy Trinity, Sharon and St. Adalbert, Farrell, offered a homily to his parishioners at St. Adalbert during their final Sunday Mass as a parish on Feb. 12. Prior to the homily, he said that after several weeks of challenging emotions, a parishioner had asked him to open with a joke. And so he obliged. In response to a request that came through social media, Father Campbell has agreed to let the Diocese of Erie publish the homily he gave.
Liturgical resources for parish restructuring
The Office of Worship has created a series of liturgical resources for parish restructuring including Mass introductions, intercessions, sample closing remarks and blessings. Different prayers have been designed specifically for:
- Parishes not experiencing restructuring at this time;
- Parishes that are partnering;
- Communities that are being merged into an existing parish, including prayers for a final parish Mass;
- Parishes welcoming new parishioners.
The prayers can be used both before and after the weekend of Feb. 17-18, 2017, when the new parish configuration will be in place.
Clergy appointments related to pastoral planning
The Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, bishop of Erie, has announced the most significant round of new appointments for clergy since the diocese was founded in 1853.
Even some parishes that were not assigned a change when final restructuring decisions were announced are receiving new pastors. Nearly half of the active priests in the diocese are taking on new assignments.
“I have been so impressed by the generosity of our priests,” Bishop Persico said during the week in which he met with clergy individually to discuss their new assignments. “I saw, first-hand, how willing they are to put the needs of the people above their own needs.”
The bishop and the Priest Personnel Committee, under the direction of Vicar General Msgr. Robert Smith, spent months crafting and refining the best possible configuration of clergy assignments. Factors including illness and retirements impacted the plan significantly. But assignments were made public at parishes the weekend of January 14-15, 2017.
Full list of parishes/churches
PowerPoint listing all the parishes in the Diocese of Erie
Parish by parish listing of all parishes being restructured
Parish Restructuring Preparation
Decrees Regarding Particular Law
Sample Position Profiles
Merging and Partnering: A visual illustration
Building in Truth and Love
A great deal of information was considered by the Parish Listening Task Force in making its recommendations for the Preliminary Plan for Parish Restructuring. Many criteria are listed in the PowerPoint also accessible through this website. The Comparison of Mass Attendance to Registered Households offers a parish-by-parish look at numbers that will be useful to parishioners interested in the plan.