Thoughts From Fr. Rich
As I leave Holy Spirit, over the next several weeks
I will offer a series of articles about where I see Holy Spirit Parish.
Last year all parishes in the Archdiocese were asked to complete a Parish Viability Study. The Pastoral Team and a Core Group composed of members from each of the Parish Commissions completed a series of statements rating the parish in the following areas: parish as a faith community, parish as a worshipping and praying community, parish as a community of service and transformation, parish as an evangelizing community and administrating the parish community. The overall parish rating was 10.25. This places Holy Spirit in the “very good” category.
The instrument also asked each parish to identify and rate its assets (strengths) and
deficits (challenges). Following are the assets:
- Spiritual growth opportunities for adults
- Great participation in worship and prayer opportunities
- Vibrant community faith-filled people
- Formation and sacramental preparation of children
- Many praying and growth opportunities for adults
- Generosity of parishioners
- Diversity of worship opportunities
- Welcoming community
Following are the deficits:
- Low involvement of young adults and teenagers
- Next round of leadership in the parish
- Financial giving
- Parents needing to grow in personal relationship to Jesus and the Catholic Church (faith formation)
- Outreach to two generations of uncatechized adults, those baptized but not
- practicing, catechized but not practicing, and those searching to return to their Catholic faith
- The what and how to evangelize non-Catholics
- Single parents and divorced adults
- How to meet the needs of families when they are hurting financially—they want a Catholic education for their children, but simply can’t afford it
- Connection in wider community in charity and ecumenical prayer
- Broader understanding of Social Justice
In light of these assets and deficits, I asked parish commissions to draft SMART goals.
I hope they would continue this practice in years ahead. Thus helping Holy Spirit Parish to grow and build the Kingdom of God.