Our West MAPLE Family of CATHOLIC Parishes
Foundational Conviction of "Unleash the Gospel" from Synod 2016
“This means that the Archdiocese, following the call of Pope Francis, is resolved to undergo a “missionary conversion,” a change in our culture, such that every person at every level of the Church, through personal encounter with Jesus Christ, embraces his or her identity as a son or daughter of God and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, is formed and sent forth as a joyful missionary disciple. For families this means that every family embraces its role as the domestic church and, in connection with other families and single persons, actively seeks the spiritual and social renewal of its neighborhood, schools and places of work. For parishes and archdiocesan services it means the renewal of structures to make them Spirit-led and radically mission- oriented. For everyone in the Archdiocese it entails making one’s relationship with Jesus and alignment with his will the central guiding principle of every aspect of life. This missionary conversion entails a strikingly countercultural way of living grounded in prayer, Scripture, and the sacraments; unusually gracious hospitality; a capacity to include those on the margins of society; and joyful confidence in the providence of God even in difficult and stressful times.”
Prayer for Family of Parishes
Father in Heaven, renew your wonders in our time, as though by a New Pentecost.
Holy Spirit, increase your gifts in us to move boldly into Families of Parishes with confidence. Deepen our desire for every person to encounter Jesus anew, grow daily as his disciples and give witness to his love and mercy. This is our mission and we embrace it anew.
Grant that your Holy Church in Detroit, praying perseveringly and insistently with one mind, together with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and guided by St. Joseph, St. Anne and Blessed. Solanus Casey, may increase the reign of the Divine Savior, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Things to Consider ...
- Large number of parishes focused on neighborhoods, especially many immigrant established parishes
- Then a post-World War II expansion into the suburbs
- Tied to a post=Vatican II model of Parish Life, where smaller parishes envisioned and supply of priests available
- 323 Parishes at its height
- Now (2020) 216 Parishes
- Projection (2030) without moving into a Family of Parishes Model: 109 parishes
- As of 2020, 207 Diocesan Priests and 42 Religious Order Priests in parish ministry
- 189 Pastors | 19 of which were 75+
- 2030 Projections: 172 Priests available for assignment
Here is a link to Frequently asked Questions.
The Archdiocese has published a template for Families of Parishes, as they begin to work as a family, called The Family of Parishes Playbook. Although it looks like a complete structure is in place, that is not the case. It is a guiding template. Each Family will use it to work on its own timeline to becoming more integrated as a Family, but there is no one size fits all expectation.
The St. Regis Self-Analysis of Strengths and Opportunities for Entering FoP
What is important to St. Regis’ identity and life that cannot be lost as we move forward toward Family of Parishes?
- Our sense of community: low key, friendly atmosphere of the parish and its openness to welcoming all
- Excellent school from Early Childhood through 8th Grade Academy, along with parish-connected activities such as Living Rosary, monthly Sunday family Masses, class and all-school adoration, Christian Service projects
- Adoration in the St. Regis Chapel
- The chapel itself as a space for prayer, meditation, small liturgies
- Desire for and establishment of Intercessory Prayer (Intercessory Group, parish intercessory teams, Prayer Box, Pray-ers) and support of variety of other forms of prayer: Adoration, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation
- The generosity toward and commitment to Christian Service (South Oakland Shelter; visitation and communion to area senior centers, etc.), especially in response to needs outside of parish boundaries
- Stephen Ministry
- Collaborative Leadership Nights that invite whole parish into the pastoral vision
- Adult Faith Formation Bible Studies and other opportunities
- Parish support through Knights of Columbus and Legion of Mary and their various outreaches/programs (house blessings, dedication to Mary, etc.)
- Having both in-person and online options for Faith Formation families
- Variety of weekday Mass times, including early morning, evening, and Saturday morning
- Highly trained, qualified leadership among parish staff, including one dedicated to evangelization/welcome
- Ability to livestream and use up-to-date communications and technology for events
- Liturgies celebrated with great care, including a more contemporary style as at the 12 noon Mass
- Size and layout of Church enable great space for larger events, including worship events and concerts
- Overall financial generosity of parish when called upon to give (CSA, building drives, ongoing donations, etc.)
- The large number of active, older parish members who offer great wisdom and resources
- Strong participation in CYO athletics and its affect on youth and coaches, including Saturday morning Mass
- The number of parishioners from other parishes who already occasionally worship with us and our own parishioners’ familiarity with the other parishes in our Family as a foundation from which to grow
Where are there areas of parish life that are important to who we are and what we do but still need strengthening?
- Greater connection between school families and parish life and ways to involve families (both school and faith formation) with younger children
- Our ability to grow as a parish of prayerfulness and intercession, expanding/strengthening current practices such as Pray-ers, monthly Prayer Team, Prayer Box, and other ways of intercession
- Adult and family faith formation experiences, especially small group faith sharing and family-centered practices
- Marriage preparation and post-marriage follow up
- Baptismal Prep and post-baptismal formation for young families
- Immigration Circle of Support and legislative advocacy outreach
- Interaction with Brother Rice and Marian High Schools
- Sharing in and expanding ministry of Adoration
- Numbers and participation in various ministries that struggle with a few people, including Mass attendance.
- Development of leaders trained to groom others and make sure that they can pass the ministry onto someone else. Avoiding ministry silos: how do we make sure that one person or one group isn’t the sole contributor to a ministry.
- Ministry to parents of young children.
- People contributing time and talent in addition to treasure.
- Wider commitment to promoting vocations
Given what one knows about the other parishes in our Family (St. Owen, Holy Name, Queen of Martyrs), what potential benefits could moving to a Family model bring?
- Increasing facility options for meetings/gatherings, especially when coincide on same day/time
- Greater collaboration with high schools, both Catholic and public, through chaplaincy and other ministry connections
- Expanded E.P.I. C. for junior high youth
- High School Youth Ministry
- Young adult gatherings and formation
- Shared catechetical leadership leading to more opportunities for faith formation for children and potential for expanding formation to some who are currently missed (e.g. special needs)
- Collaboration among the R.C.I.A. experiences in all parishes (retreats, formation evenings, etc.)
- To do more direct missionary work with Family of Parishes.
- Shared formation of liturgical and other pastoral workers
- Expanded opportunities for men and women’s fellowship/formation/retreats
- Collaboration in Christian Service projects and ministries. Sharing in and expanding Christian Service outreach (Advent and Lent Giving Trees, Meals, etc.) and ministries, especially supportive ministries like New Dawn, Divorced Catholics, Young at Heart Seniors, etc.
- A music ministry that can utilize all parishes combined; music ministry can include concerts and formation in liturgical music. Sharing of choirs and other music ministries, especially for special times like Thanksgiving, Christmas concert, children’s’ choirs, etc.
- Events that can be shared across the family, especially when it comes to inviting speakers and hosting events on special occasions.
- Larger and more frequent social and community-building activities
- Marriage and family support endeavors
- Stronger, more unite pro-Life witness
- Greater connection to and seen as more integral to the civic communities in our area
What concerns, uncertainties, or questions still need to be addressed to help the parish embrace this new model of parish life and ministry?
- How do we keep strong connection to and commitment to St. Regis at the same time promoting and collaborating closely with all parishes in the family? What is the incentive to be committed to a specific parish and how will that impact people’s involvement in volunteer ministries, finances, etc.
- How do we collaborate and not be in competition with each other?
- What is the incentive to be committed to a specific parish and how will that impact people’s involvement in volunteer ministries, finances, etc.
- Staffing concerns: will this lead to a desire to reduce staffing in total, but with the result that a lot of personal connection to parish needs is lost?
- Communication: the Family of Parishes needs to be on the same page when it comes to communicating with parishioners.
- If we are really going to be a family, it cannot be forced or rushed. Need time to come together in prayer, getting to know each other’s way of doing things, staff sharing, etc.
- Mass schedules that encourage greater, not lesser, connection to Eucharist in each parish.
- Getting children and families with children back to active involvement at Mass post-pandemic.
- Three schools currently with different environments and strengths but somewhat in competition with each other—how do they become collaborative yet maintain their own identity?
- Office space/hours/staff responsibilities—all those practical realities that will need to be addressed
- Shared bulletin and, if not (because too cumbersome), how make sure events/programs that are open to all are shared equitably within all the parishes?
- Use of Senior priests: will that need be overall reduced and, if so, will we be losing connections to some that parish members find valuable and life-giving?
- What is the vision for parish moving forward: a community of faith coming together for worship, service, mutual support and formation, reaching out to the world around in service and evangelization? Or, is most of that now to be a “family” identity and the parishes more houses of worship and prayer, places to hold events?