Last year, a group of 46 dedicated volunteers met 14 times to craft a “Parish Transformation Plan” which sets the parameters of our mission as a parish for the next several years. It is a very good document that they worked hard on. The rest of the ‘fine-tuning” of the plan was completed during the summer months. Later, it was presented to our Vicar, Bishop George Rassas for his approval. Now we will present this document to all of you, so that you can see the fruits of our labor and embrace what will be our work as a parish community for the foreseeable future.
One of the foundational pieces of the plan is what’s called a “Mission Narrative.” This one page prelude to the plan sets the tone for what follows. It incorporates scripture, the story of our patron saint, Thérèse of Lisieux, the history of our community of Palatine and our mission as followers of Jesus Christ, and serves to inform us as we present the rest of the Parish Transformation Plan.
The Parish Transformation Plan is divided into three categories: mission, education and finance. Within these categories, our team focused on two themes that were selected from several other possibilities – evangelization, which is bringing the Good News to others, and communio. What is communio? I like Fr. Matt’s description of it: “’Communio’ is the hidden dynamic energy, which flows from our common eucharist and threads through the individual members of the Church, thus making us one. It is deeper than mere community; communio supposes an inner vocation that calls us to take serious the law of loving God and neighbor as we would our own true family.”
What follows are a few highlights of the Parish Transformation Plan. I invite you to read the entire Action Plan document so that you get a better appreciation of what the plan is all about.
- Enhance our liturgy and sacramental experience
- Challenge each of us to live our faith, share our beliefs in God and respond to God’s call
- Create opportunities for non-parishioners to experience Christ’s love through our parishioners.
- Create a culture of prayer that attracts people to a deeper reverence of Christ in the
- Eucharist through providing spiritual prayer opportunities.
- Research model parish characteristics and develop a gap analysis between St. Theresa and model parish
- Increase transparency by providing greater detail into how parish and school funds are spent
- Relaunch “Give Central” with objective of adding 500 more donors that total $500,000 in giving per year
- Identify giving preferences of major donors and revise giving alternatives to respond.
- Establish legacy / testamentary giving team and program whose goal is to raise $10 million.
- Research and effectively implement a Spiritual Gifts identification and management program
- Realign ministry and service opportunities to fully utilize all spiritual gifts
- Enhance new member community integration through enhanced personal relationship building
- Implement follow-up system for those members whose active participation has diminished
- Research and evaluate parish data system capabilities to determine current utilization, needs and opportunities for improvement.
- Transform School and RE curricula
- Increase and enhance enrollment in School and RE
- Strengthen Vitality of School’s Board of Specified Jurisdiction (BSJ) and RE Board
- Enhance and grow our teen and young adult education / formation opportunities
- Enhance and grow our adult education / formation opportunities
- Create awareness in the community and empower people to prioritize faith and family
- Create actions to improve school finances
As you can see, there is quite a lot here to keep us busy and each of these bullet points has a lot of descriptors to assist in their implementation. I invite all of you to pray about what you can do to assist in the realization of our plan as it will not succeed without your help.