Update on Parish Merging
In the coming days, all parishioners will be receiving a survey in the mail from the Parish Merging Leadership Committees. This survey will be to help the committee members get a better “sense of the people” – your thoughts and feelings about the proposed parish merger based on the information that has been communicated so far. The survey will also help the committee members better determine what information to present and emphasize at the Town Hall meetings in the Fall.
Regardless of how you feel about the merger (positive, negative, or indifferent), I ask you to please take a few moments to complete the brief survey and return it promptly – no later than May 14th (Mother’s Day). Along with the survey, many St. Mary’s parishioners will also be receiving a parish registration form. Don’t worry! We know you’re already a parishioner. We are asking many members to complete the registration form so we can improve and update our database in areas where information is lacking.
While a decision for merging into one parish has not yet been reached, we have developed a tentative timeline to guide the discernment process. Between now and the end of the summer, members of the Leadership Committees will be working to develop a budget proposal for the merger. On September 7, 12, and 14, 2017, we would like to hold Parish Finance Town Hall Meetings at each of the parishes to present on where financially each of our parishes are, and what the financial structure and budget of a merged parish would look like.
Then, on November 9, 14, and 16, 2017, we would like to hold final Town Hall Meetings at each of the parishes in which the proposed merger plan would be presented in general. At those final meetings, those parishioners present would have the opportunity to participate in a final survey or “consultative vote” to give guidance to the Leadership Committee Members as to whether or not they will make a recommendation to me, the Pastor to petition the Bishop for a merger. If a decision is made to petition the Bishop, we would anticipate the merger to occur at the beginning of the following fiscal year, July 1, 2018.
While I anticipate the Leadership Committees developing much more specific information to present to you in the Town Hall meetings in the Fall, I see the merger as a possible great benefit to all three of our original parish communities. Not only would our smaller parishes (St. Kilian’s and St. Michael’s) benefit from being part of a larger community that is able to do more, but our larger parish (St. Mary’s) would also benefit by having its community and resources expand as well. There is strength in numbers, and as a larger parish, we would have greater stability working together for the future.