Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Parish Cluster Follow Up

As I said yesterday, all the parishes were to meet to discuss the scenarios.

They provided a copy of a power point presentation with various topics.

The first was "Why We Need to Cluster"

The discussion had several sub-parts to it, relating to shifting population generally in the eight county diocese, to decline in mass attendance/registered households as well as the diminishing numbers of priests to tend to the flock.

As a result of the decline in attendance, the clustering is also seeing a decline in Parish collections and in Parish/School Incomes. The sad fact is that the 6 parishes in the Lakewood/Cleveland Cluster have lost over the last 3 years a combined $460,000 and continue to lose money.

The next part of the discussion was what the charge was for the committee to determine what was the vibrancy of each parish and how to enhance that vibrancy after a consolidation of the parishes.

Here the discussion was on parish demographics and statistics. Included in this discussion was the ministries of each parish, finances and facilities.

The reason we were there, what is the committee's recommendation:

They are two fold; A majority of the committee has determined the cluster would be of better service to the community if there were three remaining parishes.

Here are the preferred choices for the 3 Church Scenario:
1) St. Clement, St. Luke, St. James
2) St. Cyril & Methodius, St. Luke, St. James
3) St. Clement, St. Cyril & Methodius, St. Luke

There is a minority report that will signify just a 2 church scenario.

Here are the preferred choices for the 2 Church Scenario;
1) St. Clement, St. Luke
2) St. Cyril & Methodius, St. Luke
3) St. Luke, St. James
4) St. Rose, St. James

There is also a major discussion as to the survival of the schools, Lakewood Catholic Academy and St. Cyril & Methodius.

Whatever churches close there will be a consideration of the transferring of some of the traditions and trappings from the closed parishes into the surviving parishes.

The other issues upon closing, is the debt reductions and what to do with the facilities left behind. Also to be considered, what to do with the facilities of the surviving parishes and the needs for possible expansion to deal with the influx of new parishioners and ministries.

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