Archive for May, 2006|Monthly archive page

Historical Recap – Part 2

In that initial meeting with the Steubenville Task Force on May 29, 2003, Bishop Conlon made clear to us that our focus was to be broad and general at first. He asked us to look at more effective ways of doing parish ministry. For instance, are there ways we can combine resources in order, not just to save time and money, but to improve what we are currently doing? What does the ideal of parish ministry look like? And, how can we get closer to that ideal as a team? Are there gaps in our ministry that, working collaboratively, we could fill? He also made it clear that we were not to get into parish configuration until after we answered those questions. In fact, we did not look at the question of parish configuration until the end of our two-year process.

Fr. McGuire

Historical Recap – Part 1

Over the next several weeks I will recap the history of the past three years. I realize that the conclusion of this process is not what anyone expected: On May 29, 2003 Bishop Conlon convened the first meeting of The Steubenville Task Force (STF) at All Saints School. The pastor of each parish and two lay members of each parish were appointed to the STF. Bishop gave us this charge: “If you were the Bishop of Steubenville, how would you structure the ministry, including programs, personnel and facilities, to provide the best possible presence of the Church in the life of the City of Steubenville?” He did not give us a plan. He did not tell us to close churches. He did not give us the answers. He asked us to come up with the answers. He did, however, have some parameters within which we had to work. More on those later.

Fr. McGuire

What’s taking so long?

I have been asked that question on more than one occasion in the past few weeks. To those who asked it I gave assurances that the Building Committee has been meeting every week for eight months for a two or three hour meeting each week. Our architects have been with us for all but two of those meetings since January. A process like this takes time. There are lots of questions that have to be answered by the architects before we can move to the next step. The kinds of questions that take that sort of time have been questions like, “How much will it cost if we do this?” “Is there another way to do the same thing?” “Is it possible to include this or that without changing the basic structure of the church?” “How can we incorporate this or that item from a closing church?” But, I am happy to say that we are near the end of such questions and should soon be able to share our plans with our parishioners soon.

– Fr. McGuire