Archive for July, 2006|Monthly archive page

Historical Recap – Part 11

There were a great many pros and cons in our consideration of various parish configurations. In fact, there were several pages. While I cannot reproduce all of those pages in one short paragraph, I can give you some of the more salient arguments for and against. (Remember: at this point we were speaking only of the number of parishes we need, not which parishes.)

  • One model was to leave only one parish in the city – pros (sense of unity, consolidating programs and resources), cons (too large and unwieldy, community-building difficult).
  • Another model was to leave only two parishes in the city – pros (downtown presence important, proximity to where people live), cons (lopsided population and resources, better but not enough).
  • Another model had three or four parishes – pros (puts parishes where the people {and schools} live, better use of remaining priests), cons (collaboration among parishes not assured, how to bolster Cathedral).

Fr. McGuire

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Historical Recap – Part 10

Realizing that we had done a great deal of preliminary work, and knowing that we now needed to start looking at parish configuration, the Task Force decided to take a break for a holy hour. We saw our prayer together for guidance as imperative. It was only then that we discussed possible configurations. There were a few givens:

  1. We had to reduce the number of parishes because we were told we would have only four priests (perhaps even fewer in the future);
  2. One priest can (by Church law) have only 3 weekend Masses, except in emergencies;
  3. Therefore, there could be no more than 12 weekend Masses throughout the city rather than the current 21.

The models we looked at ranged from one parish for the whole city to 4 parishes. Each model then had to be evaluated in light of all the data and conclusions of the various committees of the Task Force.

Fr. McGuire

Historical Recap – Part 9

In Part 3 I said, “And, when we finished our work two years later, we believe we had discerned the will of God and responded with a generous heart.” However, as with all cases when God works in the hearts of human beings, except for Jesus and His mother, it is not always smooth-going. That was certainly the case with the Task Force. We all started with our own preconceptions, biases, personalities, etc. Sometimes there were angry exchanges as we tried to protect our own “turf.” Sometimes we said things we regretted later – I said things that I regretted later, and for that I apologize. But through that very human unrest we had the courage to “stick with it.” We continually reminded ourselves that our task was to discern what was best for the Church of Steubenville, not ourselves. It took a year, but we began to make progress.

Fr. McGuire

Historical Recap – Part 8

One last set of numbers! If you’ve been following these reviews of the work of the Steubenville Task Force, you know that we worked with a lot of numbers, and I’ve shared only a small fraction of them. The last number will be the percentage of seating capacity being used at each church in 2002. This number is based on the numbers supplied to the Diocese by each parish each October. We simply took these parish attendance numbers along with the number of Masses at each church and its seating capacity and divided. Remember, these numbers were supplied by the parishes themselves, and the seating capacity is based on a standard number of inches of pew space. What we found was that each parish utilized its seating capacity as follows:

  • Holy Family – 66%
  • Holy Name – 67%
  • Holy Rosary – 127%
  • Servants – 88%
  • St. Anthony – 41%
  • St. Peter – 79%
  • St. Pius – 43%
  • St. Stanislaus – 47%

Fr. McGuire