I am going to open with my closing thoughts from an earlier posting on this topic of Chicago Archdiocese parish consolidation:
“My closing thoughts: I think this is a great opportunity for all people and for the archdiocese. We have to recognize there is going to be pain but try not to be afraid, try to trust. We are trained by American society to distrust things; we are trained to be afraid. Here is a place where you make a Christian choice — am I going to trust and hope or am I going to distrust and be afraid?
The second thing is this is opening up opportunities for everybody to have a hand in how this gets played out, even if you are not sitting at the tables that figure out what the new configurations of parishes will be. People will be able to step up and take important roles in helping to make decisions and carrying out actions and carrying out ministries.
You can focus on the loss or you can focus on the growth that will come”
Based upon the responses that I have received since my original post, I believe many have missed my closing thoughts.
I am happy that I have gotten everyone’s attention regarding this very important series of events which the Chicago Archdiocese and its parishioners are confronting.
My point is that every member of the Chicago Archdiocese needs to pay close attention to the future planning that is on-going in the Archdiocese currently.
We as parishioners should never allow special interests to hijack the planning and implementation of the future progress in our parishes. We all need to be vigilant and participatory in the on-going process.
The majority of my education has been in Catholic schools in this archdiocese both at the grammar, high school and college levels (2 of 3 degrees from DePaul University); I spent 5 years on a Catholic grammar school board as well as been a member of the Knights of Columbus. I endorse for everyone the opportunity to engage as closely in their faith as possible, but have encountered a fair amount of Church “politics” which has also caused me to approach the corporal side of the institution with a bit of cynicism.
I know that I have angered a few with my writing, but I hope that this will cause a greater scrutiny and participation by all members of the Chicago Archdiocese parishes. I encourage all to be attentive and involved in the future of our Chicago Archdiocese, please take every opportunity available to participate, understand and contribute to the process.
For sure, this is not the last of what I will have to say about parish consolidation process of the Chicago Archdiocese; you will regularly hear my passion about the issues surrounding this process.