Featured Blog Posts (6)

Training Seminarians for Pastoral Leadership

Even in the post-Vatican II era of collaborative ministry, bishops only entrust parishes to ordained pastors.  Such pastors rely on professional staffs and competent volunteers, as well as on pastoral and finance council members.  But none of them have more than what Canon Law calls a "consultative vote."  The buck stops with the pastor.  He alone can make legal decisions on behalf of the parish, and the good pastor must be a prudent leader as well as a good shepherd.

All the more…


Added by Mark F. Fischer on March 24, 2012 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

Unusual study asks former Catholics why they left the Church. I wonder where that idea came from?

Do you know why people are leaving your parish?

Speaking to the Leadership Roundtable in 2008, Mr Larry Bossidy, retired Chairman & CEO of

Honeywell International suggested that parishes conduct exit interviews to find out.

The first [suggestion] is to establish a parish committee for the retention of Catholics. In other words, when people drop out of the Church, do exit interviews to find out why they are leaving. There are a number of common reasons why…


Added by Michael Brough on March 25, 2012 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

Insights from Diocesan Planners

Keys to successful diocesan planning discussed at Sept 2011 Upper 09212011%20Diocesan%20Planning%20Forum.pdfMidwest Diocesan Planners meeting were:

A. Bishop’s Vision Narrative is critical and the narrative in enhanced by measures and numbers
B. Pastoral Planning is a different focus than typical business strategic planning
C. Pastoral Planning is about…

Added by Dennis Cheesebrow on January 1, 2012 at 5:00pm — 13 Comments

How thorough should parish financial reports be?

In November, my church's annual financial report appeared in the parish bulletin.  It showed that expenses exceeded income by about $6,000.  The report was a balance sheet.  It included a number of categories of parish income (such as regular weekly giving, the Christmas and Easter collections, income from religious education, and gifts to the parish).  It also included a variety of expense categories (such as salaries, fixed expenses, operating expenses, etc.).  The pastor used the $6,000…


Added by Mark F. Fischer on January 16, 2012 at 1:46pm — 3 Comments

Pastoral Leadership in a Catholic Megaparish

Jeff Parrott has a fascinating article in US Catholic, Where 20,000 or 30,000 are gathered: Life in a Catholic megaparish,

Leadership Roundtable member Sr. Katarina Schuth is quoted in the article:

“She says tomorrow’s priests and lay leaders must be prepared to deal with the…


Added by Michael Brough on March 19, 2012 at 6:30pm — No Comments

What makes a pastoral council "pastoral"?

It has been common to distinguish between "pastoral" and "parish" councils since the publication in 1983 of the Code of Canon Law, which recommended parish pastoral councils.  Today we prefer the superior "pastoral" council to the old "parish" council, which …


Added by Mark F. Fischer on February 20, 2012 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

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