Sharing Church management best practices in the Catholic Church
In Chicago, we are daily, weekly, conscious of the reputation we are getting. Our children are dying, victims of gunfire, and at least some of the shooters are children. Days ago, on the steps of a Catholic Church on our South Side, as a funeral service let out, two people were shot, the young man who died on the sidewalk shot 17 times.
The weekend after, a large group of parishioners arrived from another parish 30 miles to the north, just to offer solidarity and join in the Advent liturgy. They were members of the “twin parish” to the south side inner city parish. It wasn’t the first time they visited. Parishioners and pastors of both parishes know the way to each other’s doors.
The northern parish has a mission statement. It reads,
---xxxxxxx--- Church is a Catholic gospel-based community, a parish family, a caring people.
We are a people with heart connected to one another and the world through the heart of Jesus.
We are a Eucharistic people who are brought together by welcoming liturgies with relevant homilies and beautiful music. Sacraments are vital to our spiritual life.
Education is essential for our children through our school and religious education program. Adult education is open to divergent views.
Outreach must center on social justice, compassion and need.
---xxxxxxx--- Church is one family where each member is equal.
Our Pastor is our leader who is one with us.
We learned this about healthy parishes over the nine years of the INSPIRE project: vital parish communities create safe nurturing spaces within, but also find ways to send young and old outside to serve and witness. Vital parishes have mission statements that provoke action.
Who knows the mission statement of your parish? What mission statements should we know about, ones that inspire thirty mile journeys?