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Evansville, Indiana
July 24, 1998     The Message
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July 24, 1998

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1998 The Message- forCatholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 Deanery planning for parish staffing By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER Gerald A. Gettelfinger sent a letter entitled Staffing," dated July 13, to :Evansville West, Jasper, Newburgh, Princeton ies were also sent to Judy iUaancellor; Monsignor Kenneth R. Knapp, dean of East, and Father Leo Kiesel, dean of the Wash- of the letter are reprinted below. I am enclosing the document that my view and expectations for the planning that it serves more as a guide than :ourse, the Charge to the ;Committee is central to the document. p, too, is critical in that must be engaged from the outset .... It that you must tailor items accord- Some have Pastoral Life Coordi- some do not; the same is true of associate d pastoral associates. (Note I have included the deanery.) "subcommittees" is completely up to not such for the sake of form; make you. That is why an tor is so critical to the success of your to be of assistance to you along the be of help for clarification, discussion or do my best to accommodate your needs. aware of is that of deanery boundaries. If you see the need do not hesitate to propose it .... I have established an arbitrary date of 3 l, 1999 for completion of your planning and I must live with realities. If this not achievable, let me know. I am aware, that most of us need some definite end- frustrated and disillusioned In short, the full year may not if it tends to cause lethargy in the your facilitator will be able to cipher '.. I intend to publish the attached document in ..... iiiii the Message in the July 24 issue which goes to all households. It should serve as a reminder to all that this massive project will be beginning soon. I. Deanery Planning Committee A. Membership (Minimum) 1. All priests and pastoral life coordinators and pastoral associates of the deanery when applic- able 2. Up to 3 additional members from each parish 3. Dean to serve as Chairperson B. Professional Secretary to serve as staff to plan- ning committee II. Outside Facilitator A. Chosen by the Deanery and funded by the dio- cese B. Responsible for developing steps in planning process to be approved by Deanery Planning Committee C. Responsible for implementing the deanery plan- ning process as approved D. Responsible for scheduling planning meetings III. Deanery Planning Subcommittees: As deter- mined by the Planning Committee A. Membership B. Charge IV. Charge to the Deanery Planning Committee A. To produce a plan for the "pastoral staffing" of the area encompassed in the current parishes of the respective Deanery as reflected in the Future Parish Staffing Task Force report unless otherwise altered. B. To provide adequate pastoral staffing: plan for sufficient professional staff members to provide appropriate pastoral care to all the people living in the designated area. These include the profes- sional services of: 1. Priests 2. Pastoral life coordinators 3. Additional priests as sacramental ministers (if available) 4. Pastoral associates: religious/laymen or lay- women 5. Youth ministers 6. Principals of Catholic schools 7. Others as defined in the plan V. Plan Elements A. Identification of parishes in the Deanery: clus- ter/clusters? B. Identification of parishes to be named as orato- ries or chapels 1. Reconfiguration of parish boundaries to encompass territory of parishes named as ora- tories or chapels 2. Assignment of responsibility for the care of Facilities, grounds and cemeteries of parishes named as oratories or chapels 3. Assignment of financial responsibility for the facilities, grounds, cemeteries of parishes named as oratories or chapels C. Creation of a plan for implementation 1. Priority of implementation steps 2. Recognition of Canonical procedures with which the Bishop must comply 3. Inclusion of a timeline for implementation D. Identification of residences for members of pas- toral teams: pastors/pastoral life coordinators E. Identification of staff members to formulate pas- toral teams E Identification of funding plan for shared staff/pastoral teams VI. Expectations A. Initiation of the planning process to begin no later than September l, 1998. B. Deanery presents recommended plan to Bishop no later than August 31, 1999. VII. Some wisdom gleaned from experiences of Washington and East Deaneries A. Create a budget for incidental deanery expenses, i.e. postage, paper, hospitality, etc. B. Specify how each parish will participate in the costs C. Set specific dates and times for planning meet,. ings D. Secretarial assistance as staff to the committee is critical; hence, consider some agreement/ arrangement for these services in advance. E. At the outset, invite those "who have experienced their own processes to share "wisdoms" about it. Such input may help you to avoid pitfalls and may provide helpful shortcuts. C'mon! You can do it! CLEMENTS of Stewardship Development it with increasing reg- '.runner carries a foot- the endzone for a in the midst of and celebration, One knee for a silent star or popular to the stage to award and litany of by saying: "First to thank God for my life." These God their talents and have already taken a giant step on their per- sonal stewardship journey. It's certainly refreshing when famous people publicly recog- nize their dependence on God's generosity as the source of their blessings. But, judging by their arrogance, many celebrities seem to believe that their superior physical prowess or their exceptional musical or artistic talents somehow origi- nate from their own efforts and machinations rather than from God. Through a unique and myste- rious confluence of genetics and environment, one person paints masterpieces, another writes epics, another composes sym- phonies, while still others "run faster, jump higher or grow stronger than ordinary humans. To be sure, hard work, dedica- tion, and personal effort are often required to develop one's native talents. But we Christians profess to believe that the basic ychological and physiological traits from which extraordinary performances and accomplish- ments flow are originally unearned gifts from God. The heart of Christian stew- ardship is the belief that God is the Source of all our blessings and possessions. We own noth- ing. We are simply God's stew- ards. Furthermore, as disciples of Jesus Christ, we know that stewardship carries weighty responsibilities. When we lend someone a prized possession, we assume it will be returned at least in the same condition it was in when we lent it. We also expect some expression of appreciation for our generosity. And it would be reasonable to think that the per- son might offer some sort of favor in return. Likewise with God. During our earthly sojourn, God.allows us temporary use of His prop- erty. According to Christ's words, God expects responsible and accountable stewards, and He expects some reasonable return. Such return on talent and treasure has been described as "taking our hands off some of God's possessions." Before we can gratefully return a portion of our talents to God, we must first identify and "own" them. How often do we hear people say, "I'm just an average person; there's nothing I do all that well," or "I'm not good at anything; I just try hard." When someone does something extraordinary, how often do they deflect praise or recognition with statements like: "Oh, it's not that good." "I guess I was just lucky," etc. In a world frequently subject- ed to braggarts and blowhards, self-effacing humility can be a welcome relief. But God Ooes not breathe a life into us that is totally devoid of abilities, skills, talents or interests. St. Paul was absolutely correct: "Just as each of our bodies has several parts and each part has a separate function, so all of us, in union with Christ, form one bod; and as parts of it we belong to each other. Our gifts differ according to the grace given us." (Rom 12:4-6) Everyone receives a unique array of God's gifts. The challenge for disciples of Jesus Christ is to discover those gifts, develop them, and return a por- tion to God in gratitude. Here are some questions which we can ask ourselves to help identify our talents, skills and abilities: 1) What is my occupation, vocation or profession? 2) What additional skills, tal- ents or interests do I have? 3) What are my spare time hobbies? 4) Vat kinds of skills, talents or abilities do my friends and family members tell me I have? 5) What are some specific needs in my community that l know I could help meet? Many Catholics were taught not to flaunt their exceptional abilities. Yet we have repeated- ly heard Christ's admonition: "No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house." (Matt 5:15) Parish leaders may have to help some parishioners learn that it's OK to acknowledge and p,oudof 00spec00 gifts; after all, they did come om God!