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Archives Work of the Living Stones Committee continues

July 22, 2015

By Fr. Howard Venette
Member, Living Stones Planning Committee

Vibrant. Hope-filled. Joyful.  No doubt, these words are descriptive of your parish.  They also capture the tone and work of the Living Stones Planning Committee, as we continue to prepare a roadmap for the future of parish life in our beautiful diocese.  

An important aspect of our task is communication with the diocesan Church.  Our plan is to regularly provide updates through diocesan media, especially the North Country Catholic, bulletin notices and our diocesan website which we hope to have undated soon (rcdony.org). 

Invaluable to the committee’s work is the input offered by individual Catholics.  On that note, committee members would like to thank the pastors and parishioners who participated in the Listening Sessions which were recently held in each deanery. 

These were positive experiences which once again exhibited the love which the people of our diocese have for Christ and His Church in northern New York.  Data collected from the sessions is being compiled for review at our next meeting.

On June 17, the Living Stones Planning Committee (LSPC) met at St. Francis Church, Constable.  Among its agenda items, two very informative and practical tools were discussed and prepared for circulation among pastors and parish councils. 

One of the tools is a survey of parish life, which utilizes various general indicators under the categories of programs, personnel, leadership and organization. 

This instrument will help local parishes “take their own temperature,“ as it provides an inventory of current parish life.

The second tool might be considered as an exercise in personnel management, one already used by the LSPC.  Pastors and their councils will be given a map of their local deanery; they will together plot the strategic placement of an assigned number of priests throughout their region.

It will be informative for the pastors and council members, as well as practical for the planning committee, as it reviews the local suggestions for placement of priests.

Parish linkages and reconfigurations are a necessary part of the LSPC’s ongoing task.  Information gathered through the above exercises will assist the committee to prepare recommendations for Bishop LaValley, always with the needs of our parishes and priests as its priority. 

Please pray for the committee and its work. 

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