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Parish Life

The Office for Parish Life supports parish vitality through consultation, training, resources and facilitation for pastoral planning, especially with regard to (links below):

These services include: an annual parish ministry conference, parish retreats, on-site consultation visits, topical workshops, and web resources.  This Office assists parishes, parish clusters and vicariates in addressing emerging pastoral needs through cooperative strategies.  Services can be designed or customized to fit particular parish needs. 

There are clear pathways to parish vitality.  To thrive, and not merely survive in the years ahead, vital parishes must remain true to identity, leverage capacity and communicate a compelling sense of purpose.  These parishes will revitalize the congregations and mobilize people around an urgent and evangelizing plan of action.  This conviction is at the heart of the Pathways to Parish Vitality project.  Consider the resources provided at:  

or

ParishVitality.net

to obtain more resources, best practices and practical strategies for:

  • equipping leaders
  • building organizational capacity for growth
  • connecting, welcoming and engaging spiritual seekers
  • fostering spiritual growth in all generations
"Real effectiveness... less from doing more things and more from doing the right things." 
 

The Office for Parish Life collaborates with many other diocesan agencies and departments dedicated to pastoral excellence, including: Catholic Urban Outreach Network, Disabilities Action Team, Department of Life Long Faith Formation, Christ the King Seminary, Peace and Justice Commission, Advocacy and Outreach Office of Catholic Charities, Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Office of Priest Personnel, and the Office for Planning and Research.

Workshops, Resources and Consultation Services
Parish vitality does not just happen.  It is the result of effective leadership and competent and confident parishioners.  The Office of Parish Life offers workshops, resources and consultation services on many topics in leadership development, council development, parish transitions, parish vitality and Catholic evangelization. Some popular topics include:

  • Effective Parish Councils: how good decisions are made, working toward consensus, structuring a successful parish council, the role of committees/commissions, to delegate or not to delegate, that is the question (for parish staff and pastoral council).
  • Meeting Skills for Parish Organizations:  strategic planning, agenda - the key to productive and enjoyable meetings, the art of facilitating, persuasive communication and negotiating skills (for parish staff and pastoral council)
  • Spirituality for Lay Leaders:  Baptism - priest, prophet and king, the Eucharistic heart of parish, discovering an earth crammed with heaven (for parish staff and pastoral council)
  • Becoming an Evangelizing Parish:  why Catholics evangelize, proven outreach strategies, how to invite the next generation (for parish staff, pastoral council, and evangelization teams)
  • Volunteers - Finding Them, Equipping Them and Keeping Them:  where they are hiding, guilt-free delegation strategies, training made easy, building a self-sustaining leadership system (for parish staff and ministry leaders)
  • Transitioning and Merging Parishes:  the role of a transition team, faith sharing process for newly merged parishes, panel discussion with a successful parish, answers to most frequently asked questions about procedures, staffing and facilities, etc. (for parish staff and ministry leaders)
  • Inter-Parish Cooperation - Best Practices:  balancing the greater good with making ministry easier, learning from each other, developing strategies for action (for parish staff and ministry leaders)
  • Growing an Engaged Church:  moving from maintenance to mission, best practices for pastoral excellence, leveraging change to maximize growth, adapting to meet emerging needs, pastoral planning made easy (for parish staff, pastoral council and ministry leaders)
  • Social Justice Committee:  working for charity and advocating for justice, principles of Catholic social teaching, how to organize a social justice team (for parish staff and ministry leaders)
  • Gifts Discovery for Ministry:  inventory God's gifts and my strengths, naming my passion, finding the right fit for ministry (for ministry leaders) 

Contact: Dennis Mahaney, or call: 716-847-8393

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