Phase 1 – Invitation and Preparation (November 2010 – May 2011)
Advisory Group (November 2010) - Form and educate an advisory group of business and ministry professionals to advise the project. Establish focus groups drawn from key stakeholders and constituencies.
Publicity and Informational Meetings (December 2011 – February 2011) - Hold meetings in each vicariate to introduce the project and educate parish leaders about a responsive approach to evangelization which can revitalize the parish.
Conference Event (March 16-17, 2011) - All parishes are invited to participate in a two-day preparatory conference. Those who attend will leave with a view on the new religious landscape, an understanding of the dynamics of parish engagement, an overview the New Pathways process, the tools to assess parish engagement and building parish capacity for mission and outreach. Conference session will be taped
Exploratory Consultation (March – May 2011) - The Diocesan Offices of Parish Life and Lifelong Faith Formation will receive inquiries and questions from interested parishes. Each parish will be invited to create a baseline for parish vitality using survey tools. Interested parishes can receive support in discerning their top priorities.
Phase 2 – Proposal Development and Award Selection (May - October 2011)
Not all parishes will seek funding. Projects will be funded based on the published project goals.
Planning Conference (May 20 or 21, 2011) - The planning conference is a one day, repeated event. Participating parishes are welcome to attend on whichever day is most convenient. The content of the conference will include innovation design for parishes (with illustrations), finding resources, project planning. Specific questions will be answered about project planning, ongoing support available through specialized teams of consutants assembled by the Offices of Parish Life and Lifelong Faith Formation.
Establish Benchmarks (Summer 2011) - Parishes will assess their capacity for mission and outreach and create appropriate benchmarks accordingly. Focus groups will assist parishes in interpreting survey findings. Parishes will receive consultation support in writing project proposals, and grant applications for the projects. Each project will have clearly stated goals with defined benchmarks and measurable outcomes that impact particular areas of parish life.
Grant Application Deadline (September 10, 2011) - The Diocesan Offices of Parish Life and Lifelong Faith Formation will advise the Foundation regarding funding for parish proposals. Announcements will be made later by the Foundation.
Grant Award Announcement (November 5, 2011)
Phase 3 – Project Implementation (October 2011 – April 2012)
Develop Supportive Web 2.0 Technologies (September 2011) - Use social network and video-streaming technologies to chronicle and share progress as the project unfolds in participating parishes.
Conference Day (Winter 2012) - A conference event will be address the process of strategic planning, facilitating change, assessing progress and sustaining innovation.
On-site Consultation (Spring 2012) - A team coordinated by the Office of Parish Life and Life-long Faith Formation will visit twice yearly with participating parishes to support progress and test innovations. Additional support is provided on an as needed basis. Advisory group members will be welcome to join in these consultations.
Phase 4 – Project Evaluation (March - September 2012)
Conference Day (Spring 2012) - Participating parishes will examine project implications, learn about how to make desirable change sustainable, develop a plan for future innovation.
On-site Evaluation (Summer 2012) - Participating parishes will repeat initial assessment of parish vitality and capacity for evangelization. The analysis of progress toward benchmarks will be provided to the parish team who will meet with a visitation team comprised of members of the advisory group will evaluate project impact and implications for parish vitality.
Share Results (Fall 2012) - Participating parishes submit reports of performance and learning to the Diocese. All parishes will be welcome to attend a showcase event that will highlight parish best practices and plan for future progress. Results will be published with implications and best practices at the diocesan website and Facebook site. Innovations will be shared with all interested parishes via e-journal articles and submitted for consideration for a national publication.
Join us on the path to parish vitality!
For more information on Pathways to Parish Vitality project...
Office of Parish Life - Dennis Mahaney
795 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
Department of Lifelong Faith Formation - Mary Beth Coates
795 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203