The following is Monsignor McCormac’s Pastor’s Column, which will be posted in the July 28th Parish bulletin:

Local Parishes’ Planning Study Soon to Begin

Earlier this past week, Monday, July 22nd, the Archdiocese informed me and other local pastors that our Parish Planning Area has been chosen to be studied with a view toward possibly restructuring the parishes of our area. The announcement was made in the following letter from the Office for Pastoral Planning Initiatives:

July 19, 2013

Dear Monsignor McCormac,

               Your Parish Planning Area is going to be studied during the next few months.  The listing of the criteria that will lead this study is enclosed.

               In order to clarify all aspects of this study, we will have a meeting for all of the Pastors of your PPA on Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 1:00 PM.  The meeting will be held on the 12th Floor of the Archdiocesan Planning Center.

                The formal study will begin with a Mass celebrated by your Regional Bishop for PPA 100 and 110 on Monday, September 23, 2013 at Saint Mark Church at 7:00 PM.  Saint Mark Church is the site for this Mass since it is the oldest Parish in your PPAs.

                You are invited to concelebrate this Mass with Bishop Fitzgerald.  A social will follow the Mass.

                Your Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Finance Council should be present for this Mass, as well as other parishioners who can be supportive of this study.

                It is of major importance that you be present for the Meeting and Mass.  Thank you for arranging your schedule so that you can be present.


 Reverend Monsignor Arthur E. Rodgers, Coordinator of Archdiocesan Planning Initiatives


C:  Reverend Thomas J. Dunleavy, Dean  


Please note that the listing of the criteria mentioned as an enclosure to the letter was not included when the letter was received.  We have been advised by the Office for Pastoral Planning that it was decided not to include the listing, as it is currently under review.  The listing of the criteria will be sent to all Pastors at a later date, possibly in September.

Although not delineated in the above letter, for your information, Pastoral Planning Area #110 includes the following parishes: 

  •  Immaculate Conception B.V.M.
  • Our Lady of Grace
  • Queen of the Universe
  • St. Frances Cabrini
  • St. Joseph the Worker
  • St. Michael the Archangel

 and, Pastoral Planning Area #100 includes the following parishes:

  •  Our Lady of Fatima
  • St. Ann
  • St. Charles Borromeo
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • St. Ephrem
  • St. Mark
  • St. Thomas Aquinas

             With regard to the liturgy to be celebrated at St. Mark’s Church on September 23, 2013, in addition to our Parish Pastoral Staff, I have personally invited members of the following Councils and Committee to participate at this special liturgy:

  • Parish Pastoral Council
  • Parish Finance Council
  • Parish Stewardship Council
  • Parish Self Study Committee

I also invite all our parishioners to come and participate in this special liturgy as we begin the Pastoral Planning Study for our area. 

           Finally, in order to put all of this in proper perspective, as our parishioners might remember, in the Pastor’s Column on June 9, 2013 I wrote the following:

“All that is now taking place within the Archdiocese was envisioned in October 2010, when Cardinal Rigali wrote and published a Pastoral Letter, Called to Conversion and Holiness, in which he outlined certain Pastoral Initiatives that were to be undertaken immediately. These initiatives included the organization of our Catholic Schools and Parish Religious Education Programs, our Parishes and our Archdiocesan Offices. In his Pastoral Letter, the Cardinal stated, “above all, Called to Conversion and Holiness is an invitation to all of us, the bishops, priests, deacons, religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese, to renew our commitment to conversion of heart and holiness of life.” Since the October 2010 announcement, the Blue Ribbon Commission was formed and made many recommendations regarding the need to restructure our parish and regional schools. In addition to these recommendations and subsequent parish school mergers and closings which took place in June 2012, the Archdiocese has restructured their Archdiocesan offices as well.
In response to Cardinal Rigali’s October 2010 announcement and following the directives given to the pastors in 2011, here at St. Frances Cabrini Parish, in the fall of 2011, a Committee was formed at the request of the Archdiocese to begin an in-depth evaluation of Parish life. The Committee’s purpose was to review the life and events of Saint Frances Cabrini Parish in relation to the Mission of the Church.  The following seven areas of concentration were discussed:
  • A Worshiping Parish: Prayer and Sacramental Life
  • A Welcoming and Caring Parish: Family and Community
  • A Witnessing and Proclaiming Parish: Invitation and Evangelization
  • An Education and Formational Parish: Initiation and Faith Formation
  • A Parish Responsive to Others: Pastoral Outreach and Service for Justice
  • An Effectively Administered Parish: Leadership and Care of Facilities, Personnel and Finances
  • A Gifted Parish, Living Responsibly: Stewardship and Practice
 The following parishioners and Parish Pastoral Staff members served on our Parish Self Study Committee: 
  • Monsignor Michael McCormac
  • Colleen Blair
  • Karen David
  • Al Kotchi
  • Tony Lotito
  • Jean Madden
  • Mariann McCormick
  • Ellen Ruiz
  • Bill Taylor
  • Bob Truck
  • Audrey Wilson
Over a period of 18 months, the Committee met eight times to look at each area of concentration to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the Parish, identify the opportunities and threats within the Parish, and to make recommendations for action.
As a result of the Committee’s study, review, discussions and deliberations, an Executive Summary of the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Parish life of Saint Frances Cabrini Parish, along with recommendations for future action was developed. For over a year, we have been ready and waiting to enter into the process of gathering with our counter parts in our Parish Planning Area. Since the conclusion of the Parish Self Study Committee’s work, I am pleased to say that many recommendations have already been implemented. In response to discussions by our Parish Self Study Committee, we reaffirmed our commitment to Adult Faith Formation by expanding our Walking to Eternity series. With regard to providing for the long term sustainability of our Parish, last fall, we initiated the Increased Offering Program and more recently, established a Parish Stewardship Council.  
As we wait upon further directions from the Archdiocese, please remember in your prayers all those affected by the mergers and closings taking place within the Archdiocese. Although these restructuring endeavors are necessary and even long overdue, they are still very painful for so many people. Thank you!”

             If you would like further information with regard to Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning, please visit the Archdiocesan website at  As always, as we move forward, I will keep our parishioners well advised regarding the process and the Study. 




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