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Keeping the Covenant: Taking Parish to the Next Level Paperback – September 1, 2007
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They visit parishes with a long term, commited strategy. The first four months they give a self-assessment, during which they gather parish data. Then a two-week visit to the parish provides talks with individual parishioners in person and by telephone. They assess the liturgies, as well as programs and ministries. They then report what they have seen, and make their recommendations.
A parish leadership council examines the report and draw up a strategic plan, forming goals-oriented committees and regular meetings. After six months, Fr. Sweetser and Sr. Bisho return to facilitate parish renewal.
An essential key according to Fr. Sweetser is finding a "partner for the pastor who can serve as a mentor to the staff and take on many administrative functions for the pastor" since "priests are just not trained for administration." Neither are our recent crop of bishops . . .
Fr. Sweetser therefore finds effective the empowering of lay leaders.
My concern of coruse lies in finding lay leaders who were the cause of the earlier paralysis. A concerted effort must take place to find the most comprehensive and compassionate leaders available, and not simply those in political or material favor.Read more ›