We had a meeting in Salem last night, with about 150 parishioners from Saint John the Baptist, Immaculate Conception, Sainte Anne, and Saint James Parishes. It was hosted at Immaculate Conception Church.
Salem is a collaborative which has really been laying some solid groundwork for moving into the collaborative model envisioned by Disciples in Mission. The Task Force has been meeting now for some two and a half years. They have investigated what collaboration would look like in a very vibrant way. For instance, last year they took a tour together of the sixteen or so buildings in the collaborative, going through them from basement to attic, learning about their strengths and weaknesses, and assessing their possible future use. Just yesterday many of the Parishioners attended a Christmas Concert together at Sainte Anne’s (and came straight from the concert to the open meeting).
There were good and solid concerns expressed, and some excited opinions on both sides of the question of whether or not Salem should move into Phase One. At the end of the night, I invited people to vote. We didn’t do a formal count, because it was not a formal process. However, it’s clear that a strong, though not overwhelming, majority of the people present were opting for Phase One.
Here is an article about the meeting in that appeared in today’s Salem News.
Bishop Deeley and Father Sepe and I have brought these deliberations, plus all of the others we have been working on, to Cardinal Seán, and he is working on a list of the Phase One Collaboratives. We expect to have that list for you all by early January.
Meanwhile, I had a great meeting with Sister Pat Boyle today. We’re looking forward to her start day here, which is January 14. One of her early tasks will be to work on methods for the Collaboratives which are not going in to Phase One to take advantage of the time they have between now and when they start to be getting themselves ready.
Wishing you all a blessed Advent Season …