What is the parish survey?
It is an invitation to take a closer look at our parish.
Warm greetings of peace in these beautiful days! I’m writing to tell you about an important project that we are beginning here at St. Francis, and to ask for your participation. I have now been here as pastor at St. Francis for more than three years. St. Francis, as you know, is a very large parish, and it has taken me a while to get to know it – its history, how it has evolved in the 30+ years of its existence, where the parish stands now, and, importantly, where God is calling us to be in the coming years. I am thankful for the help of our staff, our councils, and the people of this parish who have helped and advised me along the way. I am still learning as I go.
Over the past several months I have been meeting with a group of parishioners, and have asked the group to help me in a process of pastoral planning. With the help and advice of that group, I have decided that our parish is ready to proceed in a pastoral planning project. To that end, we will be working with a Catholic development and consulting firm called Lynch Development Associates (LDA) to help us discern where God may be calling us.
In our pastoral planning process, we want to take a deeper look at all aspects of our parish life. How are we doing with our Sunday liturgies? What’s your experience of our ministries here – our pastoral programs, our outreach, our schools, our facilities, our finances? These are important questions for us as we take a close look at our parish and together imagine our future. Your input is important to us!
This is an exciting time for me as I enter my fourth year as pastor at St. Francis. I invite you to please fill out the survey when you receive it – your insights are important to us as we move forward with a pastoral planning process! As always, thank you for your ongoing support and generosity!
Why are we beginning this project?
It’s a way of getting a snapshot of the state of our parish, a way to hear from you.
A Closer Look at our mission…
Inspired by our patron Francis of Assisi – we view our life and work through a Franciscan lens and are always asking what it means for us to be Franciscan in our modern world.
We seek to proclaim the reign of God – we look for signs of God’s presence in our midst.
We grow in holiness through the experience of Christ in word, sacrament, and one another – our experience of Sunday Mass as the center of everything we do.
Offering hope for those who hunger for human dignity – our many outreach programs for those in need.
Extending hospitality to all – St. Francis as a place of welcome.
A Closer Look at how we’re living it out …
We invite you to reflect on the different aspects of life here at St. Francis – our liturgical life, our pastoral programs, our outreach, our facilities, our schools, and our finances.
In the 30+ years of our parish, we have grown from “the little church in the woods” of the 1980’s, to our current worship space which serves a parish of more than 4,400 families. In the past several years we have built a new school building for grades 6-8, a preschool building, a gym/community center, and a chapel. As a result of these building projects, we carry a debt of $4.8 million. Every year, we pay $818,000 toward our outstanding debt. This obligation limits our capacity to act on our mission.
A Closer Look at what we might imagine …
We want to get your input on this – what could we do here if we were able to reduce our debt? What opportunities might open up for us? Would you be willing to be part of a campaign to reduce our debt? We invite you to imagine our future!
Who do I contact if I have questions?
Contact Tricia Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org.