On October 17-19, three staff members and I attended the Amazing Parish Conference. We were blessed to have one of our parishioners on the coaching team. It was exciting three days, as we were being challenged to move our parishes from “maintenance” mode to “mission” mode. That being: from simply maintaining a parish to assisting parishioners live their baptismal calling as disciples of Christ. A major thrust of all this is to challenge parishioners to evangelize, that is, to share the Good News of the Kingdom with others.
Each parish in the archdiocese formed a Parish Leadership Team (PLT) who participated in the conference, and whose purpose is to assist the pastor in the leadership of the parish community. Our team meets weekly to evaluate where the parish community is at, in the various areas of parish life, and to help the different councils and committees of the parish carry out the purpose for which they have been formed. Our PLT includes me, parish administrative assistant Suzzanne Silman, director of child and youth ministry Thadeus Brooks, and director of adult ministry Kathi Andreoni.
An important role of the team to to pray for the needs of the parish and its members. We begin our weekly meetings by gathering in prayer in the presence of the exposed Blessed Sacrament in the St. Joseph Chapel. There, we silently use the power of intercessory prayer to offer these intentions to the Lord on behalf of those who placed them in the hands of St. Joseph, either under Sleeping Joseph in church, or in the prayer requests in the St. Joseph Chapel.
The Parish Leadership Team, working with the Pastoral Council and all other parish committees, are to form a vision, under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for St. Joseph Parish. We are being invited to look to the future with hope, as we come to a deeper understanding of what it means to be Church at this moment in history.
Change brings about growth. No change, no growth! This is an exciting and invigorating time for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as we celebrate the 175th anniversary of its founding. Our God, being a God of surprises, invites us to join together on this awesome adventure, with faith and trust in his providential care.
— Fr. Dennis, November 11, 2018