From Fr. Mike Shanahan, our Pastor
Our Lady of Lourdes is actively engaged in discernment and strategic planning for the future. We are doing this along with these three other parishes: St. Mary of the Lake; St. Benedict and St. Andrew. The purpose for this planning is to ensure the future of Catholic ministry in our area for many years to come. This a process known as Renew My Church and all parishes of the Archdiocese have or will be involved in this. This is time for renewal. For the past months, we have provided ample information and background for Renew My Church, so I wont repeat that here. This can be found in these ways: parish website at ololchicago.org under “Renew My Church”; Facebook Page at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish; weekly meetings in the parish, or in letters that have already been sent to your homes. We now have five INITIAL Scenarios. I emphasize “INITIAL” because these scenarios may change after consultation with you and the other three parishes. You are invited to evaluate these INITIAL scenarios according to the following guidelines:
- Ministerial Needs: All parishes must have a vibrant ministry in evangelization, formation, worship and pastoral care. For instance, our vibrant immigrant ministry (40+ years), our 24 hour Adoration Chapel (since 1992) and our Soup Kitchen outreach (since 1980’s. To support staffing and basic operations, each parish will need a revenue of $750,000 or more (excluding rental income). Unfortunately, we do fall short of this minimal income level. Please see bulletin insert for additional information.
- Mass attendance count: Based on the number of pastors expected to be available across the Archdiocese in the future, a minimum of 800 parishioners attending the masses (combined) on a weekend is required. Our most current year shows that we have more than 975 persons in attendance on weekends. Please see bulletin insert for additional information,
- Pastoral Manageability: It is critical that the pastors and staffs focus most of their time on ministry rather than administrative details.
- Parish stability: Parish finances should be stable, without a regular operating deficit. Parish buildings must be adequate, accessible and safe. We have had a deficit for years and our buildings do require significant additional work. Please see bulletin insert for additional information.
We invite you to view these scenarios. They are found in the bulletin insert today. Please provide your feedback in the next two weeks in any of the following ways:
- In person meetings in church after each mass on Sundays: 8am (English), 11am (Spanish)
- Weekly online meetings on Zoom or by phone on Mondays at 7pm (bi-lingual)
Zoom Meeting ID: 588 525 5871
Phone call in to meeting: 312 – 626 - 6799.
- Contact Fr. Mike by phone or email: email@example.com
- Contact a member of the Renew My Church leadership team: Emily Ledesma, Jesus Valdez, Rebeca Espino, Corazon Marcelino, Bob Sweitzer. Let me know if you would like to contact a team leader.
After reviewing the feedback, our parish team will prepare the final scenarios in collaboration with the three other parishes. The final scenarios will be communicated to Cardinal Cupich in December. Cardinal Cupich will prayerfully review the scenarios and receive additional consultation.
Please note, Cardinal Cupich may decide to accept one of the suggested scenarios or, Cardinal Cupich may suggest an alternate scenario. We expect to have a final decision in January 2021. We are in collaboration with the overall mission of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Overall, our purpose is to keep the mission of God’s Word and presence alive.
I refer you to the two page insert in today’s bulletin. You will find plenty of useful information.
I remain in prayer with and for the parishioners and friends of Our Lady of Lourdes.