Thank you to everyone who attended a Real Presence, Real Future session. Many of us who attended still had unanswered questions afterwards. Here are some of the most common questions we heard and our best attempt to answer them.
Click here to watch a video of Fr. Smith explaining what the recent sessions could mean for us at Church of the Ascension.
Our parish’s future is considered “concerns exist for future sustainability”. Can we change that?
Yes! No decisions have been made. If our parish grows with the growth we’re seeing in Johnstown, we have a really good shot at turning our “yellow” status to “green”.
This is just the beginning of the planning. We heard from the bishop that none of these changes will be implemented for another 3, 5, or even more years. In that time we expect to change our status to green and continue asking the Lord to call us to vocations.
We have heard from Father Smith that our future is bright and that he is determined to roll up his sleeves. We truly do have much to look forward to with our growing ministries.
If you’d like to help, please continue to pray for our parish, invite people to mass, consider giving more for weekly offering and get involved in our parish ministries.
What is a grouping? What does that mean for parishes?
A grouping is a loose term right now because we’re still figuring things out. Essentially a grouping is some type of potential relationship between parishes to deal with the shortage of priests. It could mean a pastor has two or more parishes, it could mean a parish closes and joins another, it could mean that two merge together in that they would have one pastor but maintain their own buildings, finances, ministries and so forth. There are many things a grouping could mean.
We are “grouped” with Church of the Resurrection, but the two parishes would still have two priests. So what changes?
The change would not be in the number of priests but in the number of pastors. The diocese clarified it would mean a pastor residing at Church of the Resurrection and a parochial vicar that would most likely travel to our parish to celebrate masses. Questions we still don’t know the answers to would be which masses? Would our parish still offer daily masses as well as weekend? These are things the diocese still wants to hear about from us. If you would stop or start attending daily or weekend mass because of specific changes, that is something to let the diocese know in your feedback.
They are asking us if grouping Church of the Ascension with Church of the Resurrection could make sense for us. If it does, how and why does it make sense? If it does not make sense they want to know that as well.
Why do we only have one option while other parishes have two?
When CLI and the diocese created the draft models, there were some parishes they could only see one option that made sense. They didn’t want to propose a second option for the sake of having two when it didn’t make sense to them. They felt it would be better to let us propose what we thought would work. If you have a suggestion for a better grouping option, let them know in your feedback.
Why are they asking me for feedback on option one and option two when they are both the same for us?
Even though both of the options are the same for us, you can let them know any thoughts you might have for the other parishes in the grouping. If you are not familiar with those parishes, it’s ok, you can just leave that as your comment. Some of us may be very familiar with those other parishes and be able to offer some valuable feedback so they wanted to leave that as an option.
Why were these meetings conducted over Zoom?
This was something CLI admitted was a tough decision and position to be in. When they were planning dates and sessions for all of the parishes, it was still not certain what the state of the world would be with the pandemic. CLI and the diocese felt it would be best to schedule and plan for Zoom meetings in case in-person wouldn’t be possible. The planning was done over the last year so there was no way of knowing what things would be like.
They admitted it wasn’t ideal but Zoom was the best they could come up with to get this information out to as many people as possible with minimal interruption from the pandemic. Their intent for this first round of sessions was to allow us got get all the information, think over the situation and provide our feedback.
I still have more questions and I need more information before I give my feedback. What can I do?
So do we! The more we think this over the more questions arise even among our pastor and our parish Real Presence Real Future team. If you have more questions or your questions were not answered here, please email email@example.com and we will pass them along to CLI.
When is the post-session survey due?
The post-session survey you received via email is due December 15, not November 19 as we heard in the sessions.