Jesus Christ calls us to constantly renew His Church.
Renew My Church
is the Archdiocese of Chicago's response to His call and our personal invitation for renewal. Addressing current challenges, needs and opportunities in today's society, including a trending crisis of faith,
Renew My Church
will bring new and sustainable life to our local Church through three
: making disciples, building communities and inspiring witness.
- Jesus calls us to grow in our own discipleship and go out to make new disciples. As baptized Catholics, it is our responsibility to act on His call.
Renew My Church
efforts will support us in renewed ways to grow in our own relationship with Jesus and (
Mission Priority 1
) to evangelize and form new and existing Catholics in faith, especially the young, and (
Mission Priority 2
) increase vocations.
Building Communities -
We will revitalize our parishes and schools alike, increasing vibrancy and fortifying bonds with each other, drawing us and others to active participation in His Church.
Mission Priority 3
: Leadership development & support, **
Mission Priority 4
: Parish Vitality - Grouping Rollout, Parish Mission Vitality Support, Parish Operating Stability,
Mission Priority 5
: School Vitality
**We are here
Inspiring Witness -
In this renewal, our Lord asks us to come together in solidarity and spread the light and hope of Jesus Christ in order to transform the world. Together, we will find new ways to serve the needs of the people on the margins of society: the poor, the hungry, and the outcast.
Mission Priority 6
: Faith in Action,
Mission Priority 7
: Society Engagement
All based on
Mission Priority 8
: Foundational Excellence
What is the goal of a grouping?
The goal of a grouping of parishes and schools is to realize the vision of
Renew My Church
by building a renewed, vital, and sustainable Catholic presence for the good of all people in the collective communities within the grouping. To do so, a grouping must start by answering these questions:
How can we be more effective through collaboration?
Given resource realities, what do we need to change so we are better together?
Your grouping has begun this journey of discussing and discerning feedback on collaboration and structural scenarios that are viable and sustainable to renew the Church given today's realities.
What are Scenarios?
= Possibilities regarding new parish structures in the grouping that enables the vision. Includes:
Status of the parishes
Who decides what is the best scenario?
Ex. 1: Remain as is with no structural changes
Ex. 2: Join together with another parish and all church buildings remain open
Ex 3.: Join together with another parish and some church buildings close
Ex. 4: Something that the grouping develops
It is the Cardinal's decision, yet he has invited your grouping into this discernment and decision planning process to share insights from your local experience and give him vital feedback before he decides.
How does the Cardinal get our feedback?
Two types of meetings produce feedback to the Cardinal:
Grouping Sessions - Local parish and school leaders meet over the next 3-4 months and:
Parish Sessions - Parishioners gather with their Grouping Feedback & Discernment Team and:
Discerns scenario feedback by discussing operational and ministerial strengths and challenges in each of your parishes and schools based on current realities and your local experiences in your community
Incorporates feedback or insights heard at the parishes
Submits a Feedback Summary Report to the Commission who makes a recommendation to the Cardinal
Are informed about what is being discussed
Ask questions about the Grouping Feedback & Discernment Team's progress and process
Provide input to the team that informs the Feedback Summary Report for the Commission and Cardinal
Some pertinent facts...
US CATHOLIC CHURCH
Younger generations are not connecting with religion as previous generations did:
Sacramental participation is rapidly declining:
Catholic marriages are down 55% and baptisms are down 30% since 1990
1 in 5 children baptized do not receive 1
2 in 5 children baptized are not confirmed
Many dioceses, especially in the Northeast and Midwest, have needed to consider new approaches with declining Mass attendance and fewer priests and religious women and men.
Compared to 1980, in the United States there are now:
ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO
Declining Mass attendance: Over
150,000 fewer people attend Mass
on a weekend now compared to 20 years ago: a 27% decline from 554,000 weekly Mass-goers in 1995 to 401,000 in 2016.
Fewer priests to serve our communities:
An aging infrastructure: Many parishes have significantly under-invested in building repairs, leading to challenges with building upkeep that take time and resources away from ministry
500 fewer diocesan priests
(39% decline) compared to 1980
180 of the ~525 diocesan priests in active ministry will retire in the next decade:
an average of 18 retirements per year compared to recent trends of 5-6 priest ordinations per year
A changing population:
Demographics have shifted significantly
over time across the Archdiocese: areas of Chicago that were once predominantly Catholic with a parish for each ethnic group now have fewer people and fewer Catholics but often the same number of facilities as in the past