Renew My Church
Over the past several weeks, the Renew My Church teams from the six parishes in our grouping have been meeting. Our grouping, as you may recall, consists of the following parishes: Mary, Seat of Wisdom (Park Ridge), Saint Paul of the Cross (Park Ridge), Saint Juliana (Chicago), Our Lady of Hope (Rosemont), Our Lady of Ransom (Niles), and Immaculate Conception (Chicago).
Having reached the halfway point of the Discernment and Decision phase of Renew My Church, the teams have received three different structural scenarios involving potential inter-parish changes. Today we are sharing those scenarios with you.
It is important to realize that there is no scenario that would close any of the six church buildings. What is being considered are other structural changes that may be necessary for the future health and stability of the Catholic Church in our area. In crafting the scenarios, the Archdiocese has two benchmarks that determine where changes may be necessary: An average weekend Mass attendance of 800, and yearly non-rental income of 750k+. Since not all parishes in our grouping meet those benchmarks, new structures must be considered. The three scenarios are:
Scenario 1: Our Lady of Hope becomes a second worship site of Mary, Seat of Wisdom or Our Lady of Ransom.
In this scenario, two current parishes fully unite as one parish and organization structure, i.e., one pastor, one pastoral team, one budget, and one set of financial accounts. The result of this scenario would be one parish with two worship sites.
Scenario 2: Our Lady of Hope becomes a mission of Mary, Seat of Wisdom or Our Lady of Ransom.
One parish becomes a mission of the other, i.e., sharing the same pastor and planning/budgeting together, but the mission retains separate organizational identity and separate financial accounts. A mission does not provide the range of ministries that a parish does, but rather focuses on specific populations or a specialized set of ministries. The result of this scenario would be one parish responsible for one mission.
Scenario 3: Our Lady of Hope remains a full parish with its own pastor.
All six parishes would retain their current structures. The Archdiocese has said, given that Our Lady of Hope does not meet the benchmarks, a strong rationale would be needed for this scenario to be considered.
In the coming weeks, the members of the three parishes involved in these scenarios will have the opportunity to offer feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of each scenario. That information will be used to compile a feedback document that will be presented to Cardinal Cupich and the Renew My Church committee. Based on that feedback, local demographic trends, and future availability of pastors, they will decide which scenario will be used moving forward. That scenario will take effect on July 1, 2021.
As the pastors of the O’Hare Neighborhood Grouping, we invite all our parishioners to pray for one another, opening our hearts to how the Lord is inviting us to make disciples, build communities, and inspire witness.
In Christ we are,
Rev. Derek Ho, Mary, Seat of Wisdom Parish
Rev. Britto Berchmans, Saint Paul of the Cross Parish
Rev. James Wallace, Saint Juliana Parish
Rev. Wojciech Oleksy, Our Lady of Hope Parish
Rev. Matthew R. Bozovsky, Our Lady of Ransom Parish
Rev. Matthew Heinrich, Immaculate Conception Parish
Our parish grouping and next step
The "Discernment and Decisions" phase of Renew My Church is beginning this week in our area. We are called the "O'Hare Neighborhood" grouping and the six parishes are: Saint Juliana, Immaculate Conception, Saint Paul of the Cross, Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Our Lady of Ransom, and Our Lady of Hope. A group of five parishioners from each parish, the six pastors, and representatives for the Archdiocese will begin meeting from now until early April. Please check here for regular updates on our meetings.
February 16, 2021
We had our second Renew My Church meeting Tuesday, February 9 with our “O’Hare Neighborhood” group over Zoom. Over the next few weeks, the team representing Saint Juliana (Father James, Father Emanuel, Marie Dombai, Julie Hammerle, Diane Holmen, and Cathie Scotkovsky) will spend time completing our parish assessment—taking time to reflect on our parish’s culture and activity. Feel free to reach out to any of those individuals for more detailed updates.
January 27, 2021
We had our first Renew My Church meeting Tuesday, January 26 with our group--Immaculate Conception, Saint Paul of the Cross, Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Our Lady of Ransom, and Our Lady of Hope. We met over Zoom for about two hours and spent some time getting to know one another while learning about the data-driven benchmarks to consider as we proceed with our discussions. The team representing Saint Juliana is Father James, Father Emanuel, Marie Dombai, Julie Hammerle, Diane Holmen, and Cathie Scotkovsky. Feel free to reach out to any of those individuals for more detailed updates. Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 9.
For more information on Renew My Church, please visit the Archdiocese's website.
Renew my church article on Chicago Catholic.