Read our bulletin at this link: Bulletin-07-25-21
Our Triduum to Saint Ann continues at our weekend Masses…
What is the Road to Renewal (R2R)?
Visit www.roadtorenewal.org for the latest updates and to stay informed about the Diocese of Buffalo’s Road to Renewal.
Why do we need renewal now? Our church needs to respond to the changing signs of the times and revitalize. Many factors have led us to this point and require us to renew the way we look at our parishes and how they minister to our people. The R2R is about revitalizing our parishes so that they can thrive in the future because of collaboration and cooperation. The R2R looks to bring the gifts of clergy and laity together to strengthen our mission moving forward.
Where is Jesus in the Renewal? The R2R means that we have to take a hard look at ways in which our Diocese and parishes have not responded to the mission of Jesus. The Renewal must be about introducing people to Jesus Christ, inviting them to become missionary disciples and journeying with them on their pilgrimage towards heaven. Our Renewal must be about saving souls! All of us can be better at this and our Renewal will help in our efforts.
How does the Renewal impact my parish? Parishes are where ministry is lived. When our parishes are strong and vibrant, our church is strong and vibrant. The Renewal’s focus is to strengthen our parishes by working together to develop collaboration among parishes in a family. The Family of Parishes model allows parishes to work more collaboratively and capitalize on what each parish’s strengths are. When we work together we are able to accomplish more of Jesus’ mission. A Family of Parishes are parishes that are grouped together with a shared pastoral plan (mission) that they work together to accomplish. By working together, resources and staffing are focused on the pastoral plan for all of the parishes within the family.
Will all parishes be affected by the Renewal? Every parish has gifts and talents to offer. Each parish will be participating in the Renewal and will be part of a family of parishes. Since all of us are part of the Roman Catholic Church, this is an opportunity to recognize the larger church at work. When we work together, we not only share in a common mission but we make up the larger Body of Christ.
Fr Bryan Zielenieski, Vicar for Renewal and Development, provides biweekly updates on YouTube about the R2R…be sure to watch them at the above link!
In case you missed it…the information below appeared in the July 21 issue of the Buffalo News:
Another Voice / Diocese of Buffalo
Laity has strong role to play in church’s renewal by Carrie Frank
During the Covid summer of 2020 I found respite in Explore Buffalo tours to see the many architectural wonders of our region. But who would think that this would lead me to a greater exploration of my Catholic faith?
On every tour there would be beautiful church buildings and stories about the people of faith who built them with scarce resources and donations of time and talent.
But more than that, I viewed many buildings built by Catholic forebears that established critical foundations of our community. These included schools, hospitals, homes for children and aged, and services to the infirm. It got me thinking about being Catholic and the power of communities of faith.
Like many Catholics, I have a strong grounding in my faith and the teachings of Jesus but had become angered by the child sex abuse, the past behavior of church leaders, and the overall lack of connection to the changes in societal norms over the past centuries.
Had my eyes and heart not been opened by the power of Catholic faithful of the past, I am not sure I would have accepted when asked to join the Diocesan Renewal Task Force to think about our Catholic churches in the Diocese of Buffalo in the future.
The one overarching theme that came out of our task force was to make the people of the church central to its renewal. The future church cannot be focused on buildings or centered on a pastor or bishop but must be co-led by the laity and focused on providing for the needs of our people. We need our church to nurture us in ways that today’s virtual world and institutions cannot, to reenforce our faith through engaging in sacraments and acts of charity for those in need.
As a part of the Roman Catholic faith, we are bound by laws of the central church, some of which are also in need of renewal; however, even with those constraints, we have room to regain our focus on what a church community can be. Professionally, I learned how structures play an important role in organizational behavior. The task force recommendation for Families of Parishes as a structural model elevates lay leadership, formalizes more roles that can be filled by women, and limits the clericalism that enabled the past abhorrent behavior.
It recognizes diminishing resources, decentralizes decision-making to regions and calls upon the people of the church in collaboration with priests to form their “Family” to meet regional needs.
To achieve the potential of Families of Parishes requires Catholic people to lean in. Whether active, lapsed, or considering a faith home, please grab hold of the mantle to renew the Church in Christ’s image.
Carrie B. Frank is a retired health care executive and volunteer on the Diocese of Buffalo Finance Council.