Volume 2 - Issue 1  



January 25, 2011

Strategic Planning – Building Your Team
“But when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return by way of Macedonia. Sopater, the son of Pyrrhus, from Beroea, accompanied him, as did Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia who went on ahead and waited for us at Troas.”
  Acts 20:3-5 (NAB)
Be First, but don’t be Last.
When one looks carefully at the missionary journeys of St. Paul, it is immediately apparent that Paul never travelled alone. He always went with a team. Likewise, no parish leader and no pastor should be expected to lead the parish forward without the help of others. It is absolutely vital that strategic planning engages both the clergy and the laity. “. . .the more the individual himself, especially the layman, takes on ecclesial responsibility, the more deeply he feels with the Church, indeed, on an ever deeper level, he feels himself to be the Church.” (von Balthazar, Razing the Bastions, p 93). Nowhere is this concept of shared responsibility more evident that in planning for the future of the parish. Before the Mission can be expressed or the Vision shared, a team must be in place to discern, understand, share, interpret, and communicate the Mission and Vision God has for your parish. So while the pastor may be considered the first member of the parish (i.e. the leader), no pastor should be the last (or only) member of the planning team. As you engage in strategic planning, follow one simple rule: “Be First, but don’t be Last.” ... read the full article
Catholic Schools Must Increase Enrollment and Revenue to Fulfill the Mission
  Over the past 45 years, Catholic schools in the U.S. have been
beset by a steady decline in enrollment—from more than 5.2 million students in the early 1960’s to approximately 2.1 million students in 2009-2010. Catholic schools generate approximately 70% of their revenue from tuition, which means that declines in enrollment result in significant operating deficits for many schools. As Catholic school enrollment levels have fallen, the cost of a Catholic education has increased. In the past, many Catholic schools were able to charge a relatively low average tuition rate by enrolling 40 to 60 students per classroom, leveraging school facilities and personnel. In addition, parishes were in better financial condition, meaning they could provide large subsidies to the parish school, and in some cases, provide a free Catholic education. Today, the average teacher to student ratio is 1:14 and the average tuition rate per student is much higher ...

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(podcast) A Good Steward Returns God’s Gifts
with Increase

“A Good Steward Returns God’s Gifts with Increase” is the last in our five-part Spanish-language podcast series introducing the concept of Christian Stewardship to the Latino community. In this podcast, O’Meara Ferguson Executive Consultant Koren Ruiz gives

an overview of the first four podcasts in the series, and explains that having simply good intentions to do God’s will in our life is not enough. There are many obstacles that can keep us from being faithful and true disciples of God, and until we have a solid commitment, we will not be able to become the stewards that God wants us to be.
  Click here to access the complete 5-part series.

“Un Buen Corresponsable Regresa los Dones a Dios en Mayor Proporción” es el quinto y último de la serie de podcasts en español con el fin de introducir el concepto de Corresponsabilidad a la comunidad Latina. En este podcast, el asesor financiero Koren Ruiz da un resumen de los cuatro podcasts anteriores y explica que tener simplemente buenas intenciones para hacer la voluntad de Dios en nuestras vidas no es suficiente. Hay muchos obstáculos que nos pueden alejar de ser discípulos de Dios verdaderamente fieles y no será hasta que no tengamos un compromiso solido, que llegaremos a ser los corresponsables que Dios quiere que seamos.
  Para acceso a la serie completa de podcasts, haz click aquí.

listen to the podcast

Good Steward Newsletter – January 2011
Weathering the Storm and Building an Ark for Catholic Schools
  This year Catholic Schools’ Week is celebrated January 31st to February 4th. Because of the important stewardship responsibility we have to strengthen and advance the mission of Catholic schools, the January and February issues of this newsletter will be devoted to reflections on advancing the mission of Catholic schools.

The research summarized in the publication, Weathering the Storm: Moving Catholic

Schools Forward by Leonard DeFiore, John J. Convey, and Merylann J. Schuttloffel reminds us that there is incontrovertible evidence that Catholic schools are the answer to a whole host of important questions facing our Church and our society. No informed person seriously questions the value of Catholic schools. What is questioned is their cost and viability—especially in urban areas.

The foreword to this very insightful publication says it all: There will be no more prizes for predicting rain; only for building arks. And in this spirit, Weathering the Storm, to its great credit, offers practical suggestions for “ark building.” Let me call your attention, briefly, to what the authors recommend as “a series of strategies which, if well-planned and implemented, will significantly improve the condition of Catholic education nationally, or at least in any diocese that undertakes such reforms.” Afterward, I will offer some thoughts on how the concept of mission advancement can help us implement these “reforms” and become even more successful at building for the future ... read the full article

Holy Trinity Apostolate’s 14th Annual Pre-Lenten Symposium

Holy Trinity Apostolate will have four Holy Priest Stoles
presented on the altar in glass covered containers during the Symposium.
Fr. John A. Hardon’s stole | Father Solanus Casey stole | Bp. Frederic Baraga stole | Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s stole

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