Elder Enrollment Strategy

Heard Visi’s pastor sent out a letter to parishioners this week regarding the Beacons of Light. Highlights of the letter

  • Effective date is July 2022 & there will be only 60 Parrish families though it appears there may be a transition period of 5 years (7/2027) when there will be just one parish and one pastor
  • Visi “likely” to be paired with 2 (maybe 3) other Parishes
  • Late September, the Archdiocese will meet with the Pastors to announce the vision and receive comments/questions
  • October – it is announced to the Parrish’s and be able to be viewed online
  • November - final transition plans are announced
  • Priest’s older than 65 will be asked to step down their position but remain as a “senior priest” and be an advisor
  • He was thanking the Parrish for serving them for the past 12 years.
Nothing on what the transition will be to a Parrish Family” or anything about athletics but you would think that is going to be part of this as well.

As the saying goes, Sh..ts about to get real
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
Heard Visi’s pastor sent out a letter to parishioners this week regarding the Beacons of Light. Highlights of the letter

  • Effective date is July 2022 & there will be only 60 Parrish families though it appears there may be a transition period of 5 years (7/2027) when there will be just one parish and one pastor
  • Visi “likely” to be paired with 2 (maybe 3) other Parishes
  • Late September, the Archdiocese will meet with the Pastors to announce the vision and receive comments/questions
  • October – it is announced to the Parrish’s and be able to be viewed online
  • November - final transition plans are announced
  • Priest’s older than 65 will be asked to step down their position but remain as a “senior priest” and be an advisor
  • He was thanking the Parrish for serving them for the past 12 years.
Nothing on what the transition will be to a Parrish Family” or anything about athletics but you would think that is going to be part of this as well.

As the saying goes, Sh..ts about to get real
Yes, this isn't going to go well at all. I really, really think this hurts future donations in a huge way. People won't donate because the parish that they used to donate to closed or will close.
 

phil96

New member
Yes, this isn't going to go well at all. I really, really think this hurts future donations in a huge way. People won't donate because the parish that they used to donate to closed or will close.
The problem too will be that 2027 is incredibly unrealistic. I think most mergers will have happened by 2023. There’s no way the archdiocese is going to let healthy parishes bleed supporting their newly partnered weak parishes. It’s also obvious that the writing will be on the wall once announcement are made. Whoever ends up clustered with a healthy large parish will almost be destined to close.
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
The problem too will be that 2027 is incredibly unrealistic. I think most mergers will have happened by 2023. There’s no way the archdiocese is going to let healthy parishes bleed supporting their newly partnered weak parishes. It’s also obvious that the writing will be on the wall once announcement are made. Whoever ends up clustered with a healthy large parish will almost be destined to close.
Bingo, and I have said it on here also, think about how many additions, renovations, and improvements have been made to just about every single west side parish since let's say 1990. Millions upon millions of hard earned donations just going to close up.
 

EHS 2001

Moderator
Seems like this is going to follow the tried and true Schnurr playbook of pass the buck and blame the subordinates. If I’m remembering correctly, Beacons is designed to create the parish families with multiple church buildings/schools, one priest and then make the priest and parish councils decide which churches and/or schools are axed. Like Pilate, Schnurr can just wash his hands of it.
 

EHS 2001

Moderator
Priest’s older than 65 will be asked to step down their position but remain as a “senior priest” and be an advisor
Fr. Walsh has been the pastor at St. Dominic for 20(?) years and based on the fact that he played on one of Elder’s state champion baseball teams in the 1950s, he’s way beyond age 65. But suddenly he can’t be pastor anymore?
 

Purplemojo

Well-known member
Fr. Walsh has been the pastor at St. Dominic for 20(?) years and based on the fact that he played on one of Elder’s state champion baseball teams in the 1950s, he’s way beyond age 65. But suddenly he can’t be pastor anymore?
If Fr. Lack becomes pastor, Fr. Walsh will serve as "Pastor Emeritus" meaning, very little change. Merger's are a different matter.
 

Purplemojo

Well-known member
The "church is not a building". I believe that, however, our forefathers were wise in creating spaces which are conducive to spiritual growth. St. William is the best example of that on the Westside. Holy Family is another and, to a lesser extent, but still significant, is St. Lawrence. I would hate to lose these special places.

At one time there was a Eritrean Catholic community in East Price Hill. When their worship space burnt down, I was hoping they would stay in East Price Hill and maybe take over Holy Family with its Orthodox/Eastern inspired architecture. It would have been a great fit, but they moved to Hartwell.

I do believe that leaving things up to the parish families to decide does make some sense as they may be willing, if the financial support is there, to keep additional worship spaces open. St. Terese and St. William have done well these past four or five years running two parishes with one clerical and administrative staff.

I will hate to see happen to our special worship spaces what happened to St. George's in Clifton Heights. The building looks great on the outside, but, inside, it has been secularized in the manner of the non-denominational church it serves.
 
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pantherland

Active member
The problem too will be that 2027 is incredibly unrealistic. I think most mergers will have happened by 2023. There’s no way the archdiocese is going to let healthy parishes bleed supporting their newly partnered weak parishes. It’s also obvious that the writing will be on the wall once announcement are made. Whoever ends up clustered with a healthy large parish will almost be destined to close.
Yea I saw 2022 they would be merging/combining. It will be interesting no doubt. To gp from 211 parishes to 60 "parish familes" seems like a lofty goal. Do they still operate the schools that are healthy? Keep the churches open? Offer the churches up for weddings? Baptisms? etc?

Lots of questions need to be answered.....
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
Yea I saw 2022 they would be merging/combining. It will be interesting no doubt. To gp from 211 parishes to 60 "parish familes" seems like a lofty goal. Do they still operate the schools that are healthy? Keep the churches open? Offer the churches up for weddings? Baptisms? etc?

Lots of questions need to be answered.....
Lots of questions indeed. I think one thing that the AOC and parish families will royally screw up is opening up the finances for each parish and school. Just because a school's enrollment is up or church is crowded, doesn't mean it is a healthy/viable. Unfortunately that won't happen, and I'm willing to bet all the big parishes will remain open while the smaller ones will eventually close.

If a smaller parish had fantastic finances, will a larger parish inside that family "take" or "funnel" money away from that to help their own issues.

Without any real guidance or protocols in place, I am foreseeing some shade and possibly illegal dealings coming down the pipeline, all as a means of self-preservation. And as mentioned, the AOC will simply wash their hands of it.

Literally, no part of the Beacons of Light is going to be positive for local Catholics.
 

pantherland

Active member
I'm sure a lot of the smaller parishes will be the first on the chopping blocks. The question will be is if they have smaller school enrollments, but get hefty weekly collections from the church do they stay solvent?

I would think that the price hill parishes will combine into may be 2. St Willies and Teresa make one school/family.

Holy family, ress, lawrence, etc all combined into one.

Visi, Jude, Antoninius, James, Iggy, Victory, Lourdes, Dominics would all stay and combine some of the smaller parishes like st als, st simon, st joes, catherines, martins into those schools etc

St Bernards? Our lady of Grace?

I am not sure about the Harrison schools how they would do that? St Johns dry ridge will survive I would think. St James would probably take a lot of the smaller ones from the north west like they have done for football recently.

They are supposed to have a lot of the parishes into their new "parish families" come this November
 

phil96

New member
I'm sure a lot of the smaller parishes will be the first on the chopping blocks. The question will be is if they have smaller school enrollments, but get hefty weekly collections from the church do they stay solvent?

I would think that the price hill parishes will combine into may be 2. St Willies and Teresa make one school/family.

Holy family, ress, lawrence, etc all combined into one.

Visi, Jude, Antoninius, James, Iggy, Victory, Lourdes, Dominics would all stay and combine some of the smaller parishes like st als, st simon, st joes, catherines, martins into those schools etc

St Bernards? Our lady of Grace?

I am not sure about the Harrison schools how they would do that? St Johns dry ridge will survive I would think. St James would probably take a lot of the smaller ones from the north west like they have done for football recently.

They are supposed to have a lot of the parishes into their new "parish families" come this November
Part of the issue is that some healthy parishes will inevitably be clustered with others. Going to 60 will mean that for example William/Teresa will probably also include Dominic. Honestly I’m really interested to see what they put out there on Oct. 1.
 

EHS 2001

Moderator
St. Theresa and St. Williams already share a pastor. https://saintwilliam.com/collaborative-region

So do St. Jude and St. Aloysius Bridgetown; they’re called the Bridgetown Pastoral Region.

Holy Family shares a priest with San Antonio Church on Queen City.

St. Aloysius on the Ohio and St. Simon share a priest.

Our Lady of Grace is a combined school for St. Margaret Mary, St. Therese Little Flower, Assumption, and St. Ann which opened in 2008 on the campus of St. Ann in Groesbeck. St. Margaret Mary and Assumption are a pastoral region sharing a priest. It looks like Little Flower and St. Ann have their own priests and are independent.
 
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ogealbhain

Well-known member
Lots of questions indeed. I think one thing that the AOC and parish families will royally screw up is opening up the finances for each parish and school. Just because a school's enrollment is up or church is crowded, doesn't mean it is a healthy/viable. Unfortunately that won't happen, and I'm willing to bet all the big parishes will remain open while the smaller ones will eventually close.

If a smaller parish had fantastic finances, will a larger parish inside that family "take" or "funnel" money away from that to help their own issues.

Without any real guidance or protocols in place, I am foreseeing some shade and possibly illegal dealings coming down the pipeline, all as a means of self-preservation. And as mentioned, the AOC will simply wash their hands of it.

Literally, no part of the Beacons of Light is going to be positive for local Catholics.


Didn't St. Vincent De Paul have strong finances when "Chet the Jet" was there even though the school and parish were small?
 

pantherland

Active member
St. Theresa and St. Williams already share a pastor. https://saintwilliam.com/collaborative-region

So do St. Jude and St. Aloysius Bridgetown; they’re called the Bridgetown Pastoral Region.

Holy Family shares a priest with San Antonio Church on Queen City.

St. Aloysius on the Ohio and St. Simon share a priest.

Our Lady of Grace is a combined school for St. Margaret Mary, St. Therese Little Flower, Assumption, and St. Ann which opened in 2008 on the campus of St. Ann in Groesbeck. St. Margaret Mary and Assumption are a pastoral region sharing a priest. It looks like Little Flower and St. Ann have their own priests and are independent.
I understand that jude/als share a priest just like teresa/williams do. I am under the assumption that they would close one of them like st als? To combine with Jude. I guess then sell the land and buildings that go with the campus?

I think holy family and lourdes share the same priest.
 

??????

Active member
Seems like this is going to follow the tried and true Schnurr playbook of pass the buck and blame the subordinates. If I’m remembering correctly, Beacons is designed to create the parish families with multiple church buildings/schools, one priest and then make the priest and parish councils decide which churches and/or schools are axed. Like Pilate, Schnurr can just wash his hands of it.
Maybe the silver lining will be the final curtain to the entire priest/bishop positions as we know it.Their rules and traditions are so prehistoric, bizarre and down right creepy. Truly mind boggling it's lasted so long.
 
Lots of questions indeed. I think one thing that the AOC and parish families will royally screw up is opening up the finances for each parish and school. Just because a school's enrollment is up or church is crowded, doesn't mean it is a healthy/viable. Unfortunately that won't happen, and I'm willing to bet all the big parishes will remain open while the smaller ones will eventually close.

If a smaller parish had fantastic finances, will a larger parish inside that family "take" or "funnel" money away from that to help their own issues.

Without any real guidance or protocols in place, I am foreseeing some shade and possibly illegal dealings coming down the pipeline, all as a means of self-preservation. And as mentioned, the AOC will simply wash their hands of it.

Literally, no part of the Beacons of Light is going to be positive for local Catholics.
Great points! I agree with a prior post that 5 years is just too long of a transition period – just so much to think about – here is my short list
  • School
    • How are they going to set tuition? Each school does this differently
    • Who is the Principal?
    • They probably cannot combine a Parrish outside and inside the Oak Hills school district as this will jeopardize vouchers
    • How will the PTO be organized? Who decides what they fund?
  • Parrish
    • East side schools approach school & Parrish as separate entities, westside as one
    • How will they form the Finance & Parrish counsel committees?
      • How to decide where to invest $$
      • Will the AoC be more involved in bigger spend decisions
    • Mass Schedules
    • What will the Archdiocese Assessment percentage be? Will Parrish’s be able to bypass assessment with funds raised by PTO & Festival?
    • How will they keep the Priests older than 65 engaged/active in a Parrish - i.e. Fr Mark @ Visi and Fr. Ben at Victory have so much to offer not they are in a consulting role
  • Athletics
    • What will the new league look like?
    • How will they be ran within the Family during the transition?
    • Who runs the Parrish Festival?
    • School Tournaments – at one point the archdiocese was proposing only 3 tournament per basketball team
 
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CincyHSFootballFan

Well-known member
Visi, Jude, Antoninius, James, Iggy, Victory, Lourdes, Dominics would all stay and combine some of the smaller parishes like st als, st simon, st joes, catherines, martins into those schools etc
Have to be realistic. 60 parishes for the entire archdiocese, which goes past Dayton into places like Celina Ohio, means keeping 7 parishes on the westside, in addition to other families is not realistic. That alone, plus the fact that places like Antoninius and Dominic, are less than half full for mass, mean all of these even vibrant parishes will be combined. Take the strongest 3 of these parishes listed, and they will be what remain in 5 to 10 years. Interested to see what happens, but I can tell you Williams and Theresa have been told their parish family will include one other parish. Victory's pastor has already said they will be effected. Clearly Visi's pastor is preparing his parish to be lumped in with other parishes as well.
 

phil96

New member
Have to be realistic. 60 parishes for the entire archdiocese, which goes past Dayton into places like Celina Ohio, means keeping 7 parishes on the westside, in addition to other families is not realistic. That alone, plus the fact that places like Antoninius and Dominic, are less than half full for mass, mean all of these even vibrant parishes will be combined. Take the strongest 3 of these parishes listed, and they will be what remain in 5 to 10 years. Interested to see what happens, but I can tell you Williams and Theresa have been told their parish family will include one other parish. Victory's pastor has already said they will be effected. Clearly Visi's pastor is preparing his parish to be lumped in with other parishes as well.
Yep! 60 families has always seemed low to me. I suspect Dominic will end up with William/Teresa and Antoninus/Lourdes will end up together, maybe with St. Martin/Catharine. We’ll see in two weeks. It’s sad to me. I’m a member of St. Catharine in Westwood and I’m not confident that it’ll survive this. So many people are going to be shocked.
 
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ElderHSfan02

Well-known member
The draft of the Families of Parishes will be viewable for public comment at the Beacons of Light website from October 1st - October 20th.

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr released a letter to the faithful today about the Beacons of Light open comment period, which will take place October 1-20. During that time the draft of the Families of Parishes will be viewable for public comment at the Beacons of Light website.

In-part, Archbishop Schnurr writes in the letter, "Your thoughtful feedback at this stage of the planning process would be most valuable... Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the information on the website, then prayerfully provide your input on this important step which will shape the future of our archdiocese."

 

MickeyMantle

Well-known member
I understand that jude/als share a priest just like teresa/williams do. I am under the assumption that they would close one of them like st als? To combine with Jude. I guess then sell the land and buildings that go with the campus?

I think holy family and lourdes share the same priest.

We share an alcoholic that only comes out for Mass, but that's another story.

I think it's more complicated than simply closing Al's and combining it with Jude. I think these parish families will include more than two. In fact, I believe Jude and Al's will be split up and Al's, Martin, Catharine and Lourdes combined instead because Jude is pretty healthy as far as I can see. Maybe even all those including Jude.

Also, I think simply combining Jude and Al's could be problematic because Al's accepts EdChoice and I'm not entirely certain Jude does. But maybe that's an issue outside the scope of this project.
 
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pantherland

Active member
So lets assume parishes like St Catherines are closed down. What do they do with the land, buildings, churches that are on the land? Sell them for development? Do they sell them and make them amazon warehouses? Breweries?
 

pantherland

Active member
Have to be realistic. 60 parishes for the entire archdiocese, which goes past Dayton into places like Celina Ohio, means keeping 7 parishes on the westside, in addition to other families is not realistic. That alone, plus the fact that places like Antoninius and Dominic, are less than half full for mass, mean all of these even vibrant parishes will be combined. Take the strongest 3 of these parishes listed, and they will be what remain in 5 to 10 years. Interested to see what happens, but I can tell you Williams and Theresa have been told their parish family will include one other parish. Victory's pastor has already said they will be effected. Clearly Visi's pastor is preparing his parish to be lumped in with other parishes as well.
I would be shocked if only 7 parishes on the westside survived? That number seems really low to me. The thing is do some of these schools that are going to combine have the ability to take on another 200 kids from another school that's closing?
 

EHS 2001

Moderator
So lets assume parishes like St Catherines are closed down. What do they do with the land, buildings, churches that are on the land? Sell them for development? Do they sell them and make them amazon warehouses? Breweries?
And when the buildings/land are sold who keeps the money: the "parish family" or the Archdiocese?
 

pantherland

Active member
And when the buildings/land are sold who keeps the money: the "parish family" or the Archdiocese?
Good question. I would say it would be split. I think there are things that could be done as far as live streaming masses, having deacons doing some masses, etc rather than shutting down so many parishes, but what do I know? I don't personally think it's going to be a net gain for catholic enrollment, church attendance etc. I think people are going to find other options.
 

MickeyMantle

Well-known member
So lets assume parishes like St Catherines are closed down. What do they do with the land, buildings, churches that are on the land? Sell them for development? Do they sell them and make them amazon warehouses? Breweries?
That is a very good question. Many of these churches are beautiful pieces of history as well. Do they shut down wonderful buildings like Martin and Catharine and send folks to bland but newer places like Lourdes, Jude or Al’s? The other way around?
 

phil96

New member
Good question. I would say it would be split. I think there are things that could be done as far as live streaming masses, having deacons doing some masses, etc rather than shutting down so many parishes, but what do I know? I don't personally think it's going to be a net gain for catholic enrollment, church attendance etc. I think people are going to find other options.
It’s not split. The parish gets everything. The issue is that most of these distressed parishes owe a ton of money to the Archdiocese. St. Catharine for example owes at least 2.5 million. So when the building is sold the archdiocese gets paid first for any debt owed and then you end up with what’s left over, if anything. I think the archdiocese doesn’t really care about architecture and is more into finding buildings that require less upkeep. Unfortunately that means that buildings like Catharine, Martin, William, and Holy Family are likely to end up being disfavored in the process because of how much it takes to keep them going.
 

phil96

New member
How did St. Catharine get $2.5 million in the hole?
Mostly from the school. There are like 150 students right now and it’s bleeding money. It should’ve closed 20 years ago but they’ve been propping it up. The buildings also have required a ton of maintenance.
 
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