I write this notice on October 15, my first day on the job as administrator of On Mission for The Church Alive! Grouping 330: Holy Trinity, St. John of God, and St. Malachy Parishes. That’s a bit awkward, so I’ve chosen to refer to us all informally as RocKenRo Catholics (for the ROCks, KENnedy Township, and RObinson Township).
One early priority is to get to know you. Already on paper you’ve been introduced to the new clergy: Fr. Alan Morris, Fr. Michael Ruffalo, Fr. Bob Zajdel, Dcn. Tim Killmeyer, and I, in addition to the retired RocKenRo priests (who are staying in place). Now we’ll start to see each other at Masses and other events. You’ll also meet Benito Stallings (pictured), an intern in ministry who’ll be with us until May, when he finishes his Master of Divinity degree.
You also know I’ve convened a “Grouping Executive Council” to advise me on RocKenRo: Tom Adams, Rosemary Corsetti, Tim Davis, Linda Gomulka, Dave Hess, Joe Maggi, and Dr. Bill Stropkaj. I was very proud of them last Wednesday as they and we clergymen passionately discussed how best to move the grouping forward.
Maybe Tim put it best: “From the start, people will want to know the plan.” The short answer: For RocKenRo, it’s not obvious what the plan should be. We know we’ve got to be more On Mission!, but we’ll have to take some time to think and talk about how to do that collectively as RocKenRo and not merely as three separate parishes.
Among other things, that means I’ll need advice beyond my new executive council. I’ll be meeting with the pastoral and finance councils of each parish and, where these councils have some empty seats, I’ll need to fill them. In particular, I invite the faithful of St. John of God Parish to meet me on Thursday, November 1, after the 6:30 Mass at St. Mary’s, to talk about who from St. John of God might advise me. But no one is shut out: If you think there’s something I or one of the clergymen or advisors need to know, please write a note and get it to us!
Meanwhile, inasmuch as I’ve been asked several questions about money, please allow me to reassure you: Everything is in its own bucket. Each parish’s property remains its own, and donations go only to the parish for which they are marked, no matter which parish they arrive at. Expenses common to all parishes of RocKenRo, such as clergy costs, will be split according to a formula:
50% Holy Trinity 20% St. John of God 30% St. Malachy
Earmarked monies in reserve, such as those from capital campaigns, will be used only for the originally designated purposes, or (if this is now outdated or impractical) there will be a formal and public process for considering any alternative purpose.