Welcome to this week’s Realign Resources for Mission Weekly Update. Happy Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross! As ever, this week we are exploring another of the principles, developed through prayer and study, which underpin the vision for realigning resources for mission across the Diocese of Lansing. Today:
“A healthy parish in the Diocese of Lansing equips and empowers parish staff by providing on-going formation, mentoring, coaching.” Principle 2:6
Read a great article by Bill Pressprich. Bill is a leadership coach for Catholic leaders, including pastors, leadership teams, staff, and ministry leaders. He is formerly a business executive who upon retirement felt called to use his leadership skill and experience to inspire and equip Catholic leaders. Bill and his wife Cindy reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan and have seven children and eleven grandchildren. He is a member of the Senior Leadership Team for Christ the King Catholic Church in Ann Arbor.
Watch a short video by Terri Witt of Saint Robert Bellarmine Parish in Flushing. Terri is also a member of the Realign Resources for Mission Committee.
Pray this week for the permanent deacons of the Diocese of Lansing who gather this weekend for their convocation. Permanent deacons are so vital to the apostolic life of many of our parishes. They are also crucial to any successful implementation of the Realign Resources for Mission process.
This week’s Realign Resources for Mission Principle:
“A healthy parish in the Diocese of Lansing equips and empowers parish staff by providing on-going formation, mentoring, coaching,” Principle 2:6
Christ the King Parish, Ann Arbor
October 20, 2021
Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross
Thank you, parish staff! I have the privilege of knowing and working with many staff in my parish and in my role as leadership coach for Catholic leaders. I am often inspired by the deep commitment of our staff to serve the Lord and his people. Most love their job, despite being paid less than they would in a secular position.
Working for a parish has its own challenges. Many staff have a deep calling to mission: to bring God’s kingdom by reaching out to the lost and the needy. Of course, there is always an important element of maintenance in their work too – the need to care for the sheep. But the church environment can be overwhelming, like a powerful magnetic drawing church workers into the mundane details so that it may be difficult to move forward. There is never enough time. Often, these workers are “siloed” – not well connected with other leaders and experiencing aloneness in their assignment.
These humble servants need and deserve our love and support. Besides gratitude, what can we do? As much as we can, help provide them with the opportunity to succeed and make a difference. After all, Jesus is in the business of transforming lives – and they are too (Rom 12:2).
The Healing of the Man Born Blind by Duccio
Leaders need to stay connected with staff, which usually means having an intentional time set aside on a regular basis for meeting, say each week. This is a great opportunity to connect their work with the church’s mission, so staff can fully understand the meaning and purpose of what they do. During these meetings, leaders can express genuine care and concern for the staff person’s personal and spiritual life and offer to pray for them (observing prudential boundaries of course). Next, check in with them about their work: what they are working on, their goals, and how the leader might be able to help. Finally, open up two-way communication – let them know what’s going on with the church as a whole and ask if the staff person has anything they like us to know. Sometimes, these “eyes and ears” moments alert the leader to things that need to be communicated back to the pastor or leadership team. This kind of support helps the staff person feel like they are known, and their work is making a difference. It connects them to the rest of the church by breaking down silos and alleviating isolation.
It’s almost always best for leaders to delegate both responsibility and authority to staff. This multiplies impact. It takes humility and trust on the part of the leader, but leaders can do so with a great deal of confidence when they have great staff people who have bought into the mission. This allows staff to be creative and innovate, and not be paralyzed wondering whether they have permission to proceed in each situation. Learning from mistakes are usually the times when staff grows quickly.
As for the rest of us, we can support our staff by treating them with respect and patience. Recognize them for the good work that they are doing and offer words of encouragement. If we have an issue with them, discuss it with them first to see if you can resolve it with them directly.
Once again, thank you to all the parish staff of the Diocese of Lansing! May God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Watch: Watch as the Terri Witt outlines the thinking behind this week’s Realign Resources for Mission principle. Terri is a parishioner at Saint Robert Bellarmine Parish in Flushing. She is also a member of the Realign Resources for Mission Committee.
This Week’s Friday Prayer Intention:
Please pray for the permanent deacons of the Diocese of Lansing as they gather for their convocation this weekend. Amen.
Guidelines for Friday Prayer:
Prayer: At three o’clock each Friday afternoon pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To help with prayer, Eucharistic Adoration from Saint Mary Cathedral in Lansing will be live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook. If you can’t manage to pray at 3pm? Just say the Holy Rosary whenever you can.
Fasting: The present norms for fasting suggest that we eat no more than one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. It is also permissible to attempt a strict fast. A penitent’s age and health should always be taken into consideration before fasting.
Almsgiving: Giving alms is a “work of justice pleasing to God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2462). Hence, each Friday we should donate money or goods to the poor or perform another act of charity. Let’s not reach sundown on a Friday without having poured out some of the content of our heart or our wallet or both during the day.