Welcome to the latest Diocese of Lansing Realignment Resources for Mission weekly update. This week we are exploring another of the principles of the Realign Resources for Mission vision. Today:
“A healthy parish in the Diocese of Lansing ensures that every defined critical ministry/role has a competent leader.” Realign Resources for Mission Principle 2.2. Hence, you can:
Read a great article by Craig Pohl, Director of Office of New Evangelization for the Diocese of Lansing, and a parishioner of Saint Mary in Westphalia. Craig speaks with many years of experience in parish and diocesan ministry.
Watch a short video by Steve Nowaczewski, a parishioner Saint Joseph parish in Ypsilanti and a member of the Realign Resources for Mission committee. What do wild hickory nuts, walnuts, wild apples and venison have to do with drawing souls to Christ? Watch and find out!
Pray today at 3pm, our Day of Great Mercy, for the young people of the Diocese of Lansing. That those who are Catholic remain faithful to Jesus Christ and His Holy Church; that those who have lapsed from the practice of the Faith are brought home by the Good Shepherd; and that those who don't yet know the Lord will come to know Him through parishes and parishioners that are "on mission".
In other news: This Tuesday, September 21, the Realign Resources for Mission Committee gathered for an all-day meeting at Saint Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt. Across the course of the day, the committee reviewed all the feedback given by you in the wake of the recent RRM Regional Meeting.
In the light of your feedback, the committee began drafting their final recommendation for parish groupings which will be submitted to Bishop Boyea next month. Please do keep the members of the committee in your prayers. Come Holy Spirit!
This week's Realign Resources for Mission Principle:
“A healthy parish in the Diocese of Lansing
ensures that every defined critical ministry/role has a competent leader.”
Realign Resources for Mission Principle 2.2
Director of the Office of New Evangelization,
Diocese of Lansing
September 24, 2021
Friday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
I had a former boss in ministry who was known to say, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” For some reason that phrase continues to roll through my mind to this day. It’s a phrase I hope the work I’ve been a part of will be marked with someday. Along with that important phrase there’s another guiding principle that keeps me focused in what I’m doing in evangelization, it’s, “Ministry is only as good as the people doing it.” To me this basically means the success of the Church’s mission doesn’t ultimately depend on the next best program, a huge budget or any one particular expression of the Faith. It depends on faithful missionary disciples whose lives are firmly rooted in Jesus Christ. Period. I would like to take a brief look at both of these principles in light of Pillar 2.2 from the Realign Resources for Mission pillars.
Baptism from The Seven Sacraments by Nicolas Poussin (1594 –1665)
“If something is worth doing…”
A few years ago I attended a national conference where Patrick Lencioni, a highly sought after organizational health consultant and author of several bestselling books, was a keynote speaker. There he told the attending priests and lay ministers that they have “the most important job on the planet.” Now, as a lay minister myself I’ll try to remain impartial, but if what we profess as Catholics is true, then how can he not be right? The work we do in the Church opens eternal salvation to a world in which it would otherwise be closed. It’s not to say that all other jobs aren’t worthy or even necessary but in the big picture the work of the Church really does rise to the surface as paramount.
Yet, in ministry there remains a constant tension between the value of the work and how much money it often takes to do things the way they should be done. It seems like in ministry we have often defaulted to doing things the cheapest way possible because, hey, the Church herself is, in fact, a charity, right? But after over 20 years of serving in ministry I can attest that doing things “on-the-cheap” never pays off. In fact I’ve witnessed just the opposite. Spending the necessary money on doing things really well has a positive domino effect on our ministries (Two of the most important effects being the value implicitly placed on whatever event or whoever is involved.) All of this to say that I’m really excited about the prospect of pouring more necessary resources, both in the form of compensation and formation, toward the lay people doing ministry in the Diocese of Lansing because “If ministry is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.”
Penance from The Seven Sacraments by Nicolas Poussin (1594 –1665)
“Ministry is only as good as the people doing it…”
Thankfully the work we’re doing does not ultimately depend on money. I hope it goes without saying that ALL the work we do ultimately depends on God, but God has chosen to have this work done through people. And I have found that over and over again the most successful and impactful ministries can be traced back to a person, someone that God had his hand on to do something however big or small, for Him. Along those same lines I have witnessed too many instances that I would label as tragedies in ministry, a.k.a. when someone extremely talented and gifted needed to step away from ministry because he/she could no longer support his family on a “ministry salary”. The other tragedy is how many “breadwinner” lay ministers have to have an extra job or two on the side in order to support their families. All too often I have seen this exhaust our most gifted lay people to the point where they can no longer give their best to ANY of their duties. That’s why I am excited to see the Diocese of Lansing working toward “taking money off the table”, as a holy priest used to say to me. Let’s hire the best people out there and support them so they can focus solely on their role in the parish and best service to the Church.
As the Director of the Office of New Evangelization I see Pillar 2.2, “Every defined critical ministry/role has a competent leader” as the gateway to the success of everything we’re trying to accomplish in the Church. I believe the proposals from the RRM committee contain a tremendous amount of promise for the future of ministry in the Diocese of Lansing. I’m thankful to Bishop Boyea for following the promptings of the Holy Spirit with this and forging an exciting and hopeful path.
Yours in Christ,
Director of the Office of New Evangelization
Diocese of Lansing
Watch: Steve Nowaczewski is a parishioner Saint Joseph parish in Ypsilanti and a member of the Realign Resources for Mission committee.
A married father of four, Steve brings to the committee great experience in strategy, planning, integrity management, and change-management courtesy of working at a high-level in the energy sector over several decades.
In this video, Steve gives his reflection upon this week's Realign Resources for Mission principle: “A healthy parish in the Diocese of Lansing ensures that every defined critical ministry/role has a competent leader.”
This Week's Friday Prayer Intention:
Please pray for all young people within the Diocese of Lansing, that they may come to know and love Jesus Christ as the one hope in life that never disappoints (Romans 5:5). 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.