Realigning Resources for Mission

Watch: Diocese of Lansing Podcast #11: Realigning Resources for Mission with Father Mathias Thelen
Watch: Bishop Boyea's Realigning Ressourses for Mission; An Invitation 

Bishop Earl Boyea  established a new 14-member committee to review how the resources of the Diocese of Lansing can be best used to better evangelize all those who live within the bounds of the diocese. 

“Well, this Committee for the Realignment of Resources for Mission in our diocese was really established in order to plan for the future. Where are we going? How are we going to evangelize in our area?” said Bishop Boyea, 30 August, 2019. 

“How are we going to strengthen the faith of those who are members of the household of faith? How are we going to try win back those who have wandered away? And how do we bring in new members to the Church? How do we make Jesus Christ more present in our 10-county diocese?” 

Bishop Boyea’s decision to establish the committee has been informed, he says, by several statistics. The number of priests currently in active ministry across the diocese is 81 compared to the number of parishes which is 74. There is also a continued decline in people attending Sunday Mass with a loss of over 17,000 people since 2009.

The new committee met for the first time on Monday, 26 August, at the Diocesan Offices in Lansing. Its membership includes priests, deacons, and lay men and women from across the diocese who were nominated by the presbyterate and diocesan staff. Overseeing proceedings was Father Mathias Thelen of Saint Patrick’s in Brighton, Livingston, who has been asked by the bishop to chair the committee. 

In a personal letter issued to each committee member, Bishop Boyea said he wanted to them to “seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the presbyterate, the parish and school staff and the faithful men and women of this diocese to determine how best to realign our resources (personnel, property, financial, material) to further the mission of forming communities of missionary disciples who go announce the Gospel of the Lord”. 

He also encouraged them not to “be afraid to be bold and innovative in exploring ideas for renewal and growth” and urged them to “envision a diocese with parishes that are fully alive communities of missionary disciples, with a vibrant sacramental life, where everyone can encounter Jesus Christ, most especially in the Eucharist.”

Appropriately, the new committee’s proceedings began with Holy Mass in St Mary Cathedral. Their first meeting also began with prayer, including a litany of all those saints associated with parishes and schools within the Diocese of Lansing. 

“Their [the committee’s] purpose is really just to do study and to make recommendations, ultimately, to me about where they think things should go,” added Bishop Boyea. 

“It’s going to be a lot of study. We have to find out from a lot of people what’s going on in the diocese. A lot of data will be collected. And then make some recommendations about how we realign our various resources according to the needs of the church, and to advance the needs of the church and the mission of Christ.” 

Bishop Boyea has asked the committee to provide him with a final report by 8 December, 2020. Please keep the members of the committee in your prayers as they go about their task. Our Lady, Immaculately Conceived, Diocesan Patroness, pray for them, pray for us. 

* The members of the Realigning Resources for Mission Committee are:

Father Bob Bacik, St. Isidore, Laingsburg 
Pete Burak, Christ the King, Ann Arbor
Father Chas Canoy, St. John the Evangelist, Jackson
Father Steve Mattson, Church of the Resurrection, Lansing
Stephen Nowaczewski, St. Joseph, Ypsilanti
Father Jim Rolph, Powers High School, Flint  
Father Mathias Thelen, St. Patrick, Brighton
Abby Walls, St Mary, Pinckney
Teresa Witt, St. Robert Genesee, Flushing 
Deacon Devon Wolf, St. Mary Magdalen, Brighton 
Tom Maloney, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Lansing
George Landolt, Chief Financial Officer, Diocese of Lansing
David Kerr, Director of Communications, Diocese of Lansing 
Deborah Amato, Chief of Staff, Diocese of Lansing