On May 15, 2011 nearly 150 persons gathered to offer their reflections on a vision narrative that imagined what St. Frances Cabrini might be like in 2016. The reactions to the vision were overwhelmingly positive and the mood of the gathering was very upbeat. The compilation of the comments from those in attendance filled 20 pages!
The parish council carefully reviewed the responses to the vision narrative and has distilled five large vision themes. Not every aspect of parish life is explicitly named in these themes, nor is every perspective represented. These themes are broad in scope but provide clear direction about where the community wants time and energy directed in regard to the future state of the parish.
Five Vision Themes:
1. Building on diversity and inclusivity in our community:
It is clear that St. Frances Cabrini values having diversity in its community. We are each valuable and valued as members of the community. Hospitality and welcoming is seen as a strength of the parish. At the same time concerns were raised about cliques in the community as well as the capacity of the community to welcome all sorts of Catholics, including more traditional Catholics. Continue outreach to GLBT.
2. Attracting and engaging young people (including children):
There was a strong mention of attracting younger families to the parish. The idea of reaching out to college aged students was embraced. A stronger connection with and enhanced services to youth already in the parish is highly desired. The idea of a Sunday evening Mass with a special orientation to youth was seen as desirable.
3. Thoughtfully growing the Cabrini community:
Growing the size of the community was welcomed by many especially in terms of attracting more youth and young families. At the same time, the sense of intimacy, and smallness of the current size is highly valued. One participant phrased it as “growing with the sense of a small community”. Explore the ways that Cabrini can reach out to persons who would find a home at Cabrini. Be intentional.
4. Embracing our role as a leader as a 21st century Roman Catholic Church:
One of the participants articulated that Cabrini “can be a model for other Churches”. There was a sense that this is a time for Cabrini to stop being afraid and to remove the bushel from its light. Key elements of Cabrini’s light are its vibrant liturgies and its commitment to peace and social justice.
5. Securing the future vitality of the Cabrini Community:
There was a desire to protect and assure the long-term vitality of the parish. This implies the need for all members of the community to invest resources of time, treasure and talent. All members of the parish are encouraged to take responsibility for the well being of the community. Many members have a long term relationship with the parish and hope and desire that the community will be here to celebrate their lives when they pass on to the Creator.
Next Steps in the Process:
In November 2011, committees were asked toidentify, prioritize and sequence the strategic objectives that will close the gap between the current state and desired future of the parish. Subsequently, work will begin on enacting strategic projects and actions that will effect the strategic objectives. All parishioners will be invited to assist in one or more of the strategic projects and actions.
The results of the committee's work is summarized is this Goals Summary