Sept. 9/10, 2017
In a time when many talk about a diminished Catholic Church, there are parishes across the country that are receiving the light of Christ and are transforming themselves into shining stars of hope that defy the skeptics and the undiscerning.
I’m glad to continue to share with you more background details of the Master Plan process and a proposed parish project that is beginning to take shape. Specifically, I’d like to address questions that came up before and during the Feasibility Study, regarding the finances of a project and the impact on the parish in the short and long term.
Our priority is to address the needs of the parish for the next 20-30 years based on the mission of Our Lady of Consolation. As we examine the growing needs of our faith community, it was determined during the Feasibility Study that we should primarily focus on additional parking, relocation of the rectory, expansion/renovation of the Education Center and a revamped Parish Center/gymnasium. Expansion of the church, which is part of our Master Plan, is a low priority at this time and won’t be considered for many years.
What has been mentioned of utmost concern by parishioners is the future operating costs of the parish. Be assured, part of the plan includes an organizational, mission-driven budget, projecting expenses and revenues for the next two to three years based on the impact on staffing, utilities and maintenance increases. Our emphasis will be on avoiding long-term debt and being fiscally responsible.
In the coming weeks, we’ll share more details about the campaign, including its leadership and a calendar of next steps. This project is our responsibility to the entire diocese as a flagship parish in this area of Kent County. Thank you for your ongoing interest in this project and helping to make Our Lady of Consolation a joyful, vibrant faith community.
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As you may be aware we are moving forward with the next steps of the Master Plan process, however we have received questions from a few parishioners about the background of this project.
I want to take a moment and share a brief history of the process with everyone, and let you know that more information can be found on the parish website by clicking on the Facilities Master Plan button on the left menu.
In 2009, the Diocese started a planning and development project and named Our Lady of Consolation as the “flagship” parish of northern Kent County. As a parish, this is a serious and sacred responsibility that we have. So we were asked to develop a 20-30 year plan to address the expected population growth and the growing needs of our faith community.
Through the past several years we’ve been moving toward making our plan into reality with the help and support of many of you. If you look around the parish right now you will see many areas that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. Parking is becoming increasingly tighter; office space is at its capacity and classroom space has also reached its maximum.
At the beginning of every school year, all departments schedule their facility needs for the entire year and have them reserved on the calendar. This year, we have nearly no remaining meeting rooms or times available to host potential new ministries. These are the best kind of problems to have. Our Lady is growing. We are doing amazing things in our parish and in our community, but we are outgrowing the space we have.
In the 12 months of 2016, we had 50 new families register with our parish. In only the first 7 months of 2017 we have had 65 families register. This success is because of you; how you welcome people, how you are spreading the Gospel and how you are inviting people to join us.
I am asking that you pray for our parish as we grow, and as we move forward with this Master Plan process and the proposed parish project.
We will be updating you frequently with the progress being made, however all information is also available in the website. I encourage you to read through the material on the website and to reach out to the parish office with any questions you may have.
These are exciting times at Our Lady of Consolation Parish! As you may know, our parish is in the process of creating a long-term Master Plan for our campus.
The Master Planning Committee and I are seeking your input on the plan. Please click the link below to review an overview of the plan and to access a link to a project response survey; we would greatly appreciate you completing the survey and sharing your candid reaction, thoughtful insight and prayerful response to the project plan.
God bless and thank you for your time.
In Christ’s Peace,
Link to Survey
Emailed Case Support
Save the date for another Town-Hall meeting. This one will briefly overcap what we have already discussed and then discuss much further the process that is taking place now. We will be discussing the feasibility study and what the next steps that are going to be taken.
There will only be one meeting this time, so make sure to mark your calendars….
March 20th 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary
Please watch the presentation if here if you were not able to attend it in person.
Please comment on this post with any questions that you have thought of after viewing the initial presentation about the 10-20 Year Facilities Master Plan.
What is the Master Plan?
* The “10-20 year Facilities Master Plan” is a facilities growth proposal that includes expanding our church, school and meeting spaces
Why should you come to the meeting?
* We want to explain what has happened thus far in planning and, hopefully, garner your support to move forward with the next stage of planning
What’s in this proposal for me?
* This proposal is intended to help fulfill current needs and future needs of all aspects of our parish
What do I have to do?
* At this point we are just looking for parish-wide support before moving forward. Please attend the meeting and offer your opinion, comments and questions.