Renew My Church

UPDATE - JANUARY 28, 2021 - FORMAL DECREE 

For every decision made, there is a formal decree made by Cardinal Cupich. A decree is a pronouncement or document that formalizes a decision within the Church. In this case, the decree included here concerns the decision for our parishes to unify as a new parish after our grouping’s Renew My Church discernment.

The decree states that St. Bartholomew, Our Lady of Victory, and St. Pascal will form a new parish on July 1, 2021. The decree states the new parish will have an ad interim name. This means that the parish will be called Our Lady of Victory and SS. Bartholomew and Pascal Parish until we propose a new name to Cardinal Cupich for his consideration and approval.

When you read the decree, you will notice the decree states St. Pascal Church will be the parish church of the new parish and that the churches of St. Bartholomew and Our Lady of Victory will be churches of the new parish. A couple of notes on this:

One implication of St. Pascal being designated the parish church means that the sacramental records of the new parish, as well as the past sacramental records of each of St. Bartholomew, Our Lady of Victory, and St. Pascal will be maintained at the offices on the St. Pascal campus in the future. Rome requires that a united parish’s sacramental records be kept in one place and for that location to be designated in the decree as the parish church. For the current time, each parish’s records will remain at their current locations, and we will update everyone when the records are fully brought together at the office on the St. Pascal campus. The hours and activities at each of the offices at St. Bartholomew and St. Pascal after July 1 will be important matters discussed in the coming months.

Second, the decree states that each of the churches of St. Bartholomew, Our Lady of Victory, and St. Pascal will be churches of the new parish. When a new parish is formed, all of the assets of each former parish become part of the new parish. This includes the churches. As shared at the announcement on Dec. 18, both St. Bartholomew and St. Pascal will continue to have a regular schedule for Mass, and regularly scheduled Masses at Our Lady of Victory will cease no later than the First Sunday of Advent in 2021. Until the procedure for formally closing a church occurs, a church remains available to use for occasional worship even if regular daily or Sunday Masses are not scheduled at the church. The specific Mass schedule after July 1 is an important topic we will discuss with parish leadership in the coming months.

Regarding the name of the new parish, there will be a process to include everyone. We will keep you updated on the timeline of when this process to consider a parish name will begin.

Until then, let us hold fast to the Lord’s promise that He is with us always, and trust in the fact that He is at work in a special way within our faith community and is creating something new for all of us.

Certainly, the process of renewal is an emotional one. For many of us, it is a time of significant change. So, let us also keep each other and our neighbors in prayer as we continue our journey forward.

Click here for the formal decree regarding Renew My Church.

 

UPDATE - DECEMBER 18, 2020:  Click here for the final decision regarding Renew My Church.

UPDATE - NOVEMBER 13, 2020:  Although we had hoped to reach a final decision on Renew My Church plans involving Saint Pascal by the second week of November, the Archdiocese has requested the Jefferson Park/Portage Park parish grouping, together with the Old Irving Park/Addison parish grouping, to spend more time exploring possible scenarios that could impact both groupings. Click the link below for a recap of the Renew My Church process to date, current recommendations, and next steps for additional discernment.  If you have any questions or comments, please send them to rmcst.pascal@gmail.com



Click here for the November 13 update from the Archdiocese.



Renew My Church: What is it? Why are we doing it?

Message from Father Elliott Dees - August 9, 2020

Our parish, like all parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago, is participating in an effort of renewal. Some may ask, “why now?” since we have just reopened, there is still a great deal of concern for people’s well-being and we are focused on healing the racial injustice in our city and country. The most honest answer I can offer is that the opportunity for renewal is ever-present and is perhaps more important now than ever.

When we look at the signs of the time, what do we see? A culture more ambivalent toward religion; declining faith participation of younger generations; Mass attendance in our archdiocese that has decreased by 27% over the past 20 years; across the U.S., 2 in 5 children baptized are not confirmed; and, 85% of children that are confirmed stop practicing their faith by age 21. In many quarters of our society, Christian morality, once the norm, is pushed aside. The consequences are all around us: breakdown of families, disregard for innocent life and human dignity, violence in our communities, addictions, depression, loneliness and despair. For many of us, we see this in our own families and neighborhoods, brokenness and separation from the life of Jesus Christ.

Now, consider the actual words, “renew my church.”

What a wonderful gift we have as Jesus invites us to renew His Church. The Lord of the universe speaks these words to us just as he spoke them to the saints before us. Finally, we have the word Church. It seems like a tall order to renew the Church. Isn’t that someone else’s job? Our own little parish, maybe. But the whole Church? Yes. And we will, because renewal always, always, always begins within our own hearts.

To be clear, Renew My Church is much bigger than anything we’ve ever done in the Archdiocese of Chicago. It is a faithful response to Christ’s call to renew His Church, a journey that is both spiritual (to re-encounter Jesus Christ as disciples and parish communities) and structural (to ensure our parishes have adequate resources for vitality).

Through Renew My Church initiatives, the Archdiocese will re-commit our local Church to our gospel commission to make disciples, build vital communities of faith and inspire witness to bring the light and hope of Christ to a world in need. These mission imperatives guide all that we do in and through the spiritual and structural efforts of renewal.

One initiative of Renew My Church is focused on increasing the vitality of our local communities. Cardinal Cupich has asked our parish to come together with the other parishes in our grouping to start a process of reflection, discernment, and planning to consider how we can collaborate and combine resources so that we are better equipped to bring Jesus Christ to the world today.

 

If you have any questions or comments, please send them to rmcst.pascal@gmail.com