Catholics developing master plan for St. Paul the Apostle

St. Paul the Apostle Church, Davenport

DAVENPORT — St. Paul the Apostle Parish held a town hall meeting Feb. 26 to update parishioners about efforts completed and to continue planning for the future.
Members of the Pastoral Planning Committee hosted the meeting, which included discussion about development of a master plan for the parish, said Michelle Herrington, director of parish life. The meeting opened with a short video highlighting the parish mission of building a community of disciples, which is at the heart of all parish activity, she noted.
In April 2013 the parish council underwent a major restructuring of parish leadership. Commissions were established to oversee efforts in the five areas of parish life: administration, community life, faith formation, outreach and worship. During the past year commissions have established five new committees to address areas of concern identified in a 2012 parish survey: music, liturgy planning, communications, events, social action and social justice.
Herrington said two members of each commission, a staff representative and Pastor Father Tony Herold serve on the parish council.
The council developed a new parish mission statement to guide efforts of the commissions and committees, which reads: “St. Paul the Apostle parish builds a community of disciples, strengthened by Word and Sacrament, to celebrate, live and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.” The parish school adopted the mission statement as well.
The buildings and grounds committee has been busy with many projects to maintain and improve parish facilities. Examples include installing new handrails at school’s entrances, rebuilding the wall in front of Denning Hall and painting and plastering the gathering space.
Herrington said all parish facilities have been evaluated by an architect to assess the overall condition of the buildings and to identify any problem areas. A needs assessment has also been compiled to determine facility needs in the church and school based on input from parish leadership groups and parish and school staff.  Existing spaces will also be evaluated.
Other changes the parish has experienced are the loss of a parochial vicar and reorganization/realignment of the parish staff, including establishing positions to focus on evangelization and young adult ministry. Mass times have been changed to accommodate the loss of a priest. New music groups are being formed to provide contemporary music at the 11 a.m. Mass.
Weekly Mass counts will be used to determine whether the church has the seating capacity needed to accommodate parishioners now that there are fewer weekend Masses. Studies will track usage of Denning Hall and determine the financial capacity of the parish to support capital buildings and grounds projects.
All of this information, Herrington said, will be used to help develop a master plan for the parish, which the pastoral planning committee hopes to complete by this fall.
“We anticipate having another town hall meeting in the spring to seek additional feedback from the parish.”

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