Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 23, 2004
Archdiocese reorganizes Pastoral Centre
Changes enable better service to Our Lord and the people
By ARCHBISHOP THOMAS COLLINS
Our archdiocese is a faith community of about 345,000 persons who are gathered together in many parishes, and served by a complex network of schools, Catholic health care facilities, and religious communities and organizations.
My mission as archbishop is to care for the spiritual needs of the people of the whole archdiocese, and those who work with me in our Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre assist me in carrying out that mission.
Our common goal is to serve Our Lord and the people, and we are always looking at ways of doing that more effectively. But on occasion it is a good idea to step back, and to look at the whole of our work, to see what can be improved, and how we can respond better to ever changing circumstances.
For the last few years we have been engaged in that kind of comprehensive review, which has involved consultation with priests, pastoral associates, parish council members and many others throughout the archdiocese, as well as with all of those who work at the Pastoral Centre.
We are now ready to implement the results of the review, which involve a thorough and complex re-ordering of our work. I am writing to give you an idea of some of the main changes that will take place. For information on all of our services, I invite you to visit our website: edmontoncatholic-church.com.
One simple but practical point that you will notice is that our pastoral offices will be open on more days, allowing us to be more available to respond to your spiritual needs.
Many observed in the course of the consultation that we need better co-ordination of our efforts. For this reason, a director of pastoral services will co-ordinate our various pastoral offices, and they are being organized so that they can work together more effectively. The faith formation team will consist of the offices of liturgy, catechetics, and youth and young adult ministry, and will also attend to the work of the former Adult Learning Commission.
Our other offices of ecumenism, social justice, and special projects will continue, and the Family Enrichment Centre becomes the office of family life and health care, reflecting a concern for the spiritual care of the sick which has been added to its responsibilities in the last few years.
Our marriage tribunal, which serves those seeking declarations of nullity, will be expanded to care for all spiritual needs relating to the law of the Church, or canon law, and will become the Office of Canonical Affairs. The various services in the Office of the Archbishop are also being reorganized, so that they can function more effectively. We are adding to them the diaconate office and the stewardship office.
Over the course of the last year, all who work at our centre were consulted concerning the tasks each performs, and an effort was made to group tasks together in the most effective way. Revised job descriptions were drawn up, and each person has recently been consulted again concerning the particular position in which he or she serves, with the opportunity to suggest further modifications.
After these changes have been implemented, all will be consulted again in January of 2005 to see if, in the light of experience of the changes, any further adjustments seem indicated. We are also reviewing all of our salaries and benefits to be sure that they are fair.
There is also a physical dimension to the effort to improve our ability to serve you. All of the pastoral services are being gathered together on the main floor of our Pastoral Centre building, with the offices arranged so that those who serve in them can work together better, and can have easier access to the resources they need to do their work.
By far the most important physical change is the recent renovation of the St. Francis de Sales Chapel in the Pastoral Centre. It provides a serene place of prayer, for visitors and our staff alike, at the heart of our work. All that we do must arise out of a spirit of adoration, if it is truly to be spiritually fruitful.
Each morning at 8 a.m., just before our offices open, we celebrate Mass in the chapel for staff and any others who wish to join us. At noon each day we gather briefly in the chapel to pray the Angelus together, so that we can be focused on the service of Our Lord, and seek the intercession of Our Lady. A yearly retreat and other opportunities to come together are intended to help all to be united in our common mission of service.
We always need to be attentive to ways in which we can respond better to constantly changing circumstances, and the changing needs of the people of the archdiocese, but our simple mission never changes: to serve Our Lord and his people in the best way that we can. I hope and pray that this comprehensive review of our work at the Pastoral Centre will help us to do that.
Letter to the Editor - 03/08/04
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