Monroe Clinton Partner Parishes
In 1997 Bishop Matthew Clark instituted a pastoral planning process for all parishes in the Diocese of Rochester. The parishes were organized into 35 planning geographically based groups and were tasked with collaborating with the other parishes in the planning group to devise pastoral plans that would respond to some of the realities facing the diocese: declining population in Upstate New York and declining number of priests to serve them.
Each group came up with a five year plan which was submitted to the Bishop and affirmed by him. A planning group council composed of representatives from each parish along with the pastoral leaders was formed to coordinate the implementation of the plan and to development new plans as the situation changed or the five-year planning period was completed.
The Monroe-Clinton Planning Group is composed of three partner parishes: St. Mary’s Church, Church of the Blessed Sacrament and St. Boniface Church. The Monroe-Clinton Partner Parishes Coordinating Committee is composed of 11 members, three from each parish, the pastor of Blessed Sacrament-St. Boniface and the pastoral administrator of St. Mary’s. The committee is currently co-haired by Bill Pickett (St. Mary’s) and Tom Nicolay (St. Boniface.) The diocesan liaison is Karen Rinefierd. Download a pdf of the complete committee membership.
The current pastoral plan was updated by the group, approved by the pastoral councils of the three parishes and affirmed by the Bishop in January 2011. The plan extends through 2014. Download a copy of the plan. The plan addresses important areas of parish configuration and collaborative ministries. The following is a summary listing of the major elements of the plan.
- Beginning in July 2011 Blessed Sacrament and St. Boniface were clustered under a single pastoral leader, Fr. Bob Kennedy, who had been pastor of Blessed Sacrament. St. Mary’s continues as a single parish under the leadership of Anne-Marie Brogan, pastoral administrator. Fr. Scott Caton has been assigned as Assisting Priest to serve all three parishes. Fr. Kennedy and Fr. Caton will be assisted by Fr. Jim Coughlin, S.J.
- Since the number of priests declined from three full-time to two (one full time pastor and one Assisting Priest which is not a full-time assignment) in July, the Mass schedule for the three parishes was changed so that there is a total of six with each parish having two Masses a weekend.
- Collaboration in ministry continues and will increase. Currently the three parishes have joint faith formation, youth ministry and young adult ministries. Future colalboration is planned in social justice, pastoral care of the sick and home-bound, and senior ministry.