In you remember last Fall I mentioned that the City of St. Cloud is planning to some major street improvements in and around the area which surrounds the Church of St. Peter. The first phase of this project (which was approved by the city) is set to begin this summer (2018) and would include the street which runs along the south side of St. Peter. It was determined that the cost of this phase of the project would be about $38,000. Recently both St. Peter’s Finance Committee in agreement with St. Peter’s Parish Council has agreed to pay this street assessment since we do have some limited funds available. This is the good news, the challenging or (bad news) is that the second phase of the project is set to possibly begin the summer of 2019 and will include the streets North, East and West of the parish grounds. This phase will cost an estimated $210,000 for St. Peter’s. Although this phase has not yet been approved by the city, in order to be better prepared, our parish leadership is beginning to look at some options should this vote pass. Any decision we make to pay this assessment will include having to borrow some money to pay this off. As of yet, we do not know if this project will go forward. As pastor, I will continue to keep everyone informed.
On a related topic, beginning in 2020 the Diocese of St. Cloud will be facing a major shortage of priest vocations who can staff all the current parishes in the diocese. Beginning in 2020 we will be experiencing a larger than average influx of retirement, with very few priest vocations to fill these spots. For this reason Bishop Kettler and the Diocesan Planning Committee has requested that all Deaneries and parishes in the diocese conduct a Parish Planning Meeting in order to get people’s input on the future planning of our parishes. The Bishop has already met with the priests of our diocese and each deanery (including St. Cloud Deanery) has already met and discussed this topic with selected lay-staff members from each parish. This past November we had such a meeting which included some staff members from St. Peter and St. Paul. Now Bishop Kettler and the Diocesan Planning Committee has requested that each parish also host a similar Parish Planning Meeting in order to get “everyone’s” input and ideas of what is important and what should be our vision for the future in order to accommodate our pastoral needs.
For this reason, I your pastor, will be holding two Parish Planning meetings in March in order to get your input. The dates I have set are: Wednesday, March 14th at 6:30 p.m. at St. Peter and Thursday, March 15th at 6:30 p.m. at St. Paul. All members from St. Peter or St. Paul are invited to come to either session in order to gather your thoughts and ideas. The information shared will include input and statistics from both St. Peter and St. Paul. After these meetings, I am then asked to forward this information to the Bishop and Planning Board who will then begin to put together and formulate a diocesan-wide plan beginning this Fall 2018. The agreed upon plan will be implemented in or around 2019. Please mark your calendars for this. This announcement will also be posted in our bulletin.
Words to live by: “Consideration for others can mean taking a wing instead of a drumstick.”