Over the past three years, Holy Family Catholic Community, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish and Our Risen Savior Parish have grown together and have learned to work as one. Through various avenues of collaboration, we have joined forces to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ in our respective neighborhoods, and have continued to live out our Baptismal call to work as one for the building up of the Kingdom of God.
In many ways our parish communities have remained distinct from one another, maintaining each community’s unique characteristics and values that make worshiping at each site a worthwhile experience for its members. Holding strong to our unique traditions and values has been a hallmark for all of our communities, and will continue to be a value that is carried forward, as we look ahead to the future.
In collaboration with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, we have been charged with the responsibility of working together to make sure that our parish communities remain strong and vibrant now and for generations to come. One way we do that is by continuing to work to accomplish the goals set for us by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Recently, I met with the Office of Planning for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, to discuss the Vision 2020 Plan which outlines the needs and desires of the archdiocese.
This plan, though set in place many years ago, is expected to come to fruition in 2020. Vision 2020 planning takes a real and difficult look into the future and assesses the viability of parishes, the number of available priests, and upcoming priest retirements. Using this information, the archdiocese is able to make a recommendation to pastors on how to move forward to ensure that the parish communities are being served to the best of our abilities.
In collaboration with the Office of Planning for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and your Pastoral and Finance Council, we have been charged with the task of merging our parish communities into one entity. As a result, by June of 2020, Our Risen Savior and Presentation Parish corporations will cease to exist and will be merged with Holy Family Catholic Community. I need to emphasize, though, that none of the parish church sites are being closed. I repeat, none of our church sites are being closed at this time!
I know that for some members of Holy Family Catholic Community who have been through the merger process before, this news may be difficult and I want you to know that I understand your feelings. Moving forward, I want you to know that I am going to do my best to communicate with you every step of the way and to make sure that every voice is heard throughout this process. These parishes are your communities. Many of our friends and relatives have been raised in these parishes and plan on spending the rest of their lives attending Mass at these sites. Our friends have invested themselves in these communities and I pray that each member will continue to do so now and well into the future.
I look at this as a great opportunity to strengthen the collaboration that is already taking place between our great communities and I look forward to continuing to serve as leader of a new unified community. Please know, that in the coming weeks, a merger committee will be established and representatives will be chosen from each parish site to represent the parish community to work with me on bringing our parish communities together as one. I ask that you continue to pray for the success of this endeavor and pray for your parish community as we embark on a new and exciting chapter in this book that is yet to be written.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me directly or talk with your Pastoral Council representatives.
Thank you once again for your patience and for your prayers throughout this process.
Fr. Ryan J Pruess
Holy Family Catholic Community