Celebrating Amazing Parish Communities

Our parishes give us a place to gather, a sense of community and a tangible home for our faith. In partnership with generous donors, The Catholic Foundation strengthened its commitment to Parish Life this year by offering a special grant cycle to send twenty Pastors, and up to four of his team members, to attend The Amazing Parish conference in Denver.

“Everything we do at the Foundation is centered around supporting the Catholic faith,” said Loren Brown, President & CEO. “By providing the resources for 100 people to attend this conference, we expect thousands to grow in their faith journey as our Pastors and their teams bring home new ideas and strategies to share with their parishes.”

After experiencing The Amazing Parish firsthand, Pastors from the diocese returned renewed with many exciting ideas to implement at home. After returning from the conference, Father Daniel Millisor and Father Jim Colopy, of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish (OLPH), assembled an official strategic team to assist with this process.

“No pastor, not even the best one, can run a parish on his own,” Father Millisor said. “Every pastor needs a team, a special group of leaders who are collectively committed to helping him make the parish alive and vibrant, and bring more people to Christ and His Church.”

The team used the summer to strategize and shape a program, publishing a series of articles in their bulletin that brought together insights gained from the conference to share with the community. They made plans to strengthen existing programs, and looked for ways to improve upon identified weaknesses in the parish. The planning culminated in mini-Amazing Parish conference for team leaders and catechists at OLPH, where attendees had the opportunity to form action groups and create plans for their own expertise areas for the upcoming year.

OLPH’s strategic work this summer is just one example of an outcome from The Amazing Parish conference. Each parish that attended the conference learned tools to move towards their own vision and mission, while adapting to individual parish circumstances. The attending Pastors and their teams returned energized and enlightened to serve their parishes in more amazing ways.

“The fruit of an amazing parish will be a constant outflow of disciples who go into the world to serve their brothers and sisters,” Father Millisor said. “A parish must help its people do this by teaching them how, and by giving them opportunities for service and for sharing the Gospel.”

As one of its four pillars, The Catholic Foundation was excited to renew a focus on Parish Life and offer funding to help these parishes develop a vision for growth within their communities. The benefit to the parish, and to the Catholic faith, has the potential to span generations.

“We returned from Denver on fire, and still are,” Father Millisor added.