- What is the timetable if the consolidation to the St. Joseph campus goes forward?
- If we consolidate to St. Joseph’s, what will happen to St. John’s? Could we keep the St. John’s property for other uses? Is selling St. John's school and rectory but keeping the church an option?
- Why isn’t the St. John school rented out as a school
- What is our plan to create a unified parish culture?
- What are the remaining steps and what role do
- Do we have a plan for evangelization and building up
- How many parishioners do we project to lose if we
close a campus?
1) What is the timetable if the consolidation to the St. Joseph campus goes forward?
final recommendation is made to the Archbishop, he will likely take several
months or more to discern and communicate his decision. If the Archbishop approves
the consolidation, the St. John campus will be listed for sale. It could take
several years to find a buyer that aligns with our values and is able to make a
During this period, the St. Joseph campus would begin to be renovated and improved to accommodate the eventual movement of ministries and office staff. As these renovations and improvements are made, some Masses would continue to be held at the St. John campus. Once the St. Joseph campus has been made sufficiently ready, the St. John’s campus might be temporarily re-designated as an oratory, permitting occasional Masses and services to be held there until it is sold.
Due to the number of variables, it is impossible to give a precise timeline. However, the current Mass schedule will continue at least through the end of August 2022 (and perhaps longer).
If we consolidate to St. Joseph’s, what will happen to
St. John’s? Could we keep the St. John’s
property for other uses? Is selling St.
John's school and rectory but keeping the church an option?
we consolidate to the St. Joseph campus, we would most likely sell the St. John
If we consolidate to the St. Joseph campus but keep the St. John’s property for other purposes, then either we would not solve our financial issues, or we would have to use income from the property to fund ordinary operations, which violates fiscal best practices.
Selling portions of St. John’s was discussed but did not seem practical. The school and church of the St. John campus cannot easily be split. The rectory could be sold separately but, due to the outstanding mortgage on it, our net profit on the sale would only be about $250,000, which is not enough to make a significant difference for our situation.
3) Why isn’t the St. John school rented out as a school or daycare?
Since Agamim vacated the
building, St. Gabriel’s has been approached by a few potential tenants but none
of them were financially viable or serious opportunities. Some requested
extensive renovations that would have forced St. Gabriel’s to go further into
debt when we are already struggling financially. Finding the right tenant for
this relatively small building — a tenant that aligns with our values and
can make a long-term commitment — has been difficult. The parish could re-lease the building and
potentially remain on both campuses, but the time seemed right with the
departure of Agamim and no serious lease opportunities to re-evaluate the
parish long-term strategy.
has a culture that distinguishes it from other parishes. Whether or not we
consolidate to a single campus, St. Gabriel’s needs its own culture, distinct
from the previous cultures of St. John’s and St. Joe’s before the merger. Creating a new parish culture will be the work of those who choose to
stay committed to St. Gabriel’s, no matter what the future holds. See our Annual Report for further reflection on this point.
The Archdiocese directed us
to engage in a thorough parish discernment and then make a recommendation to
the Archbishop. A year of study and a preliminary recommendation has been
completed and shared with the larger parish community. Comments and insights will continue to be
gathered until the end of January 2022.
At that time, parish leadership will review the comments and overall
reaction of the parish and engage in a final discernment, including a
recommendation to the Archbishop.
If, based on our recommendation, the Archbishop decides to authorize consolidation, he will initiate a canonical process that involves the Holy See. Once that process is complete and the consolidation has received canonical approval from the Holy See, the actual sale of the campus and movement of our ministries can begin. Until that time, plans can be proposed and researched but not acted upon.
6) Do we have a plan for evangelization and building up our parish?
Yes! Consolidation is the first step in
this plan, because it will allow us to focus our time, energy, and resources on
our mission rather than on our buildings.
7) How many parishioners do we project to lose if we close a campus?
Diocesan history has shown that, on
average, parishes lose 10-30% of the total number of parishioners when closing
a campus. Most of these tend to be from
the campus that closes.*
In our case, one particular challenge is the difference between the look and feel of our two churches and campuses. In order to address this challenge, significant upgrades would be made to the St. Joseph campus to incorporate some of the best features of the St. John campus (e.g. accessibility, a main-floor gathering space). Proposals for modifying the St. Joseph campus will be drawn up and shared with parishioners before a final recommendation is made.
*There are several reasons to hope that St. Gabriel’s will be on the lower end of this range:
- We have already been merged for 8 years
- Our Catholic grade schools have been merged for decades
- Both campuses are close to each other and in the same city
- Many parishioners at St. Gabriel’s see themselves as belonging to a spiritual family that is more about the people than the building.
Parishioners from both campuses have acknowledged the need to focus on ministries and mission rather than maintenance and money. That is what consolidation will make possible.