Diocese releases parish plans
Guidelines will help decide how parishes will be staffed
By Tony Staley
Detailed plans were released this week that over the next several
years will shape leadership and staffing for the 198 parishes
around the Green Bay Diocese.
The plans for 15 geographic areas were prepared by the parishes
in collaboration with the diocese. Plans were then submitted to
the Presbyteral Council, made up of priests from various age
groups and regions throughout the diocese. The plans also were
presented to the Diocesan Pastoral Council, which includes both
laity and clergy from the diocese.
Once those two bodies reviewed the plans and recommended their
acceptance, the plans were submitted to Bp. Robert Banks, who has
now approved the plans.
"These plans are guidelines to be used in making personnel
decisions as they arise in the future," Bp. Banks said. "Because
they are guidelines, they are subject to change as circumstances
The diocese has been doing plans for about 30 years, but for the
first time when this planning process began in 1998, there were
far fewer priests available then there were parishes. And by the
time the plan is fully implemented in 2005, the diocese estimates
that there will be 99 priests under the age of 70 available for
That shortfall means that approximately only two-dozen parishes
in the diocese will not be sharing a priest with another parish.
The majority of parishes, then, will be merged or linked with
another parish, and sharing a priest.
In some cases, several parishes will be linked. For example, the
five parishes and one station in northern Door County will share
one priest with a second priest assigned to assist from May.
through October. A pastor for that linkage is currently being
open-listed by the diocese.