No, you and I can’t answer the question posed in the title of this post. Even if we were to re-read every post on this blog, we would only have a part of the story. Yet, as I was looking back to our posts in 2014, I ran across the post What Can Happen to a Parish in Four Months? We noted that on July 13th, our Pastor said:
OUR WEBSITE – I have a friend, Fred Pugarelli, who has offered to update our website and make our website more interactive. I know that in other churches that I have been assigned to, the website is crucial for informing and attracting people. In a county as settled as Rappahannock, a website might not be as important, but I still think it would be useful to be out there in the internet. One thing that I would like to put on is a link to the weekly homily. I would also like to have pictures of parish events and interviews with parishioners (an oral history). I know that the gen Xers and the Millennial generation seem to be more oriented to the internet and it would be good to try to attract them.
Here we go. In his own version of RULE 2 for Radical Pastors (Build an organization by presenting a vision of where you are going and moving toward it) he was building an expectation. – He was building an expectation that we would be informed. He was building an expectation that there would be transparency in the parish.
Oh yeah. He commissioned a Parish Pastoral Council and he put the meeting minutes on the parish Website. He elevated the Cemetery Committee to a higher level of visibility and he published their meeting minutes on the parish Website.
Almost overnight, St. Peter’s went from a parish with virtually no Internet presence to a parish that gen Xers and the Millennial generation would flock to. The vision, the expectation that we were becoming informed and attracting people had been placed in our minds. You betcha!
Then came the reality of 2017. The vision, the expectations are gone. They have died. The expectation of transparency was just crapola.
Now the parish website is just like a ghost town.
The Parish Pastoral Council has been “disappeared”. (See Catholic Cultural Revolution #3: The Parish Pastoral Council has been “Disappeared” for details.)
Upon close examination, you will find that the Cemetery Committee appears to be dead and buried. What do I mean? – The one and only set of meeting minutes for the Cemetery Committee ever posted were the minutes for – February 2, 2015. (By the way, that was a well written set of minutes.)
Oh, and what happened to the former Director of Religious Education – no word is given. His name was “disappeared” and our Pastor took his place.
Actually, there is no transparency. The sheep of St. Peter’s are in the dark – like mushrooms (and you know the rest of that ditty).
It is one thing to have had no parish Website or only a poorly run site. It is quite a different thing to have had your vision, your expectations built up to think that there would be transparency at St. Peter’s only to have those expectations dashed. Slowly we are moving into the darkness.
Father said. “…the website is crucial for informing and attracting people…” Yeah, and how’s that working out? How many souls have been saved???
In the last three years there never was any real transparency.
There is one exception to my last statement and it is presented in the following song:
Your lips are moving, I cannot hear
Your voice is soothing, but the words aren’t clear
You don’t sound different, I’ve learned the game
I’m looking through you, you’re not the same