A Busy Summer for Visioning and Planning

Francis Gunn Features

NEW YORK — Within two weeks following the Chapter of Mats in June, the visioning and planning committee re-convened to begin the process of working on the Strategic Plan. With the Provincial Council’s approval, the committee asked Dominic Perri to continue to work with us as a facilitator.

After de-briefing the Chapter of Mats, the committee did considerable work on crafting a draft vision statement and agreed on a general format and wording that has now been sent to the writing sub-committee who will submit a final version for approval. This will then be presented to the Provincial Council for its approval at the next council meeting in mid- August.

Upon reviewing the principles articulated in the draft vision, we noted that several of these are directly relevant to the work of several of our Provincial directorates. We decided it was a good idea to ask these directorates to contribute to the strategic planning process as it relates to their areas of concern. The plan for what we will ask them to do will be developed at our next meeting in August. Since a review of the priorities of the Franciscan Order was also a part of the process leading up to the formation of our vision, we also looked at wording that would connect our vision to the overall vision of the Order.

As we move forward, we will be devising some tools for collecting even more data from the friars. We will be looking again at demographic data regarding the friars themselves as well as the ministries where we serve. Perhaps there are some dioceses that have already done some recent demographic research that relates to our ministry sites. We also believe that developing a new friar preferential survey may be helpful in ascertaining the preferences and abilities of the friars.

Plans are under way for scheduling some regional gatherings in both the late fall and early spring. A sub-committee conference call took place with John O’Connor and Dominic Monti so that we could clarify some of the expectations around the shape of the plan. We are looking forward to the continuing process of engaging the friars as we begin to formulate a strategic plan for our future.

— Fr. Francis, pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Church in New York City, is chair of the Province’s Visioning and Planning Committee.