NEW YORK, N.Y. — Major steps were taken at a day-long meeting of the Province’s Visioning and Planning Committee last week as the group moved forward with its task mandated by the 2005 chapter: to lead “an inductive (‘bottom up’) effort to craft a vision statement and five-year plan” for Holy Name Province that “will embrace all aspects of our life — fraternal, ministerial, contemplative, and evangelical.”
The committee welcomed two outside consultants, Dr. Ann Dill and Dominic Perri. Dr. Dill, associate professor of sociology at Brown University, has been analyzing the data submitted earlier this year through friar discussions at the Provincial Days of Reflection and Renewal and local house chapters, and is currently sifting through the recently-completed “Planning Our Future Together” discussions with lay partners in ministry.
At the Nov. 30 meeting, committee members also welcomed Dominic Perri, who has been hired as a facilitator to assist the committee for the next six months, as it moves forward with drafting a preliminary vision statement to be presented at the June Chapter of Mats. Mr. Perri, who works with both the National Organization for the Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy (NOCERCC) and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), has extensive experience in strategic planning with various religious congregations and dioceses, having recently guided the Paulist Fathers through an effort very similar to ours, according to committee chair Francis Gunn.
In the morning, Dr. Dill presented an executive summary of her analysis of the data presented by the friars and the lay partners. She used an inductive analytic method appropriate for such qualitative data, which provided a “mirror” through which the committee members might look at the ideals and values that shape Holy Name Province.
Dr. Dill identified a number of major themes that surfaced in our discussions, revealing significant dimensions of each: fraternity, spiritual life, formation, challenges to ministry, relation to the larger Church, working with the laity, social justice, evangelization, and the future of the Order, Francis said. She also formulated some tensions that she saw emerging from the data that we should take into consideration as our planning continues.
In the afternoon, Perri led the committee in planning the next steps for the visioning process. The first step, local house chapters to be held in January, will reflect on Dr. Dill’s report, and the second, a series of fraternal gatherings during February and March, will sharpen the results of discussions in light of two presentations. The first one, by Professor Dean Hoge of The Catholic Univeristy of America, will focus on current sociological and ecclesial realities and the second presentation by Bill Short, OFM, of St. Barbara Province will discuss Franciscan values. Materials — including Ann Dill’s executive summary — will be sent shortly to the friars of the Province detailing these next steps.
Also at the meeting, committee members approved a logo for their initiative (shown above) that will accompany future newsletter reports on visioning and planning. It will also appear on the HNP Web site, as well as on many printed documents, Francis said.
“Our committee’s work is gaining momentum which is nice to see,” said committee member Dominc Monti who serves as liaison to the Provincial Council.