Strategic Plan Comes to Life

Francis Gunn, OFM Features

NEW YORK — Now that the New Year is underway, the Province’s  2008 – 2013 Strategic Plan is also being implemented through a series of new and ongoing initiatives. The area where the most progress has been made is in friar skills and development with the very thorough and professional work that has been done by the Leadership Development Committee in conjunction with Axiom Consulting Partners.

Representatives of Axiom reported on the results of the first phase of this project to the committee and then to the Provincial Council on Jan. 9. The work of this committee has significant implications for us as a province and is so extensive that it will be reported in a special article in the next HNP Today.

Vocations and Ministerial Life
The vocations strategy is another area of the plan where there is a lot of momentum and creative thinking going on. The Vocations Committee, led by chair Francis Di Spigno, OFM, and Holy Name’s Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, has drafted a new strategic plan for vocations and has already begun to implement it. The vocation office has an ad campaign in the NYC subways and is busy preparing for focus groups with young adults and other laity in a number of the places throughout the Province.

The ministerial development directorate, under the direction of Stephen Kluge, OFM, and Steven Patti, OFM, is currently working on a resource to assist local ministries with defining and assessing the state of partnership in ministry.  In this process, they are seeking the input of several other friars and laity with considerable experience in fostering lay ministry and leadership.

The Franciscan Life in Mission Plan (FLMP), which every fraternity is being asked to develop in three phases through spring 2009, has begun to take shape. The fraternal life directorate, led by Daniel Kenna, OFM, and Anthony LoGalbo, OFM, sent a template to all of the guardians to help guide house discussions on the quality of the spiritual and fraternal life of each community. St. Anthony Friary in Camden, N.J., was the first house to send in a copy of its completed Phase 1 of the FMLP.

A template for completing the mission, finance, and vocations segments of the FLMP is being prepared by the respective Provincial directorates and will be distributed to guardians in the near future.

An ambitious agenda has been embraced by the justice, peace, and integrity of creation (JPIC) directorate under chairpersons Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, and William “Jud” Weiksnar, OFM.  Given the broad scope of issues they seek to address, the JPIC directorate members  are focusing on establishing priorities and creating their own plan in these areas. Initial work is focusing on the improvement of the JPIC Web site page, promoting a consistent ethic of life message, and developing an action plan in the area of integrity of creation.

The new evangelization directorate, led by Lawrence Hayes, OFM, and David McBriar, OFM, has met several times to articulate its purpose and clarify the scope of its work. This is valuable given that evangelization can mean many things to different people. They will be overseeing the important work of the African-American ministry committee, the Hispanic ministry committee, and the young adult ministry committee. The new communications advisory committee is also part of the evangelization directorate

Discussions are continuing in the sick, aged, and retired directorate, chaired by John Mahon, OFM, relative to developing an active retirement program for the friars. The finance directorate, chaired by John Piccione, OFM, andThomas Conway, OFM, is continuing its work on the plan for Province fundraising, as well as a number of issues on which fraternities will be asked to reflect regarding both finances and support of the Province.

01-22-09-HNP-vision-lgDistributing Plans and Proposals
The various directorates of the Province, made up of friars and lay partners, have considerable work to do in the early stages of implementing the Strategic Plan. As they shape their initiatives, their plans and proposals will clearly spread out to the friars and lay partners in all of our fraternities and ministries.

Since the plan spans a period of five years, it is not necessary or prudent to be addressing all of the strategies and goals in the first year. Still, the momentum and enthusiasm that was so evident during our visioning and planning process is clearly being carried over as the Province begins to implement our plan.

At this month’s Provincial Council meeting, members engaged in a lively exchange of ideas on moving forward with many of the strategies of the plan.

The strategic planning committee will be meeting in February to review progress and to look at developing a timeline for implementation in 2009. Committee members will also consider ways for all of Holy Name Province’s ministries to introduce the people we serve to our vision and our Strategic Plan.

It promises to be an exciting year as we work together to create the future to which our Provincial vision is leading us.

 Fr. Francis, the Province’s coordinator of strategic planning, presented this information to the Provincial Council at its January meeting. An article about the council meeting also appears in this issue.