NEW YORK — The Province’s Visioning and Planning Committee, chaired byFrancis Gunn, OFM, and consultant Dominic Perri, met March 11 at the Provincial Office here to discuss reports about the development of the Strategic Plan and to formulate methods of finalizing the plan.
Committee members heard reports from Francis and Dominic, who are facilitating a series of Fraternal Gatherings this spring to discuss the draft Strategic Plan. Participant evaluations from the first three gatherings – St. Petersburg, Fla., Marriottsville, Md., and Long Branch, N.J., in which over 110 friars participated – indicated a largely positive response.
Although the committee is not making any major changes to the plan at this point, a number of suggestions generated through the first three gatherings were noted which will be incorporated into the next draft, according to Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, a member of the committee.
“Especially important is the need for more inspirational language in the Plan, based on our Franciscan sources and official documents of the Order,” Dominic said. The last Fraternal Gatherings were scheduled for Wappingers Falls, N.Y., Enders Island, Conn., and Tampa, Fla. More than 200 friars will have participated in the gatherings.
Committee members also decided to launch a friar Listserv to facilitate and encourage ongoing dialogue about the draft plan. This Listserv will be launched immediately after the completion of the spring gatherings in April. The site will make use of the popular Yahoo Groups technology that allows discussion chains on specific topics as well as the posting of documents. The Committee felt that this would be much more flexible than using the “Friars Only” section of the Province Web site for discussion, as was done last spring prior to the Chapter of Mats, Dominic said.
Another advantage of the Yahoo Groups format is that it can continue after the chapter, and can be used by members of the Province for a wide variety of communications purposes, Francis added. A group moderator will be selected, who will distribute invitations to participate in this Listserv by an email to all friars in the Province.
The Visioning and Planning Committee will meet April 16 with the Provincial Council to coordinate efforts as the June Provincial Chapter approaches. During April, the Committee plans to work on revising the Strategic Plan in light of the suggestions made at the spring Fraternal Gatherings. By May 1, the revised version of the plan will be posted to the Yahoo Listserv and mailed to all the houses. Local communities will be encouraged to hold a house chapter in May to examine the plan to prepare for the Chapter (June 1-6) where the Plan will be submitted for ratification by the Province.