ST. LOUIS — Archbishop of St. Louis Mitchell Rozanski said it’s time to make some big changes within the archdiocese.
He is launching a strategic plan initiative that could reshape parishes, schools, charities and priest personnel.
The plan is called “All Things New” and Rozanski wants Catholics across the region to weigh in on what changes may be necessary.
“What structures are needed, what structures are not needed? How do we need to be adapting as a church to our current times, to the demographic trends?” said Rozanski.
Statistics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis have significantly changed.
About 30,000 St. Louis Catholics, or about 6% of total parishioners, have left the church in the last decade. Baptisms and marriages are half of what they were 20 years ago. Catholic school enrollment is down as well in the last 10 years. Elementary enrollment is down 25% and high school enrollment is down 21%. Despite the declining school enrollment, St. Louis still has some of the highest percentages of kids in Catholic schools of any archdiocese in the country.
Rozanski said he hopes the strategic plan helps address some of these issues. The final plan could include some hard changes, like closing or consolidating parishes and schools, and priests being re-assigned to different churches. All facets of the archdiocese are being re-evaluated.
But nothing has been decided yet. The process will take years and the archdiocese is committed to garnering input from local Catholics.
Here is a timeline of the “All Things New” rollout:
- March 2: an online survey for parishioners will be launched
- Fall 2022: Rozanski will do 400 “listening sessions” at local parishes
- Spring/Summer 2023: final strategic plan is announced
- 2023-2028: plan is implemented
“At this moment in history, we need to do something differently as a church. So we need to look at who we are and how we’re going to be a church in the future,” Rozanski said.
The archbishop described the archdiocese as in “very good financial health,” citing the Annual Catholic Appeal has surpassed its fundraising goal the last two years.
For more information, visit the Archdiocese of St. Louis' website.