Welcome to the Diocese of Trenton Parish Study blog!
It is our hope that you find the information on this site helpful as you follow along with the ongoing initiative to ensure vibrant parishes of the future.
As the person reporting to you through this blog, I thought you might appreciate knowing a little about me. My name is Mary Regina Morrell and I have been retained by the diocese as a communications consultant to serve you and your parishes during this time of dialogue.
Having previously served within the Diocese of Metuchen as both the associate director of the Office of Religious Education and head staff writer for the diocesan newspaper there, I have spent the past 15 years becoming well-acquainted with diocesan life and the parish communities which form the heart of that life.
I am presently employed by RENEW International, a non-profit Catholic organization whose mission is spiritual renewal for individuals and parishes through a process of faith-sharing within small Christian communities.
At this time, the Diocese has two parish studies in process: the Monmouth Bayshore Cluster, which consists of seven parishes, including, Holy Family, Union Beach; Jesus the Lord, Keyport; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Highlands; St. Agnes, Atlantic Highlands; St. Ann, Keansburg; St. Catherine, MIddletown, and St. Joseph, Keyport; and the Southern Burlington Cluster, including, Christ the Redeemer, Mount Holly; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown; Our Lady Queen of Peace, Hainesport; Sacred Heart, Mount Holly, and St. John Neumann, Mount Laurel.
Both of these studies have just passed the mid-way point, with cluster study groups continuing to meet once a month for discussion on shared goals and strategies for meeting the changing needs of the parishes. The work of the goups is meant to be proactive for ensuring parish vibrancy in the future. Recommendations from the cluster studies will be presented to Bishop John M. Smith this Fall.
During the coming months, regular blog posts will be added to provide information relevant to one study or the other, or, sometimes, both. I would encourage you to check back several times throughout the month for new information. Also, since this blog is just one of several avenues planned to provide information, I also urge you to review the Parish Study section of the diocesan website, www.dioceseoftrenton.org, where you will find lots of good information about the goals that drive parish study and reconfiguration.
You will also want to consult your diocesan newspaper, The Monitor, which will be covering the larger developments of this process as they unfold from this point, such as the upcoming discussion with the parish core teams and the submittal of the study group’s recommendations to Bishop Smith.
As the process continues, I am happy to be making this journey with you.
Mary Regina Morrell
Please include the words PARISH STUDY in the subject line of your email.