All Catholic churches in Boone County will likely see some changes from new “Clusters” and designations announced by the Omaha Archdiocese.
Over the past year, discussions have been underway for implementation of the Omaha Archdiocesan Vision — One Church: Encountering Jesus, Equipping Disciples, Living Mercy.
One goal of the implementation is to establish parish configurations and clusters for collaborative relationships among the parishes, and to assist in the future assignment of priests. Another goal is to more actively engage the laity.
The plan will include a change in parish configuration for St. Michael’s Parish of Albion, which will move to the Rural Southwest Deanery and cluster with St. Anthony Parish of Cedar Rapids, and the two churches would be served by one priest.
This cluster would have a total population of 1,468.
Another change will be the formation of a cluster that includes St. Boniface Parish of Elgin, St. John the Baptist Parish of Petersburg, St. Bonaventure Parish of Raeville, St. Francis of Assisi Parish of Neligh and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish of TIlden.
The designations of “chapel” and “mission” churches which were used in the preliminary plan (June 2017) are not being applied in the final plan.
Under this five-parish cluster, one priest would serve the Elgin, Raeville and Petersburg parishes, and another priest would serve the Neligh and Tilden parishes.
This cluster would have a total population of 1,929, with a priest to parishioner ratio of one to 964.
In a related announcement, support of Pope John XXIII School will be continued by the current six member parishes.
Another cluster would include St. Rose of Lima Parish, Genoa; St. Edward Parish, St. Edward, St. Lawrence Parish, Silver Creek, and Sts. Peter and Paul Parish of Krakow. In the short term, this cluster would be served by two priests, with a parish office in Genoa, with a long term goal of moving to one priest for the cluster (1,198 parishioners).
No timeline has been announced. Each cluster is being asked to establish a time frame for restructuring, moving toward joint parish councils, committees, ministries and services wherever feasible.
As part of the clustering process, parish leaders are encouraged to strengthen inter-parish relationships through cooperation and collaboration, maintaining at least one weekend Sunday mass in each parish location as long as feasible.
All parishes are being asked to critically review mass attendance and schedules in relation to their parish cluster.