The Listening Church
At Pentecost in 2019 (June 8 – 9), the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis began a historic Synod process, which will culminate in the Synod Assembly in the Spring of 2022. The goal of the Archdiocesan Synod is to help Archbishop Hebda discern, through a consultative process, the pastoral priorities of our local Church today – and into the near future.
Your participation, as the Catholic faithful, is key to a successful Synod. You are invited to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity by offering your prayers, concerns, and ideas for moving this Archdiocese forward.
Synod Focus Areas
Based on the information already gathered in the Prayer and Listening Events, as well as the information gathered for the Ad Limina visit with Pope Francis in January, and the results of the Disciple Marker Index, Archbishop Hebda has discerned the initial set of focus areas for the Archdiocesan Synod. Those areas will set the parameters for discussions at the deanery and parish levels:
- Forming parishes that are in the service of evangelization
- Forming missionary disciples who know Jesus’s love and respond to his call
- Forming youth and young adults in and for a Church that is always young
How can you participate?
- Pray for the synod process
- Participate in Fall 2020 Prayer and Study offerings (see below) through the Archdiocese.
- Participate in a parish small group in the Fall of 2021. More details coming on these groups! (NOTE: These groups were rescheduled from Fall 2020 to Fall 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
- Keep informed on Synod happenings by using the links below.
Fall 2020: Prayer and Study
The theme of Year 2 in the Archdiocesan Synod is “The Church Prepares.” The Year 2 journey begins this fall with two virtual opportunities for prayer and study. The materials will be available on the Archdiocesan Synod web page or you can sign up for alerts to participate.
Praying with Scripture Series
This five-part virtual series on praying with Scripture offers practical tools for growing in holiness, drawing upon the rich tradition of the Catholic Church. Archbishop Hebda and Bishop Cozzens will teach the fundamentals of praying with Scripture and explain how to use a Prayer Companion resource to enrich your prayer experience. This series begins September 13. Watch at your convenience with family, friends or on your own.
Healing and Hope Series
This five-part virtual retreat grounds each person’s fundamental identity as a beloved child of God. Yet each person has experienced wounds that bind. This retreat explores how to unbind these knots through the intercession of Our Lady, Un-doer of Knots, and open these wounds to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Encountering Jesus’ love and mercy brings healing and hope. This series begins October 18.
Two Ways to Participate
- Download the Archdiocesan Synod App: Access videos, discussion questions, and daily Prayer Companion reflections. Plus, receive alerts when new content Is posted. Download MyParish App and within the app, search for “Archdiocesan Synod.” (Materials available September 13.)
- Sign Up for Weekly Emails: Receive an email each week during the Praying with Scripture and Healing and Hope series, containing links to that week’s video, plus downloadable discussion questions and Prayer Companion. Sign up here. (Emails begin September 13.)
Disciple Maker Index Survey (DMI) Recap
In February 2020, Risen Savior participated in a parish-wide survey, the Disciple Maker Index. This was part of the Archdiocesan Pre-Synod efforts to gather input from the faithful across the Archdiocese. In addition to the survey, other data was collected from the Prayer and Listening Events held in the Fall 2019/Winter 2020. From August 16-September 27 our staff included bulletin articles on the results from the DMI, which are compiled below.
Please direct questions on Risen Savior’s DMI survey results to Grace Koleczek, Adult Faith Formation & Social Justice Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 952-698-1724.
Key Stats and Demographic Results
In the Archdiocese, 28, 749 individuals responded to the survey.
189 Risen Savior parishioners completed the survey, which is a 10% response rate of our average weekly attendance prior to the pandemic. Those numbers compare favorably with the other participating parishes as well.
-Age of respondents: 30% between 66-75; 23% between 56-65; 22% over 75; 14% between 46-55; 5% between 36-45; 4% between 26-35; 1% between 18-25
-Sex: 67% of respondents were female. 33% were male.
-Marital status: 74% of respondents were married; 11% widowed; 7% divorced; and 7% single.
-Race: 95% indicated their race is Caucasian; 2% indicated Hispanic/Latino; 1% indicated Asian-American; 1% indicated African-American; and 2% indicated other.
Thank you to all who took the time to participate in the Disciple Maker Index survey. It is an important piece of the puzzle to help us as a parish understand our strengths and challenges and to help Archbishop Hebda as he leads our Local Church forward through the Synod Process.
*This was originally included in the August 16th bulletin.
How are decisions made that affect the parish’s future?
One question that respondents indicated interest in and that could be an area for our parish to grow in is the following: “Feeling involved in decisions that affect the future of the parish.” We invite you to read on and learn more about how decisions are made at Risen Savior.
As with all Roman Catholic churches, decision-making authority resides with the pastor. Here at Risen Savior, the pastor is blessed with consultative bodies as well, the main ones being the parish trustees, parish council, and finance council. These are all comprised of parishioners. We also have many committees and commissions who bring their input into the larger parish council, as each council member is a member of at least one committee or commission.
In addition, a great deal of the decision-making authority within the Archdiocese resides with the Archbishop. One example was his directive to launch this very Synod process and related DMI. The Archdiocese makes large-scale decisions in aspects of every parish’s operations, from liturgy requirements to payroll and employee benefits, and things in-between.
Finally, many decisions are made at the staff level. Risen Savior is blessed with a magnificently diverse and expert staff. Some decisions stay within the department while others are brought to staff meetings and some are brought to the pastor for a final decision. In all cases, the staff work for the best interest of the parish while serving the pastor, all within the framework of employment within the Archdiocese. Anyone interested in discussing parish operations or with questions is welcome to call or email our Parish Administrator, Ryan Currens, email@example.com, 952-698-1720
This was originally included in the August 23rd bulletin.
Music Ministry as a strength at Risen Savior
This week we are focusing on a key strength the survey indicated: 63% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that Risen Savior helps them grow spiritually by offering music that deepens their desire to participate more fully in the Sunday liturgy. (14% neither agreed nor disagreed; 1% disagreed; and 2% strongly disagreed.)
Music Ministry Response to the DMI from Kevin Rotty, Director of Liturgy & Music:
I was just delighted to see the positive responses in the DMI survey towards our Music Ministry at Risen Savior! It was very affirming to hear that a majority of the respondents found the music at Risen Savior to be a significant factor in drawing them closer to prayer in the Liturgy.
It is especially nice to hear because that is what we make it our mission to do: to facilitate greater participation in the Liturgy through sung, communal prayer. I’ve always made it my focus to clearly differentiate between musically facilitating prayerful participation versus “performing.” As a professional entertainer myself, I know well that performing has its place. However, I feel as though we achieve much greater success when we all raise our voices to God through music rather than simply observing someone else doing it.
It has been especially hard during this pandemic to go without communal singing. One of the rich blessings that I enjoy in my work with this community is their willingness to SING! It is never lost on me how much a gift that is and I look forward, at long last, to be able to “open” it again soon!
Kevin Rotty, firstname.lastname@example.org, 952-698-1728
*This was originally included in the August 30th bulletin.
Growth through Risen Savior’s Faith Formation Programs
This week we are focusing on one area that had indication for potential growth: Religious Education/Faith Formation. Please read the reflection by Rae Ann Konkol, Director of Secondary Faith Formation and Youth Ministry below.
We could not glean a lot from the DMI results due to the low number of people who responded to the questions that dealt with Religious Education/Faith Formation of Children (11 of 181 respondents). In January 2019, however, we surveyed families who had children in our Faith Formation programs. The response rate was about 50% of the families involved, and overwhelmingly, they were very happy with the programs offered. One area suggested to improve was communication with parents. Out of this, we now send a monthly e-newsletter of what is coming up for the next month. We also continue to email parents monthly in the GIFT program, and weekly in the middle school and Confirmation programs. We also added Flocknote (a texting service) to send reminders before each class and Sanctuary (Youth Group) meetings.
We have a LifeLong Faith Formation Commission that has representatives from the following committees: Preschool Faith Formation, Elementary Faith Formation, Secondary Faith Formation Adult Faith Formation; and Youth Ministry. Each committee is always looking for volunteers to help with planning for our Faith Formation programs and events. You can contact Tara Hahn about Elementary and Liturgy of the Word for Children, Rae Ann Konkol about Secondary Faith Formation and Youth Ministry, and Grace Koleczek about Adult Faith Formation.
For those unfamiliar with Faith Formation for children at Risen Savior, we offer the following programs:
Pre K/Kindergarten: Sunday school classes for children ages 3-Kindergarten as well as the Liturgy of the Word for Children during the Sunday Mass. Currently due to Covid-19 we are only offering Liturgy of the Word for Children online for this level.
GIFT is our family-based Faith Formation for children in grades 1-4. In this program, families learn together about our Faith with monthly sessions at Risen Savior that lead to families learning and exploring their Faith together at home.
Grades 5-8 is a more traditional program where children come together with their grade level to learn with the guidance of a catechist at Risen Savior. They explore the following topics: 5th Grade is the Bible, 6th grade is Jesus the Christ, 7th grade is Liturgy and Prayer, and 8th grade is Morality and Justice.
Confirmation is a two year program that helps prepare teens to confirm their faith in the Catholic Church. It includes large group and small group learning, service hours, retreats, and youth group participation. Teens can begin the program in grade 9, 10, or 11 and will be confirmed in grade 10, 11, or 12.
Sanctuary is our high school youth group that meets on Wednesday evenings. It is open to students in grades 9-12. We have young adult mentors who share their faith with the youth through fun activities, community building, and praise and worship and services.
Due to Covid-19 we will be having faith formation online for the year to keep all of our members safe. If you would like to get involved or have technology skills that can assist our volunteers, we would love to have you join us!
Rae Ann Konkol, Director of Secondary Faith Formation and Youth Ministry, Raeann.email@example.com, 952-698-1727.
*This was originally included in the September 6th bulletin.
Communications as a strength at Risen Savior
This week we are focusing on a key strength the survey indicated: 88% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that Risen Savior helps parishioners feel connected to the community by making information about the parish easily accessible. 10% neither agreed nor disagreed; 2% disagreed.
Response on Communication from Marianne Brass, Communications & Community Life
“Good communication is at the heart of a healthy Catholic parish.” – Deacon Don McArdle
I was so excited to see the positive responses in the DMI survey results about Risen Savior’s communication practices. What a wonderful
affirmation! It is always very important to us to make access to information as easy and convenient as possible. We always strive to provide our parishioners with the very latest parish news and updates as well as with the most up-to-date information on programming and Risen Savior happenings. This is especially true right now during the coronavirus pandemic, when many of us are more isolated than ever, and being connected to our parish is of the utmost importance.
We use different platforms to communicate depending on the nature of information to be shared. Currently, our vehicles of communication are: email, bulletin, Risen Savior website (risensavior.org), Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flocknote for Faith Formation & Youth Ministry, and, of course, in some instances, regular mail.
Since the COVID-19 shutdown in March, I have also been putting out parish emails every Friday to keep in touch with our parishioners and to report on the latest developments regarding our Risen Savior parish. The list for these emails is generated in our parish database. If you do not receive my Friday email updates, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will add you to this email list.
Thank you all, and stay connected! Marianne Brass (952) 698-1714, email@example.com.
*This was originally published in the September 13th bulletin.
Sense of Welcoming Community as a strength at Risen Savior
This week we are focusing on another key strength the survey indicated: 84% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that Risen Savior is a welcoming community by making parishioners and guests feel at home and comfortable. 12% neither agreed nor disagreed; 4% disagreed.
Response on ‘Welcoming Community’ by Marianne Brass, Communications & Community Life
Today I am honored to share the positive responses in the DMI survey results about one of Risen Savior’s extraordinary charisms. Unlike
other attributes, Risen Savior’s welcoming character reflects on all of us, shows in all offerings, programs, events, etc.; it encompasses our
entire community; it is our Risen Savior spirit; it is who we are! Each and everyone of us is a part of this welcoming community and plays a
vital role! We are actively living our mission statement:
Our Doors Are Open to All
(These are the first words of our Parish Mission Statement, and so we welcome everyone to our Risen Savior community. We are truly a welcoming community of prayer, healing and friendship).
Our Eucharist Is A Celebration of the Risen Savior
(Everyone is invited to join us for our Liturgies and Masses filled with the energy of the Spirit. No matter which Liturgy or Mass you attend, expect to find a positive, inviting atmosphere, upbeat music, and a message to take with you, to nourish and sustain you in your everyday life).
Our Call Is To Love and Serve
We leave our Liturgies and Masses with these words in mind as the way the Gospel calls us to live our week.
Thank you all, and let us continue the work of the Spirit! Marianne Brass (952) 698-1714, firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This was originally published in the September 20th bulletin.
Final Remarks on the DMI Survey
This week is our final segment sharing concluding remarks from the DMI survey.
From the DMI, we were heartened to hear that respondents overwhelmingly connect to our music ministry, believe our communications are helpful and easy to access, and they feel a sense of community at Risen Savior. We also learned that two areas of growth that arose for many respondents were that parishioners feel disconnected from the decision making process and are also not as aware of youth faith formation opportunities. Our parish community includes our clergy, lay ecclesial staff, AND parishioners and visitors who worship with us. We are so grateful for your feedback via this survey and strive to continually grow into our mission of opening our doors to all, celebrating the Risen Savior in our Eucharist, and going forth to love and serve.
Thank you once more to all who participated!