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Faith in Our Future

Attached is our Cohort Implementation Plan presented to the Diocese in May 2017 along with the Diocesan response to that plan. For the immediate future, three areas will be addressed as collaborative models :

- Young Adult Ministry

- Youth Ministry

- Cohort communication

Implementation Teams announced

Bishop O’Connell has asked us along with other parishes in our Cohort, to implement his Directives which grew out of the Faith In Our Future Planning Process. He expects that all parishes will work with their Cohort to develop a plan to implement their Model Directives and find ways to collaborate in ministry about the cohort parishes.

Our Cohort Implementation Team includes Father Andrew, Paul Giblin, Monica Lee, John DePalma and David Walker. As part of the Cohort Implementation Team, the attended a training session in March to become acquianted with the process for implmenting the Bishop's decisions for our Cohort and collaborating in ministry. For more details visit

Bishop O'Connell announces final decisions

Diocesan website

On January 25th, Bishop O'Connell released his final decisions for Faith in Our Future, an eight-step initiative meant to strengthen and enliven the parishes of the Diocese. It is a process through which the Diocese and its parishes and ministries will plan to meet challenges and respond to new opportunities for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ for years to come.

You can find the Bishop's decisions and his pastoral letter that explains the context, rationale and principles of his decisions on the Diocese of Trenton's website -


Holy Eucharist is part of COHORT 3, along with St. Joan of Arc, Marlton, St. Mary of the Lakes, Medford, St. Isaac Jogues, Marlton, and St. John Neumann, Mt. Laurel.

The Bishop's decisions for Cohort 3 are as follows:

1. Collaborative Model for all five parishes in the Cohort

2. Continue current Linkage Model for St. Isaac Jogues and St. John Neumann Parishes

*COLLABORATIVE PARISHES Model: Parishes within a Cohort enter into formal, collaborative relationships, working together on specific, agreed-upon shared areas of ministry, shared programs, shared staffing, shared resources; parishes remain distinct with their own pastor, pastoral and finance councils, finances, census and sacramental books; collaborative parishes work together whenever possible to do what a single parish cannot do effectively alone.

The decisions on these collaborative relationships will be made in the coming months through the work of an implementation team. The Holy Eucharist core team will include Father Andrew, John DePalma, Dave Walker, Monica Lee, and Paul Giblin

Please continue to pray that we may be strengthened and enlivened, further improve our stewardship, develop fruitful collaborative relationships and join together in unity to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

January update

As we look forward to the Bishop's Faith in our Future statement on January 25th and the transition process in the coming weeks and months and even years, please join us in prayer.

Pray that we may be strengthened and enlivened, further improve our stewardship, develop fruitful collaborative relationships and join together in unity to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Bishop consults with priests, diocesan leaders on planning recommendations

By Rayanne Bennett | Trenton Monitor Associate Publisher

and Georgiana Francisco | Correspondent

FUTURE PLANS • Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., speaks to clergy from numerous Burlington County parishes about Faith in Our Future during a meeting Dec. 13 in Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton. Craig Pittelli photos

The season of Advent, a time of prayerful reflection and preparation, has provided an ideal setting for the period of consultation that Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., is conducting on the recommendations issued in October by the Diocesan Planning Commission.

The Bishop held a series of meetings throughout early December with different consultative bodies, as well as with priests in each of the counties Dec. 12-16. In each of these meetings, the recommendations, intended to equip parishes to meet their current challenges and those they will face in the coming decade, were reviewed and discussed.

The result of the yearlong Faith in Our Future planning process, the recommendations were formed by the DPC after several rounds of discussions at the parish and Cohort (groups of parishes) levels and will involve pastoral planning measures to strengthen parishes moving forward. Among the options reflected in the recommendations are parish merger, linkage, in solidum team leadership, personal parish designation and collaboration.

The Bishop will continue consulting with other groups and diocesan leaders as he works toward making his final decisions early in the New Year. He is expected to announce his decisions Jan. 25.

Speaking to more than 30 Burlington County priests Dec. 13 in a meeting space of Sacred Heart Church, Riverton, Bishop O’Connell said, “The future is coming, whether we have faith or not. We are here today to discuss the things that we hope will benefit you and your parish communities and review the recommended changes that will help them to deepen and strengthen their faith so that church participation and vocations will continue to grow. And this, in turn, challenges us to draw upon our own faith to move us in the right direction.”

ALL EARS • From left, Msgr. Richard LaVerghetta, pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish, Marlton; Father Edwin Mathias, pastor of St. Ann Parish, Browns Mills; Father Jorge Bedoya, parochial vicar in St. Joan of Arc Parish, and Father Carlos Florez, parochial vicar of St. Mary of the Lakes, Medford, listen as Bishop O’Connell discusses Faith in Our Future recommendations.

Faith in Our Future is “a spiritual movement about Our Lord, one that will help us evangelize well and comprehensively,” he told the Burlington County priests, but one that “carries the responsibility to look at the recommendations . . . with faith in what has yet to be realized.”

At each of the county-based priest meetings, the Bishop delineated some of the many challenges facing today’s Church, including the decline n attendance and participation in the Sacraments – such as Baptism, Marriage and funerals – the shrinking enrollment at Catholic schools, and the drop in the number of vocations to the priesthood, which is compounded by the number of priests set to retire in the next 10 years.

“While some numbers are good,” he said, “they are not enough to offset the cultural and societal shifts taking place. People want to go where the homilies are good, the music is good, and the community is good. We face a difficult reality, and either we manage the change, or it’s going to manage us.”

The other county meetings were held in the parishes of St. Anselm, Wayside; St. Pius X, Forked River, and Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony, Hamilton.

Bishop O’Connell reported to The Monitor that the feedback from the priests was generally very positive at these meetings. While there were some concerns that it might take a while for parish communities to get used to any forthcoming changes, the climate appeared to be one of agreement on most or all of the recommendations made for each of the cohorts across the four counties.

To learn more about the Faith in Our Future process, visit

November Update

Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., received the Diocesan Planning Commission's final recommendations as part of the Faith in Our Future pastoral planning initiative.

Bishop will now prayerfully review the recommendations as well as consult the diocesan Curia, Episcopal Council and other consultative bodies at multiple levels before making his final decisions.

Bishop O'Connell is expected to announce his final decisions on Jan. 25, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, with plan-ning for implementation to follow.

You can learn more about Faith in Our Future, here:

October Update

•The Diocesan Planning Commission retreat October 18-20 will review all the input the Commission re-ceives from the 25 cohorts and, in light of the goals and criteria for Faith in Our Future, prepare Final Recommendations of models and ministries with their rationale.

•The Diocesan Planning Commission will send the Final Recommendations directly to Bishop O’Connell for his prayerful review as he consults with the Episcopal Council, the Presbyteral Council and other appropriate groups before making his final decisions. The Final Recommendations are not sent back to the cohorts.

•Bishop O’Connell will announce his final decisions in late 2016 or early 2017.


Please take some time to read these important diocesan documents

Please click here to read the latest update on Faith in Our Future from the Diocese of Trenton. This month, our parishes are getting a clearer idea of what that new course might look like following the issuance of preliminary recommendations by the Diocesan Planning Commission.

Click HERE for the preliminary recommendations for our Cohort of Holy Eucharist, St. Mary of the Lakes, St John Neumann, St. Joan of Arc and St. Issac Jogues.

Planning commission retreat update

In an effort to keep the diocesan community informed about the Faith in Our Future process and the different steps that are moving forward, The Monitor, our diocesan newspaper, has just published multimedia coverage of the Planning Commission Retreat.

Below are links to a few media pieces that will help to keep you apprised of the progress that has been made thus far. Take time to view the Planning Commission Retreat video and read the article from the June 16 edition of the Monitor

Planning commission retreat

Trenton Monitor Article

May 2nd update

May 2, 2016 Update

Several meetings have occurred with our neighboring parishes to discuss how we can work together to strengthen the parishes within our cohort. We have had several subgroup meetings to discuss the following topics: Sacramental Life, Evangelization, Catechesis and Catholic Schools, Communal Life, Stewardship and Leadership. As a cohort, we are in the process of finalizing our preliminary recommendation that will meet the goals outlined in the Diocesan Faith In Our Future initiative. The recommendations will be provided to the Diocesan Planning Commission mid to late May. When the preliminary recommendations are submitted, this will complete step 2 in our 8 step process. In step 3, the cohort will receive feedback from the Commission and this very important dialogue will continue.

Cohort Team Announced

After our parish survey has been completed and the Core Team has had an opportunity to review the results, we will begin to work with our area "cohort" parish partners to:

Share and reflect on findings from each parish's self-evaluation

Look for ways to collaborate in ministries and best utilize all of our resources

Explore how we can work together to better serve the People of God

We now know we will be working with the following neighboring cohort parishes, starting in mid-March:

St Mary of the Lakes, Medford

St Joan of Arc, Marlton

St Isaac Jogues, Marlton

St John Neuman, Mt. Laurel

Our discussions will lead to development of a suggested operating model to be provided to the Diocesan Planning Team at the end of May. Please remember the Core team in your prayers as we continue this important process.

From Father Andrew: “As previously announced, Bishop David O’Connell has began an initiative in our diocese called Faith in Our Future. With this evaluation the bishop seeks to bring about positive change, deepen faith and build a vibrant future of mission and service in the Diocese of Trenton. With Faith in Our Future, we will look closely at our parish and the surrounding community. As promised, we will keep you informed of our progress and ask you to participate .

Click here for the March update from the Diocese of Trenton

4/17 update


For the first time in theFaith in Our Futureinitiative, neighboring parishes across the Diocese came together as small groups, or Cohorts, in March to begin the next step of the pastoral planning process. The Parish Cohort process is Step 2 in an 18-month, 8-step overall initiative. For this new phase, Cohorts will use what they learned from the self-study/evaluation process that was conducted in all parishes. In this new step, each Cohort is to work as a single unit, determining how best to strengthen the parishes included in its group. The Cohorts are tasked with evaluating theirparishes and developing suggestions for an organizational model or models and other measures that will allow the parishes to meet the goals set by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., for the future path in the Diocese. Representatives of the Reid Group, a pastoral planning consultant firm, conducted the training sessions, walking cohort members through organizational details and helping them to understand their roles in the overall process. Each training session also afforded an opportunity for cohort members to get to know one another and begin to share findings from the parish self-studies. To read more from the March update, visit

4/2/16 update - Our core team has begun conversation with members of the cohort teams from St. Mary of the Lakes, St. Isaac Jogues, St. Joan of Arc and St. John Neumann ( Mt. Laurel). Together the cohort teams are meeting to create an “Evaluation of Criteria of Planning” in preparation for making a suggestion for a future model or models for our parishes. Holy Eucharist is represented by Bill Price who is on the team evaluating Communal Life, Kathy Tennar – Sacramental Life, Jennifer Alleva – Evangelization and Catechesis, and Natalie Casano – Stewardship. In the coming weeks, we will be providing you with the results of these conversations. Please continue to keep our team and the members of the cohort in your prayers

Click here for survey rating results

Thank you to the over 200 parishioners who responded to our parish survey. We appreciate your comments and thoughtful feedback. This past Monday, the core team met and with the survey as a guide, they began the “parish evaluation of criteria for planning.” This process evaluates our parish’s experience in the area of Sacramental Life, Evangelization, Catechesis and Catholic Schools, Communal Life and Stewardship and Leadership. They reviewed present activity in each category, applied a rating scale (from the survey) and made notes for planning. The Core team will be attending a training session along with the other parishes in March. Above you will find the link to the survey rating results. We will continue to keep you informed as the evaluation process continues

Please remember the Core team in your prayers as we continue this important process.

The Core team includes: Kathy Tennar, William Price, Natalie Casano, Jennifer Alleva and Father Andrew

Building our Future Together

Faith in our Future

Two new initiatives, both commissioned by Bishop David M. O'Connell, seek to bring about positive change, deepen faith and build a vibrant future of mission and service in the Diocese of Trenton. In the first of these initiatives, Faith in Our Future, we will look closely at our parish of Church of the Holy Eucharist and the surrounding community. Starting today and in the weeks to come, you will be kept informed of our progress in this effort, as well as be asked to participate.

The second initiative, Faith to Move Mountains, is already in progress. It is designed to help us in realizing our plans to more effectively spread the Gospel and bring people to faith in Jesus Christ.

Faith in Our Future is a planning process that calls upon the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Trenton to reflect upon the ways that we experience, live and express our Catholic faith together as the circumstances of the past and present give way to the new and changing realities that we face as a local Church.


•The percentage of Catholics in the general population is declining.

•Weekly Mass attendance and number of individuals celebrating sacraments is decreasing.

•Many parishes struggle financially.

•A large number of priests and religious in active ministry are reaching retirement age.

•The number of Latino Catholics in the total Catholic population is growing.

Given these factors, we are called to better steward our resources so that we can meet the needs of active Catholics and share our faith with those who are marginalized or who have not yet heard the Good News. Parishes are more effective if they work together in ministry areas.

How can you participate?

A Holy Eucharist Core Team, comprised of Father Andrew and parishioners Bill Price, Kathy Tennar, Jennifer Alleva, and Natalie Casano has been formed to help lead the Faith in Our Future planning process. The Team has created a survey so that you may have an opportunity to share your ideas. In a few weeks, you will be able to find the survey on our website. Paper copies of the survey will be available for those without internet access. You will also find updates in the bulletin and in our weekly emails.

Please keep the team and our parish in your prayers as we begin this journey.

Click here for the Faith in our Future website

Trenton Monitor Special Supplement

Faith to Move Mountains

Read Father Andrew's message regarding Faith to Move Mountains here.

Suggested Gift Plans over 60 months: Suggested Gift Plans over 36 months:

$250 per month given over 60 months equals $15,000!!! $167 per month given over 36 months equals $6,000!!!

$200 per month given over 60 months equals $12,000!!! $83 per month given over 36 months equals $3,000!!!

$167 per month given over 60 months equals $10,000!!! $50 per month given over 36 months equals $1,800!!!

Thank you to all who give to make our campaign a success. Your gift to the Faith to Move Mountains campaign is greatly appreciated! To learn more about Faith to Move Mountains and Faith in Our Future visit the diocesan website:

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