Our Journey FAQ
Fr. Bob and the Transition Team would like to take this time to say Thank You for all the comments and questions that we have received so far. Please note that the Team does review and discuss all of them. They have been very helpful, and are taken into consideration in the discernment as to which site will be chosen.
Last weekend in Bishop Fishers homily, he expressed that Jesus is not knocking on a Church building but in the hearts of his people, and that we should trust in Gods will, that He will provide us with a site that will allow us to Unleash the Gospel with joyful hearts. Lets keep praying that Gods will be done. Bishop Fisher suggested that we include a fast in our prayers.
Some interesting facts about St Mary, Our Lady Queen of Families
Question: Who is on the Transition Team?
Answer: A team was chosen from parishioners who have been known to attend services at both sites. They are a combination of individuals who have been long time members from both sites, merged in members and members who have come from other parishes. All have the best of intentions for the parish and understand the enormous responsibility they hold.
Question: How is the convent located on the St. Clement site being used?
Answer: Currently the convent is being rented to four (4) different entities. The Major renter is Interfaith Volunteer CareGivers. Right to Life occupies a small portion of the building. We also are home to an India congregation who use the Chapel and Great Room on Sundays. Some of our most special renters are the AA groups who meet Wednesdays and Fridays .
Question: Why was the CSA goal raised when we can’t afford to keep both sites open?
Answer: The CSA target is not set by us. The Archdiocese has a formula they use for all parishes in the diocese. We are assessed at 13% based on a three year average of Offertory and Christmas donations.
Question: What are the parish boundaries?
Answer: The parish boundaries, according to the official church decree from Archbishop Vigneron, are…
North: East 12 Mile Rd at Mound Rd to Pauline St, Pauline St south to Gerald Ave, Gerald Ave east to Van Dyke Ave, Van Dyke Ave south to Garbor Ave, Garbor Ave east to Arsenal Ave, Arsenal Ave north to Garbor Ave, Garbor Ave east to Sylvan Ave, Sylvan Ave south to East 11 Mile Rd, East 11 Mile Rd east to Hoover Rd, Hoover Rd north to Martin Rd, Martin Rd east to Schoenherr Rd, Schoenherr Rd south to East 11 Mile Rd, East 11 Mile Rd east to CN Railroad
East: CN Railroad southwest to east 10 Mile Rd, East 10 Mile Rd east to Hayes Ave, Hayes Ave south as extended to Gratiot Ave, Gratiot Ave southwest to Jacob Ave
South: Jacob Ave west to Allyn Ave, Allyn Ave west to Genter St, Genter St north to Sherman Ave, Sherman Ave west to Hoover Rd, Hoover Rd south to 8 Mile Rd, 8 Mile Rd west to Mound Rd
West: Mound Rd north to East 12 Mile Rd
Please see the map... (click here for a larger map)
Question: What other criteria are being used to make the decision about which church to sell?
Answer: One of the areas to consider at the end of this transition is how we can “Unleash the Gospel” in our parish boundaries
We’re a family at St. Mary, Our Lady Queen of Families and that means we love each other even when the going gets tough. For most of us we’ve been part of one of two other parishes before we got here. Clustered and merged and clustered again.We want to make sure that the church site that is chosen helps us share our faith with others. We have less than 1000 families currently attending our parish, and all this time we have paid for two campuses to be operating. That has been hard to do, but we did it. Once we pick one site and do some renovations, we should be able to invite even more families to join us
.Are there people you know at work, who could use some friendly faces each Sunday?
Are there people you know who might have trouble in their marriage or are going through a tough divorce?
What about people who are older or sick? Do you think we might be able to love them here at St. Mary’s?
One of the strengths of our parish is that we accept people right where they’re at. No one is perfect, and we don’t try to be perfect. Instead we just keep showing up week after week and meet Jesus. We sing, we pray, we kneel and we love. That’s how we “Unleash the Gospel.”Thank you for your continued prayers as we make this decision. We’ve been meeting week after week, trying to look at all the information so that we have the right buildings and updated spaces to care for each other and welcome newcomers. We look forward to our next steps… of Our Journey!
Your Transition Team
Question: Where will the pastor live?
Answer: There is space at both sites for Father Bob to have a private place to live
Question: What services will be provided at the chosen site?
Answer: We will provide all the services that we provide now. This includes St Vincent de Paul (SVdP), coffee and doughnuts, breakfasts and dinners, etc. In addition, our fully-integrated Parish family will continue the Lord’s in a concerted effort to Unleash the Gospel, reaching out to those in need in our community, the unfortunate, seniors, children, etc. with the help of SVdP, Knights of Columbus, and our wonderful commissions - education, worship, and Christian services.
Question: How will we be better with only one site?
- We will be bringing the best of both sites together to one site.
- Sacraments will be celebrated (Baptisms, Communion, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Marriage)
- We will no longer be in debt.
- Much needed repairs, maintenance and improvements will be completed to the remaining site
- We – the Pastor, laity volunteers, commissions and the parish body as a whole - will be united in efforts to expand our mission as previously described and further grow as a community
July 7th Q&A - letter from Father Bob
From the Rectory
Are we there yet? Summer has arrived and along with it comes the summer vacation tradition. Many families take automobile trips together to visit family and friends or simply to experience America. These vacations involve long hours in an automobile fighting traffic and construction and at some point someone will ask “Are we there yet?”
Our parish is on a journey as well although ours has nothing to do with summer vacation. Our journey is a discernment process regarding the future place of worship for our parish as well as the direction and focus of that worship.
During this process we have received many questions and comments regarding these decisions. People still believe that the decision has already been made as to which site will remain open but I must reiterate that no decision has been made. Questions about the criteria being used for the decision making process have been asked. Concerns have been raised about the condition of parking lots and buildings and utility costs while others wondered about space for Religious Education classes and social gatherings and the needs of our elderly and homebound. The historical significance of buildings has been mentioned as well as the ability to reconfigure these buildings for future needs.
The future of the parish cemetery was brought up as well as the parish debt and whether this process will finally pay that debt. I can assure you that our transition committee values the input of each individual and that we are doing our best to address all concerns and questions. I do want to personally thank our parishioners for their patience and understanding and I also thank our transition team and our intercessory prayer team.
Are we there yet? The answer is no we are not and we have a long way to go but I ask all of us to pray for our parish journey. When we took our family vacations we began each day in the car by offering the Rosary. I know that our intercessory prayer team is praying for the parish but I hope that all of us are doing the same. If we sincerely put ourselves in the hands of our good and loving God and ask the Holy Spirit to inspire us and lead us in this process than I am confident we will not be disappointed.
Finally I ask us to look to the future. On our family vacations the thought of our final destination was something that sustained us along the journey. Look to the future and realize how all of this will better enable us a parish to Unleash the Gospel of Jesus Christ and minister to the people here in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Fr. Bob Bauer
Question: Besides the financial issues discussed in last week’s bulletin, what other criteria is being used to make the site selection decision?
Answer: There are many other criteria that are being considered. Among these items we are looking at/considering are:
- Space for outreach (current and future)
- Space for Religious Education
- Gathering space for social events
- Meeting space for groups/councils
- Adequate parking
- Visibility of the church within our community as we endeavor to “Unleash the Gospel”
- Accessibility for our seniors/handicapped
Question: Where will Religious Education classes be held? Specifically, is there space for them if the St. Clement site remains open?
Answer: Many options are being explored:
- Re-purposing the old convent
- A mutual agreement with the new owners of the St. Clement school is being worked into the purchase agreement for potential access and use of the School in the evening (just in case)
- The architect may provide other options for either site as well
- There might be something we haven’t thought of yet. Please keep sending your suggestions.
Question: Will Mass times change?
Answer: No, we will keep the same Mass times.
Question: Will objects from the closed church be used at the remaining site?
Answer: Of course, we will do everything we can to honor the history and past of the closed church. This is a very important part of the Transition team’s duties.
Question: Concerns, and suggestions have been expressed about the criteria being used to make this decision. It has been suggested by many of you, that some of the things we need to consider in the decision-making process are marketability of each property, cost of repairs, buildings, etc.
Answer: It would be helpful for you to know that part of our budget process each year includes a close look at the cost of maintaining our buildings and all operating costs including heat, water, and electric. This last September, as part of that normal, annual process, the Parish did a full comprehensive study of all buildings with an outside firm to get the actual condition of boilers, roofs, and all structure, etc., including the parking lots. These studies were recently given to an architect who will consider the current conditions of each site and necessary repairs and needed modifications to provide us with a vision of each site's current and future needs. This will help us in the decision process.
Question: Many repairs will be needed at either site chosen. Many of you have pointed this out and wondered how we will pay for the repairs.
Answer: The proceeds from the sale of the site that is ultimately closed will fund the repairs and improvements of the remaining site.
Question: Many questions and comments were received regarding the St. Clement Cemetery.
Answer: The St. Clement Cemetery is on a separate parcel of land and will remain functioning regardless of which site is chosen.
Question: There have been many questions regarding the need to consolidate to one site if the debt will be paid off.
Answer: While the debt will almost be paid off with the sale of the school, the 2012 debt repayment plan submitted by the Parish to the Archdiocese was accepted with the stipulation that the parish must consider a reduction to one site if weekly collections are not adequate to maintain two sites, including current operating costs and ongoing maintenance and repairs. As reflected by the weekly collections reported in the offertory section of the bulletin, it has been determined that maintaining two sites is not realistic.
Question: Concerns were also brought up regarding seniors and those who may not have adequate transportation to and from Mass each week.
Answer: Thank you for your concerns regarding those parishioners who may not have transportation to and from mass. The team is taking all concerns into consideration when making the decision as to which site will remain open. These may include possible new ministries to address this issue and any other additional issues that may come up.
Question: Many questions and comments were received related to the sale of the St. Clement School building as being an indication that a decision has been made, and that the St. Clement site is more marketable and will be sold. More clarification has been asked.
Answer: We can see how there could be some confusion. As stated in Fr. Bob’s letter, there has been NO decision made by either the parish or the Archdiocese as to which site will remain open. Ultimately, this is a parish decision. Talks are ongoing regarding the sale of the school property which is a separate parcel from the church and cemetery. Within the talks, provisions will be made to allow St. Mary to use the parking lot and school building as needed. Thus, the parish will retain the flexibility to select whichever site is determined to be the best situation to be fiscally sound to continue the Lord’s mission.
Question: Concerns were raised regarding the discrepancy in the balance remaining on the debt after the sale of the school.
Answer: Another excellent question. Unfortunately, some lines of the letter were omitted by the publisher from the Bulletin version. As in any real estate sale there are costs that are incurred such as brokerage fees, land survey, etc... These costs will need to come out of the sale price of the property which will leave a remaining debt of approximately $200, 000.
We will continue to address your question and concerns in future bulletins and on our Website.
All question or concerns can be sent to [email protected] or place them in the Gold boxes in the churches.
We ask for your continuing input and prayers as Our Journey continues….
Fr. Bob and Our Journey Transition Team
St. Mary, Our Lady Queen of Families, pray for us.