Built of Living Stones 175-177: Beginning the Process

Process, not project:

§ 175 § The construction or renovation of a church building is a complex task that demands prayer and reflection, technical expertise and study. A building or renovation project is not the work of the pastor alone, nor is it that of a building committee. Rather, it is an act of faith that belongs to and engages the entire community. To be successful, a building project must be rooted in a proper understanding of the Church and of worship that becomes the point of reference for all future decision making. Creating and articulating this shared vision is a key element of the process.

Naturally, the entire faith community must be prepared to offer substantive input and reflection on the process. It might be suggested this is a required matter, that a community is not ready to build until it is prepared to engage in an act of faith.

§ 176 § Deepening a sense of ownership for the project involves taking the time to educate the parish, to listen to the people’s concerns, and to discuss the vision and values at stake in such a project. The time devoted to communication and education will help make the later stages of the process move more smoothly and will ensure that the relationships among parish members are strengthened rather than strained by the project.

Teamwork implies welcoming people from outside the community:

§ 177 § Since no single pastor or parish possesses the totality of expertise or vision required to execute a project of such great scope, the congregation and clergy will need to recognize the areas of their own competence, the role of the diocesan bishop and diocesan personnel, and their limits beyond which the assistance of experts will be required. Respect and appreciation for the competence of others in their respective fields is essential for good teamwork.

All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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