St. Joseph parish is part of a Cluster 42 which includes all the Catholic parishes in the Coatesville and Parkesburg areas. See the Office for Renewal of Pastoral Life for the Archdiocese for additional details concerning cluster planning.
St. Joseph's parish has been participating in the first wave of the cluster planning process. All parishes in the Archdiocese have been grouped together into clusters. We are part of Cluster 42 which consists of the parishes in the Coatesville and Parkesburg area. The parishes included in the cluster are:
- Our Lady of Consolation, Parkesburg
- Our Lady of the Rosary, Coatesville
- St. Cecilia, Coatesville
- St. Joseph, Coatesville
- St. Stanislaus Kostka, Coatesville
A Cluster Pastoral Planning Committee (CPPC) was formed to create a cooperative plan for the cluster parishes. This committee consisted of the pastors of each parish, 2 lay representatives from each parish, the Vicar for Chester County - Msgr. James T. McDonough. and a facilitator assigned by the Archdiocese.
The CPPC began monthly meetings in October 1996. These meetings concluded in June 1997. The final cluster plan was submitted to the Cardinal in October 1997. The plan was accepted by Cardinal Bevilacqua on November 7, 1997. A one page summary of the plan was distributed to parishioners in the cluster. The implementation phase of the process will begin shortly.
The following summary of the cluster plan was distributed to parishioners on November 16, 1997.
Cluster Pastoral Plan - Cluster 42
Chester County Vicariate
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
The Cluster Pastoral Planning Committee for Cluster 42 has completed its cluster plan. The pastors and two members of the parish pastoral council of Our Lady of Consolation Parish, Our Lady of the Rosary parish, St. Cecelia Parish, St. Joseph Parish, and St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish met monthly over a ten month period to develop the plan.
Information gathering tasks included a review of the mission statement, pastoral plan and facilities report of each parish. The committee found many areas of strength in the cluster. These included a consolidated regional Catholic elementary school, strong CCD programs, parish facilities in good condition, a strong group of volunteers and a tradition of working together for 25 years through the Catholic school.
The committee also evaluated weaknesses and limitations. These included lack of participation by adults in religious programs, parishioners lacking in their awareness of their stewardship responsibilities, an imbalance in the geographic location of parish facilities in relation to the areas of population growth, and the distance of the cluster from the Archdiocesan offices.
At each stage of the process the committee received feedback from the parish pastoral councils. One issue which permeated the process was the priest projection for the cluster which predicted four priests in parish ministry for the 5 parishes by the year 2000. The death of Father Cyril Ponisciak, pastor of St. Joseph parish, brought this possibility to a sudden reality in May, 1997.
The committee then developed a series of goals that represented its vision for the cluster, objectives based on these goals, and action steps to achieve the objectives.
The goals established for the cluster included the following:
|Goal #1||Provide support for the efforts of parents to teach their children the Catholic faith|
|Goal #2||Provide support and education for increased evangelization efforts|
|Goal #3||Address the Priest Projection report which indicates a decline in the number of priests available for parish work in the cluster|
|Goal #4||Improve the level of community service, especially for the Hispanic, elderly and needy populations of the cluster|
|Goal #5||Renew religious education and stewardship programs through the inclusion of new parishioners|
Printed in the St. Joseph Parish bulletin - Sunday November 16, 1997