St. Bernardine and St. Luke Grouping - Renew My Church Update: March 12, 2021
St. Bernardine and St. Luke Parishes engaged in the Renew My Church (RMC) review and
discernment process over the past few months. The Grouping Feedback and Discernment team
(GFDT), which was made up of members from each community, met to review and discern the
future parish structure for the area. Our deepest appreciation goes to the GFDT who prayerfully
discerned the parish grouping structure during this challenging time of the pandemic.
Based on their meetings and feedback gathered from the larger parish community, they submitted
feedback to the archdiocese. The Archdiocesan Standards and Recommendations Commission,
which includes representatives from across the Archdiocese of Chicago, reviewed the feedback and
other information, including financial summaries and parish trends.
Cardinal Cupich and Bishop Manz are grateful to Fr. Kuca, Fr. Szmyd and the Grouping Team who
gathered throughout the past few months, and all parishioners who offered feedback through the
recent discernment process.
In the past few weeks, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, the archdiocese’s auxiliary
bishops, and the archdiocese’s Presbyteral Council met to discuss the Commission’s
recommendation. Based upon those discussions and prayerful consideration, Cardinal Cupich made
the following decisions regarding the parish structure in the St. Bernardine and St. Luke grouping.
o Both St. Bernardine and St. Luke will continue to host a regular schedule of Masses
and the specific schedule will be determined by the pastor in consultation with parish
o St. Luke will formally be designated the parish church where the united parish’s
sacramental records will be kept.
o Unless otherwise desired by the local community, the united parish’s name will be St. Luke and St. Bernardine Parish, in alignment with the grouping team’s preference for the new parish name to reflect a combined name.
o There are no changes to St. Luke School.
o Fr. Stan Kuca will serve as pastor of the newly unified parish. The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Priests’ Placement Board will work with the newly unified parish and Fr. Kuca to discern the best assignment of an associate pastor(s).
Additionally, the Commission recommends an annual review beginning in 2024 regarding the
sustainability of two campuses. This way the united parish can focus on unification for the
next three years, prior to the start of the annual review.
Parish Structure Rationale
campus provides a large gathering space which can be used to enhance and expand ministry and outreach.
St. Vincent Ferrer Parish will also embark upon the next phase of renewal in the River Forest community.
communities with one another and inspiring witness in the world around us.
5 Phases of Renew My Church grouping process based on lessons from other dioceses and
Preparation Ensuring parish leaders can begin a planning phase
spiritually prepared and confident in their abilities to
shepherd their people through a difficult change
Discernment & Ensuring significant local input and ownership exists
Decisions in a process that faces realities and reaches
Transitions - Supporting parishes through a difficult transition in a
Accompaniment way that respects and values the past while instilling
**(We are here)** a spirit of hopefulness about the future.
We have begun the “Transitions and Accompaniment” phase in the RMC process. “Supporting parishes through a difficult transition in a way that respects and values the past while instilling a spirit of hopefulness about the future”. LeRoy Chalmers, the facilitator in our RMC process, and the staff from St. Bernardine, met virtually on Thursday, April 8, to discuss this process. Carol Palmer, the Human Resources representative for our Vicariate, was also present. (Both LeRoy and Carol will meet with the staff of St. Luke on April 15). The Operational Transition phase will include the following: streamlining financial operations, creating new leadership teams (Pastoral Council, Finance Council), and creating viable and sustainable facility plans.
The first step, “Onboarding” will include the following:
Transitions - Providing on-the-ground operating support for
Operations parishes and groupings transitioning to new models.
Building the Support the grouping in developing collaborative
New Reality pastoral plans to form vital parishes and make
A Prayer For “Renew My Church”
Lord Jesus, you speak to us today, as you spoke to holy men and women who have gone before us.
In every age and in our own time, you call to us and say: Renew My Church. Pour out the gift of your Holy Spirit upon us, and so enable us
to hear you clearly
to listen to each other attentively
to imagine our future boldly
to discern your direction wisely
to persevere in your holy will courageously
to stay together in charity
to surrender our own plans readily
to embrace the greater good
to hand on your gifts to future generations.
May we remain in the holy company of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the apostles and all the saints. May their example and presence inspire us with patient confidence in the work of your grace.
We ask this of you who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen