Southside Parish Renewal (SPR) is a community of vibrant parishes striving to grow stronger in faith together through shared ministry, inclusion, spiritual enrichment, and celebration. SPR was created as an outgrowth of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Renew My Church process.
The goal is to be a driving force for renewed faith engagement in our parish communities.The success of the program will depend on the support and active involvement of a broad range of our parishioners as we work toward this goal.We recognize that SPR will be most effective if it uses the energy and best practices that come from community-wide discussions and programs to bring positive change to our individual parishes.We are strong individually;we are even better when we work together.
The Purpose of the Southside Parish Renewal Effort
Southside Parish Renewal (SPR) is a community of vibrant parishes striving to grow stronger in faith together through inclusion, celebration, spiritual enrichment, and shared ministry.
SPR is driven by lay parishioners from Christ the King, St. Barnabas, St. Cajetan, and St. John Fisher parishes, with the support and guidance of our clergy. Our goal is to strengthen the faith lives of Catholics in our community by addressing the reasons for the increased disengagement from parish and faith life.Much of our work will occur through a committee structure focusing on suggesting proactive responses to this disengagement. These factors include:
A sense of isolation and disconnect from parish and community life;
A desire for meaningful and welcoming liturgical celebrations;
A need for spiritual growth through biblical and doctrinal formation activities; and
A search for opportunities to grow and express our Catholic faith by doing good things for the less fortunate.
We will enlist committee members from a range of backgrounds, faith experiences, and age groups, and ask that those committee members also serve as a leadership group that will create and foster a new era of community-wide engagement in our faith.
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Southside Parish Renewal Committees
We have created a committee structure that reflects and is designed to address, with humility and candor, reasons many Catholics have drifted from their parish and faith life.These committees will be chaired by members of the SPR Board and will include members from all of the SPR parishes.
A great number of Catholics feel that they do not have a meaningful community life where each feels accepted, valued and visible.
The Inclusion Committee will work to develop strategies that will create a culture of inclusion in each of our parishes, where people from all corners of the community experience radical hospitality and realize that they are in a welcoming, and compelling, Christian community.
Interested in learning more about how you can share your gifts on the Inclusion committee? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our parishes, and our pastors, are always pressed to develop high-quality and compelling prayer, music, and worship services for a parish community of diverse interests. This challenge is greater in an environment where there are extraordinary demands on the time and attention of our priests.
The Liturgy Committee will provide a forum for ideas and programs that will help each parish, and the SPR parishes as a whole, to provide thoughtful and engaging approaches to enhance their worship activities.
It also will identify ways for the SPR parishes to coordinate worship activities in creative ways so that the community is presented with new options for worship and the schedules of the clergy can be rationalized.
Interested in learning more about how you can share your gifts on the Worship and Liturgy committee? Email email@example.com.
Shared Ministries Committee
An important way for our parishes to engage members in their faith is to provide meaningful opportunities for missionary commitment.These activities move the parishioners out of the pews into service of those in need, and in the process enhance the faith lives of those engaged in these ministries.
The Shared Ministries Committee will review the ministry offerings of each of the SPR parishes, identify areas where the activities might be combined into an area-wide ministry, and share best practices to help improve and expand the ministries offered at each parish.
The Spiritual Enrichment Committee will develop spiritual experiences, practices, and educational events that pique the curiosity and address the needs of our faith communities.
Our mission is to help our parishioners foster a deeper and richer relationship with Jesus through a strong and fruitful spiritual life. The Committee will support the experiences offered by the SPR parishes, share best practices, and periodically implement combined programs that enrich our larger southside community.
Interested in learning more about how you can share your gifts on the Spiritual Enrichment committee? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you missed the live virtual event, the June 19 conversation with Fr. James Martin is now available!
To support Fr. Martin's work, visit Outreach. Outreach operates under the auspices of America Media, a Jesuit ministry, and is rooted in the love of Jesus, who reached out to all those who felt excluded.
If you would like to learn more about available resources within the Archdiocese of Chicago, visit AGLO, Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach, which was founded through the efforts of several members of the Chicago LGBTQ community working together with Joseph Cardinal Bernardin to provide a ministry of outreach from within the Catholic church.
Southside Parish Renewal is grateful to Fr. Martin for his time, prayers and thoughtfulness in participating in this conversation.
Why I joined Southside Parish Renewal
Amy Fitzgerald – Christ the King
My family and I moved to Christ the King Parish four years ago, and the community warmly welcomed us. I am blessed to be part of Christ the King Parish and to have the opportunity to raise our children in this community which is rich in faith and tradition. Originally a Fisher Falcon, I treasure the wonderful childhood I experienced while growing up in St. John Fisher. I am grateful to be part of SPR as it provides me an opportunity to ensure my children continue to grow up in a fabulous faith-based community and allows me to collaborate with representatives from our neighboring parishes.
Karen Moran – St. Barnabas
My husband and I both grew up in Christ the King Parish. When our children were babies we knew we wanted to raise them in the Beverly community. The home we purchased was a block from St Barnabas. And we never looked back. Seventeen years later, our children have a strong academic and faith foundation and will always be proud Buckeyes. Participating in the SPR committee is an exciting opportunity to ensure a faith community for my children and generations to come.
Why I joined Southside Parish Renewal
Joe Roccasalva - St. Cajetan
I am originally from St Thomas More parish but move into St Cajetan after getting married and buying our “starter home." We have been members of St Cajetan’s for 38 years. I was ordained a Deacon in 2004 and have been assigned to St Cajetan since then. I love St. Cajetan’s sense of family. Parish families stay in the parish. Some families have 3 or 4 generations here. More than 90 school students have parents who are alumni. And when the chips are down we rally together., whether a sick child or someone in need. St Cajetan is truly a place to call home. SPR is important because the four parishes get to remain independent yet share vital resources that will help keep each parish viable. Keeping our unique identities while working and praying together.
Mary Blake - St. John Fisher
My name is Mary (Nitsche) Blake and I am a lifelong parishioner of St. John Fisher. There are so many things that make SJF a home for myself, my husband, and our four children. Whether in church or visiting the school, I am always met with friendly and familiar faces ready to share a quick conversation and smile. St. John Fisher has always had a strong tradition of excellence and continues to uphold that tradition to this day.Being a part of SPR is important for me because I am excited to renew all aspects of church life. I chose to join the inclusion committee because I want to try and encourage those that have fallen away from the church, to come back and experience what our Southside Catholic churches have to offer-a strong vibrant community strengthened and united by our faith.
Southside Parish Renewal Oversight Board
Mary Blake (SJF)
Fr. Ken Budzikowski (SJF/SC)
Bridget Kiely Carlson (SJF)
Elena Chermak (SJF)
Fr. Jim Donovan (SB)
Keara Ette (SC)
Tom Fahey (CK)
Amy Fitzgerald (CK)
Erin Harrigan-Schober (SJF)
Tracy Hartz (SC)
Ann Marie Gould (SC)
Fr. Marty Marren (SC)
Kristin Mlyniec (SJF)
Erin Moody (CK)
Karen Moran (SB)
Deacon Andy Neu (SB)
Jerry O'Sullivan (SC)
Jack Reedy (SC)
Maureen Reilly (SB)
Deacon Joe Roccasalva (SC)
Jennifer Serpe (SJF)
Erin Shea Smith (SB)
Deacon Tom Siska (SJF)
Fr. Larry Sullivan (CK)
Dan Roth (CK)
The Southside Parish Renewal Family Sponsorship Project