The Third Year.

The Third Year.

It’s that time!

We now have experienced three years of our diocese taking its new direction via the Uniting in Heart Pastoral Plan. Each year, we’ve checked in with readers to ask how are things progressing. Take a minute to answer our poll.

Under UIH, my parish is a greater witness of the Gospel before the world than it was 3 years ago.

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Under UIH, my parish runs with more efficiency than it did 3 years ago and is more stable.

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Under UIH, our diocese accomplishes the mission of the Church better than it did 3 years ago.

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My trust in diocesan leadership and administration is:

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From what I can tell, clergy seem better adjusted, better able to do their ministry, better supported by the diocese than 3 years ago.

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Under UIH, stewardship of resources is better and more transparent.

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Owing to UIH, I experience a greater sense of belonging to the Church than I did 3 years ago.

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Under UIH, our diocese is on the right path.

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Owing to UIH, I see improvement in the following areas (select as many as apply):

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My overall opinion of the changes brought by UIH is:

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Finally, please use the Comments Section to answer the following or to elaborate on your answers:

What is the greatest area of appreciation or joy you have in our local Church? What is the area of greatest concern to you?

48 Replies to “The Third Year.”

    1. Imagine if American bishops across the country showed the same group-think over faithfulness and orthodoxy as they do over decline-management programs. My goodness the whole country would be Catholic in under 10 years. But, alas, there is no easy money in being faithful and orthodox.

      “For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.” – 1 Timothy 6:10

    1. What really sets of the hypocrisy alarm is when the St. Michael prayer can’t be recited at mass because – you know – it’s not in the general instructions, but the stupid Uniting in Heart fundraising prayer is required to be recited at mass because – you know – it’s not in the general instructions.

      And they wonder why the laity are getting so uppity these days….

  1. Another crazy thing about Uniting in Heart is that some pastors seem to be taking it easy because they know they can get by with a lot during this chaos.

    My husband and I tried to connect with our pastor this summer and he’s always gone – vacation, chaplain of this group, chaperoning youth trip, chaplain of another group.

    Thank heavens the assistant priests are here. They seem to be the only ones working!

    PS The sound system was terrible most of the summer. When I complained a staff told me only the pastor knows how to run it. Go figure.

    1. I think you are passing a harsh judgement on a very good priest. I think I figure out who you are talking about and your parish is blessed to have him.

      Priests aren’t taking it easy in this “chaos”. Some are working harder than ever and if you took time to not pass judgment, you’d realize that they are praying for your soul to get to heaven.

      1. Are you sure about your statements Grass Isn’t Always Greener? In my 60 plus years as a practicing Catholic, I have never felt so abandoned and disillusioned with my local pastor. He frequently preaches how “priests need days off, priests need time away.” It gives off a vibe like he doesn’t want to be disturbed, even on the days he’s not away. It seems to me this priest in particular is more concerned about his needs than those of his parish. Heaven help us!

        1. @whatever

          Yes, I am. I know MANY of our priests are doing the best they can and are working harder than ever. Just because your needs aren’t being served doesn’t mean that your priest isn’t working hard. I read through these comments on this page and posts, and I do wonder what it is exactly you’re looking for in your parishes/pastorates.

      2. Maybe a good priest but horrible leader/manager. The staff is in chaos with multiple resignations and internal bickering all the time. The finances are in shambles and the pews are more empty each week.

  2. I would say like the church as a whole around the world, we are struggling. This struggle includes, fewer priests, fewer parishioners, more sinful acts in the church, more parishioners and clergy conforming to the ways of the world, less funds available, fewer volunteers, etc. I don’t see that this struggle is the result of UiH and I don’t really see UiH helping with the struggle. Even in our own diocese we see vast differences in communities that are well off and growing and thus have growing parishes (e.g. Hamilton County) and communities that are poor and shrinking (north part of diocese). So with or without UiH we are on the same troubling path as most of the rest of the church around the world. And this bad path is not just a Catholic phenomenon either. Almost all faiths and denominations are on this same regrettable path.

    1. That may be true, but our VG and head-in-the-sand bishop put a lot of work in leaving our diocese in spiritual and financial trouble

    2. The Archbishop of Indpls has 32 seminarians….32 young men discerning a priestly vocation with Archbishop Thompson as their father and shepherd. Maybe not in such dire straits as us. Pope St John Paul II said a bishop’s legacy is in his seminaries and priests. Indeed.

      1. In 2014 the Archdiocese of Indianapolis closed 3 parishes in Indianapolis and in 2013 closed 12 parishes in small rural areas. So all has not been healthy in that diocese as well.

        1. @ Anonymous those closing were during the Cardinal Tobin years. Something telling me with 32 seminarians something going right right now with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

  3. The third year of the diocesan prison sentence known as “Uniting in Heart” was much like the second and the first as evidenced by all the comments on this site. With at least two years to go in our collective sentence, my hope is that the bishop attempts an early retirement and it is granted. Short of that and for the sake of his own soul, I hope the VG fails even harder in enforcing our collective sentence as the next two years hurtle toward their inevitable conclusion.

    These temporary stewards of our local Church’s affairs are rapidly running out of time. Like anyone who has received a terminal diagnosis from their doctor, pray that they finally begin to put their affairs in order and heal the damage they’ve caused before their time has run out and they reap the whirlwind they have sown.

    Come, Lord Jesus.

    1. Let’s pray for all of our clergy on this the eve of the Assumption!
      Blessed Mother please protect them all and keep them in your loving care !

    2. Sounds like a good idea to me. They need to get together, talk, plan, and build community and culture. In the past when they isolated more, there were more problems of many kind including substance abuse, depression & counseling, and child abuse. Getting together is the sign of a healthier climate.

      1. Going to a lecture on occasion as a group is not community and will in no way address isolation, substance abuse, depression, etc…

        Until diocesan priests are at least given the choice to live in oratories with other like-minded priests, the garbage that befalls isolated priests will continue. It will take a bishop of great courage to implement such a humane policy. Sadly, no such courage exists in the current bishop.

        Everything going wrong in the church today is preventable.

  4. As a diocese, we need to double our prayers for our bishop so he relearns to focus more on shepherding the local churches throughout this diocese and less on the finances and corporate operations.
    Many of our priests are being put out to pasture to fend for themselves and it saddens me to see how they’re treated.
    Parishioners are moving to parishes across state lines.
    Pray, pray, pray!

  5. What is the status of the Vicar General? Those people who suffer from his support of his friend/employee in Kokomo need to be heard!

    1. Yes! Our Vicar General was approached by multiple people over a span of years with concerns to him hiring Chuck Jansen, and he did nothing. Now, as of Feb. this year… was given information through the correct process on how to report someone for misconduct.. the SUPERVISOR of the victim assistance program himself.. DID NOTHING. They pray it goes away, and I pray it never does. The Bishop had his chance to do something, and….. the abuse, wrong-doing continues.

      1. I’d try to contact the Vatican directly. Shame on our leadership which is more like a mafia who is more interested in power and control than being servant leaders!

        Here’s what a real leader does: the Bishop in Ft. Wayne helped pay for over 30 priests to go to World Youth Day in Portugal! How many did our sad diocese help finance to go?!?! Instead we are all paying to save a helpless retreat center that will never make a buck.

        Seminarians should know all this.

        1. Actually Bishop Doherty helped pay for 14 from around our Diocese to go to Portugal for World Youth Day. I saw an article from on of the Marian Students in The Catholic Moment about it.

          1. Priests? Why the Priests? It is World Youth Day, NOT World Priests Day. I prefer my CMA fund to send youth to World Youth Day.

  6. The leadership of our diocese works in the shadows, completely LACKS TRANSPARENCY, and makes one terrible decision after another.

    The leadership of our diocese has no relationship with the priests or the people. They should be VERY CONCERNED about getting enough $$$ to keep going. Just from my family they’re down by $23,000 annually…

    1. Every answer diocese leaders give to every question seems a little shady or seems not completely true. That makes people not trust them in anything. Diocese leaders has problems! They never listen.

        1. They don’t listen because they are not concerned with the flock they should be shepherding. (Generally speaking – there are some exceptions.)

      1. They justify lying to achieve their “measurable goals.” They have lost 95% of the clergy and 99% of the people. And Deacons are mistreated too.
        Seminarians beware!
        Time for another 2 page propaganda photo spread in the Catholic Moment to try to glorify Fr. Ted I guess.

  7. We have a large parish, and I have seen an effort to fill the Church population with the Holy Spirit and create a community. However, I am elderly, and I feel of less and less value to the Church. An effort is made to “draw” us in, but we are left to our own devices to make that happen. I was asked a year ago to help in the formation of a ministry to shut-ins, but that was set aside for RCIA. Now it is time for another RCIA group, and the shut-ins are no better served. Did I mention that I am elderly? Was I supposed to create the program alone? Running a parish like a business doesn’t work, and, honestly, I don’t have the answer. It seems that, perhaps, we need to have smaller parishes that work together, instead of megaChurches that can’t reach all the parishioners effectively. The only group running efficiently is the Hispanic population, which, for some reason, continues to grow in leaps and bounds and appears to do its own thing.

    1. Wow! You are spot on! This creation of the mega churches and saying the heck with the smaller (very healthy I might add) parishes completely boggles my mind.

  8. Here the switch to UIH brought us a couple of dynamic young priests who have been great for our parish. I judge this improvement to be coincident with UIH but not the result of it.

    In fact, I would prefer for priests to not get shuffled around all the time. Decades ago a parish priest would serve his parish for practically a lifetime. This, seems to me, helped adequate spiritual leadership of the parish, because parishioners really got to know their pastor and the pastor would know his flock and who to tap for tasks and ministries.

    Decades ago, also, bishops would be chosen from among the priests of the dioceses they would lead. We should go back to that, in order to ensure organic leadership based in familiarity with regional culture and the people, including the clergy. I hear repeatedly that our bishop does not really know his priests, to whom he is charged to be a spiritual father.

    1. Given how much money was spent on UIH, I wonder who knew whom. Consulting firms of this nature have to see problems that their solutions can fix. Why did the diocese use this consulting firm to tell them how “exhausted” and spent the priests were? Why are priests prevented due to the rules of UIH to say the number of Masses that might benefit their parish. The young priests are so faithful and willing to be spent for Christ, but are told they are not allowed to. Then we are repeatedly told there is a vocation shortage when , in fact, good men are turned away or recriminated in seminaries for being “too devout.”

      It seems we are being corralled into a “priest shortage” and the goal is to manufacture a need to ordain women and let priests be married. UIH seems to be succeeding at demoralizing the priests and faithful flock. I sense worry and concern that at any moment a parish might be deemed too small or too inefficient or just too irritating to be allowed to exist. At any moment it can just be merged or shut down. It seems that priests must walk a tight rope of spreading the Gospel as the Holy Spirit leads them and not offending the powers that be so as to not be cancelled or have allegations trotted out against them. There is no transparency or even sense that the best interest of the Catholic faithful is at work. Some other agenda seems to be at work.

      When parishes and vocations were thriving and families keeping their children in the faith, key ingredients were present–best practices applied. Carmels were allowed into every diocese to pray for priests. Big families were encouraged and respected from the pulpit. And as the contributor above states, priests were allowed to stay at a parish for decades if not their lifetime so that a true sense of family was present. Parishes were numerous and small–to fit the needs of their local communities. Boys were encouraged to serve at the altar and girls to help in sodalities to support the priests and the sacristy needs. We have answers to these problems, that the powers that be do not seem to want to implement. They seems to have a different agenda.

    2. A local counselor said a person suffering from narcissism will never get to know those around them.

      With two narcissists bullying, shaming and degrading others it’s nothing short of a nightmare.

      Uniting in Heart is the rotten fruit of narcissism.

  9. Our pastorate is currently in turmoil. About 1 month before priest reassignments, we were told to go from 2 priests down to 1, thereby cutting number of masses in half, spread over 6 parishes. We were told you guys figure this out and the diocese will just give suggestive hints. Oh, and by the way, whatever the plan is the bishop’s office must approve it. And your 1 priest is someone who’s never been a full pastor before and is new to the pastorate and community. This seems like incredibly poor decision making to me. I feel like our priest has been thrown under the bus and doomed to a horrendously difficult situation even before he began. What kind of leadership is this???

      1. Yes. Organization is getting established and very active.
        Neighbor helping neighbor.
        “We are the folks that do stuff”…
        Check out the website.

  10. Greatest joy is that our parochial vicars are all good priests. Greatest concern is the lack of leadership qualities and truthfulness in the diocese and on the parish level.


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