Well, I attended a meeting. That’s a remarkably unremarkable event for me. But this meeting was the second time that the Pastoral Councils of St. Victor and Our Lady of Knock parishes have met jointly.

For two years these two Calumet City parishes have been meeting with an eye to a greater linkage and eventual consolidation of staffs, programs, and activities, while both worship sites continue to be used.

This is precipitated primarily by the lack of priests available to pastor parishes. Noticeably more priests are retiring and dying than are being ordained.

The way the Archdiocese of Chicago evolved into many parishes, often created by and for particular ethnic groups, has caused some problems for the reality of the Church today.

An interesting comparison. There are more parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago (346) for fewer Catholics (2.23 million) than for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles which has 228 parishes for 4.48 million Catholics.

The Archdiocese of Chicago is well aware of this and is making strategic plans to better use the resources available. This could mean many things including the kind of linkage that St. Victor and Our Lady of Knock have been working on.

Fr. David Pavlik is the pastor of both St. Victor and Our Lady of Knock. Besides this there are a number of ways the two parishes have been moving closer together.

A new Mass in Spanish has been instituted at Our Lady of Knock (St. Victor has had two masses in Spanish for a number of years).

A business manager has been hired for the two parishes.

The two parishes have consolidated their religious education for youth programs.

A joint picture directory is in the works.

Volunteers from OLK were in evidence at St. Victor’s VictorFest.

Fr. Lyons Hall at OLK has been used by St. Victor and for joint endeavors.

There was a joint retreat last Lent.

The large and heavily attended Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe will be shared between the two parishes.

Both our Vicar, Bishop Perry, and the Archbishop, Cardinal Cupic, have lauded the two parishes for their work. The Cardinal did say that the other Catholic Church in Cal City, St. Andrew, should be involved.

Representatives from St. Andrew have been at three meetings recently.

Things are happening. Thanks for reading.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. George Grenchik is a longtime Calumet City resident and retired instructor at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond. He can be reached at gjgrenchik@aol.com.

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