Volunteers dedicate expertise and hundreds of hours to Flourishing Families
By Fr. Tyler Dennis
Parishes across the diocese have been participating in the second round of town hall meetings for the Flourish Families Diocesan Strategic Planning Process. At these meetings, the pastor or facilitator is presenting a parish-specific program. The preparation of these presentations was a huge project undertaken by Joyce Williamson, Dennis Weir, Dcn. John Osnes, and chair Dionne Eastmo.
“All of us agreed that this project demanded considerably more time and effort than was anticipated. Once Joyce Williamson and I evaluated the immense amounts of data and developed the overall vision and flow of the story the data should tell, significant work began,” said Eastmo.
Williamson spent at least 200 hours on the development of template slides and script, creation of parish graphs, presenting at least three times to priest groups, collecting priest workload data, and creating nine parish presentations. Dennis Weir, while balancing the demands of a full-time job and a daughter’s wedding, spent eighty hours developing eighteen presentations. Dcn. John Osnes created nineteen presentations in about seventy hours. Eastmo spent one-hundred-twenty-hours creating fourteen presentations, leading the committee, and assisting Williamson when needed. In total, these four people contributed about four hundred seventy hours, or nearly the equivalent of three months of work by a full-time person. Not included in this number is the work done by Jacques Daniel, who worked on the template graphics for the presentations and the work done by Dr. John Usera in collecting the first set of data from which the presentations were created.
Eastmo said, “In spite of how much time and energy this required of us, the generosity of spirit shown by these beautiful people remains. I am in awe of all that was accomplished and I pray that the work we have done will ultimately glorify God and assist in building his kingdom.”
The Flourishing Families Initiative is now in its second stage. All Catholics are encouraged to take part in their parish town hall meetings where parishes will begin to clarify their particular needs before entering into dialogue with other parishes in their regions. Questions about the timing and location of town hall meetings should be directed to your pastor.