The Diocese of Trenton has been blessed with many parishes which have served millions of people for more than 130 years. Today, given changing demographics, increasing needs of parishioners, the anticipation of fewer priests to serve the Diocese, and the strain on facilities and finances, we are called to better steward our resources so that we can truly and in the best way possible meet the needs of active Catholics and share our faith with those who are marginalized or who have not yet heard the Good News.
As we look to the future, new models for parishes are needed. The Parish Cohorts are being asked to consider six different organizational models. An overall principle of Faith in Our Future is that parishes are more effective if they work together in ministry areas. It is envisioned that every parish community will collaborate with other parish communities where appropriate and feasible. It is also that in many Cohorts, more than one model will be suggested.
A formal cooperative relationship is formed among parishes in order to serve a unified mission.
Parishes become collaborative when they enter into formal cooperative relationships with other parishes for the sake of jointly promoting the Gospel and the New Evangelization, preparing and garnering resources for in-depth prayer and worship experiences, presenting comprehensive life-long Christian formation practices, and being advocates for and serving people who are most in need.
One of the underlying values of Collaborative Parishes is being good stewards of spiritual, human, and temporal resources. Collaborative Parishes seek to avoid unnecessary duplication of staff, facilities, and services, so that they are able to expand ministry and meet needs that currently go unmet. Even parishes with ample resources or parishes with unique needs and ministries often consider the Collaborative model to enhance what they are already doing, or to develop new ministries which would be more effective if done with other parishes.
Some characteristics of well-functioning Collaborative Parishes include, but are not limited to, the following:
When two or more parishes share a pastor.
Linked Parishes are formed when two or more parishes share a pastor. Linked Parishes do as many things cooperatively as possible, especially given that the pastor is striving to serve two or more separate parishes. This model may be one that is used occasionally in a unique parish situation where the pastoral needs are best served by having one pastor for two or more parishes. Linked Parishes may also be in collaborative relationships with other parishes in the cohort or beyond the cohort.
Characteristics of Linked Parishes include:
Two or more parishes come together to form a new parish community.
The merging of parishes is not an end in itself. The merger aims to create a new parish that is stronger and better equipped to minister to the members of the faith community and to reach out to the wider community at-large. After parishes merge, they often develop cooperative relationships with other parishes to be more even more effective in mission and ministry.
When a merger occurs:
A team of priests serving three or more parishes.
In accord with Canon 517, 1 the Bishop may appoint a moderator of a team of priests who will serve three or more parishes (often four or five parishes). Lay ministers, Religious and Deacons may work with the In Solidum Team to assist with the pastoral life of the parish. Though parishes under the care of an In Solidum Team remain distinct entities, it is encouraged that they cooperate with each other as in the Linked Parish model.
The Bishop may appoint a deacon, religious or lay person to be the day to day leader of a parish community with a priest assigned to provide sacramental care.
In accord with Canon 517, 2 the Bishop may appoint a Deacon, Religious or Lay person to be the day to day leader of a parish community. In some dioceses this person is called a “Parish Administrator” or a “Parish Life Director.” When this appointment is made, the Bishop also appoints a priest who is endowed with the powers and faculties of a Pastor to supervise the pastoral care. This priest, or another, may be the sacramental minister for the parish.
Parishes under the leadership of a Parish Administrator may also be in collaborative relationship with other parishes.
Parishes established by reason of the rite, language or nationality of the Christian faithful of a given area.
In accord with Canon 518, as a general rule, a parish is to be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful of a certain territory. When it is expedient, however, personal parishes are to be established determined by reason of the rite, language, or nationality of the Christian faithful of some territory, or even for some other reason.
Personal parishes may be in collaborative relationship or linked with another parish. They may be under the care of a Pastor, of an In Solidum Team, or of a Parish Administrator.
COHORT 1:Corpus Christi, Willingboro; Jesus the Good Shepherd, Riverside; Resurrection, Delran
COHORT 2: Sacred Heart, Riverton; St. Charles Borromeo, Cinnaminson; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Maple Shade
COHORT 3: St. John Neumann, Mount Laurel; St. Isaac Jogues, Marlton; St. Joan of Arc, Marlton; St. Mary of the Lakes, Medford; Holy Eucharist, Tabernacle
COHORT 4: St. Andrew, Jobstown; Assumption; New Egypt (Ocean County); St. Ann, Browns Mills; Christ the Redeemer, Mount Holly; Sacred Heart, Mount Holly; Our Lady Queen of Peace, Hainesport
COHORT 5: St. Katharine Drexel, Burlington; Sts. Francis & Clare, Florence Township; St. Mary, Bordentown
COHORT 6: St. John the Baptist, Allentown (Monmouth County); St. Vincent de Paul, Yardville; Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony, Hamilton; St. Gregory the Great, Hamilton Square; St. Raphael-Holy Angels, Hamilton
COHORT 7: St. Ann, Lawrenceville; Church of the Korean Martyrs, Trenton; St. Paul, Princeton; St. David the King, Princeton Junction; St. Anthony of Padua, Hightstown; St. Hedwig, Trenton; considering Princeton and Rider Universities
COHORT 8: St. Alphonsus, Hopewell; St. George, Titusville; St. James, Pennington COHORT 9: Our Lady of Good Counsel, West Trenton; Blessed Sacrament-Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd, Trenton; Incarnation,St. James, Ewing; considering The College of New Jersey, Ewing
COHORT 10: Our Lady of the Angels, Trenton; Divine Mercy, Trenton; Sacred Heart, Trenton; St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton; St. Joseph, Trenton
COHORT 11: St. Veronica, Howell; St. William the Abbot, Howell; St. Catherine of Siena, Farmingdale
COHORT 12: St. Robert Bellarmine, Freehold; St. Rose of Lima, Freehold; St. Joseph, Millstone; St. Thomas More, Manalapan
COHORT 13: St. Mary, Colts Neck; St. Gabriel, Marlboro, St. Benedict, Holmdel; St. Catharine, Holmdel
COHORT 14: St. Clement, Matawan; St. Joseph, Keyport; Jesus the Lord, Keyport; Holy Family, Union Beach
COHORT 15: St. Ann, Keansburg; St. Mary, Middletown; St. Catherine Laboure, Middletown; Our Lady of Perpetual Help– St. Agnes, Atlantic Highlands
COHORT 16: St. Leo the Great, Lincroft; St. Anthony of Padua, Red Bank; St. James; Red Bank; Nativity, Fair Haven; Holy Cross, Rumson
COHORT 17: Precious Blood, Monmouth Beach; Christ the King, Long Branch; St. Michael, West End; St. Mary of the Assumption, Deal; St. Jerome, West Long Branch; St. Dorothea, Eatontown; considering Monmouth University, West Long Branch
COHORT 18: St. Anselm, Wayside; Mother of Mercy, Asbury Park; Holy Innocents; Neptune; Ascension, Bradley Beach
COHORT 19: St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Avon-bythe- Sea; St. Catharine-St. Margaret, Spring Lake; St. Rose, Belmar; St. Mark, Sea Girt
COHORT 21: Sacred Heart, Bay Head; St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Lavallette; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Seaside Heights; St. Catharine of Sienna, Seaside Park
COHORT 22: St. Dominic, Brick; Visitation, Brick; St. Mary of the Lake, Lakewood; St. Anthony Claret, Lakewood; considering Georgian Court University, Lakewood
COHORT 23: St. Monica, Jackson; St. Aloysius, Jackson; St. John, Lakehurst; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Whiting
COHORT 24: St. Maximilian Kolbe, Toms River; St. Luke, Toms River; St. Justin, Toms River; St. Joseph, Toms River
COHORT 25: St. Barnabas, Bayville; St. Pius X Parish, Forked River; St. Mary, Barnegat; St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Brant Beach: St. Theresa Parish, Little Egg Harbor