Benefits of Rotating Clergy

Ultimately, the Family of Parishes collaborative model with rotating priests can enrich the spiritual life of each parish while fostering a sense of unity and support within the broader spiritual community. 

Benefits of having priests rotate from parish to parish within a Family of Parishes collaborative model:

It’s all about Jesus
Diocesan Priests are ordained to minister in the Diocese of Buffalo. This means that they are ordained for ALL people of the Diocese of Buffalo. The rotation of priests helps all of us to recognize that we are a Diocese embodied within our parishes. As the Catholic church we think not just about our specific congregations, but that we are connected as the Body of Christ, the Universal Church working in harmony with one another. The celebration of the Sacraments is about an encounter with Jesus, not about a specific priest or building. Each priest has their own unique way of bringing us into that encounter, and this gives people an exposure to other priests and their unique way of bringing Jesus to others.
Pastoral support
Priests can provide support and assistance to multiple parishes, ensuring that each community receives the care and attention it needs. Implementing a Clergy Team approach can prevent burnout by distributing the workload among clergy team members.
Building a stronger community
Priests rotating between parishes can foster a sense of unity and interconnectedness within the larger family of parishes. In fact, this encourages collaboration and cooperation among parishioners from different communities and is especially important as individual parish populations diminish due to aging congregants.
Continuity and stability
One of the natural consequences of now having a much smaller and aging priestly community, there will be a higher rate of priest assignment changes. The Clergy Team approach of the collaborative model (Family of Parishes) helps to maintain a sense of stability for the parishes given this current environment. Parishioners will always have access to Mass and Sacramental needs and pastoral care, even if the face of the clergy changes.
Skill and knowledge sharing
Priests can share their experiences and expertise gained from one parish with another, leading to a transfer of best practices and learning from different community dynamics. This will strengthen the collective knowledge and skillset amongst all clergy.
Variety and Diversity
Priests bring different experiences, personalities, and skills to each parish, enriching the spiritual life of the community. Parishioners gain exposure to a wider variety of teaching styles and pastoral approaches.
Fresh perspective
Different priests bring new perspectives and ideas, preventing the parish from becoming too comfortable or resistant to needed change. A rotating system prevents stagnation and encourages innovation.
More priests will have the opportunity to become adaptable to diverse congregations, learning to serve various needs and demographics. Ultimately, this added exposure can make all clergy far more versatile and empathetic in their ministry.
Resource management
This can be the most efficient use of resources, allowing priests to serve in areas that may have a greater need at any given time. This flexibility can address specific needs within different parishes.

Missionary Disciples | October 24

Living as Missionary Disciples

Last month you were given a quiz from the bible based on the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke. Here are the answers to that quiz. The full quiz can be found in last month’s newsletter (September 2023).   

Quote from Living as Missionary Disciples

The community of faith is a place of invitation, welcome, and hospitality, especially for those who are inquiring or returning.” Pg. 16

Parish Agenda for Today

(Addressing Modern Americans)

Father Frank DeSiano did a terrific webinar last week entitled: Parish Agenda for Today. I am attaching the link to the presentation as well as a PDF of the slides. All pillars should watch this since it is based on creating vibrant parishes. 

In this presentation and slides you will learn:

  • The purpose of a parish
  • Marks of an evangelizing parish
  • The power of the Word and how to invite parishioners to reflect on it
  • The power of the Eucharist to draw people into discipleship.
  • The relationship between reverence and welcome
  • How to foster prayer among parishioners 
  • How to connect people 
  • Importance of small groups
  • How to evangelize “registered” members
  • Ways to reach out to those who have no faith or faith communities
  • Reaching out to seekers
  • The need for parishes to be about serving others, particularly the poor and frail
  • And much more . . .


Share the richness of the Family of Parishes (FoP): For each Sunday of Advent ask some parishioners from one of the parishes (or 2 if your family is more than 4 parishes) to reflect on one of the themes of Advent: hope, peace, love and joy.

For example – On the first Sunday of Advent, 10 people from parish A will finish this sentence: “A time I experienced hope was . . .” On the second Sunday 10 people from parish B will finish this sentence: “A time I experienced peace was . . .” Encourage them to be as personal as possible. 

Plan Ahead: Outdoor Nativity Set. 

Every Christmas we hear people bemoan the fact that Christ is being removed from Christmas. Why not ask every household to display a Nativity Scene either in their window or on their front lawn. Outdoor scenes can range in price from $30 to well over $100. As a FoP, encourage parishioners to accept the challenge – how many households will display their faith this Christmas? Click here to view Nativity Sets

Promote the Bible

Establish Dec. 3 as Bible Sunday. Use this Sunday (or another Sunday) to encourage people to consider giving Bibles or Bible books as Christmas gifts. Display bibles and books that appeal to all ages. Have a typed sheet of stores, gift shops and websites where these products can be purchased. Don’t forget the American Bible Society and USCCB. Good translations are: New American Bible, New International Version, Good New.

Starting now, challenge parishioners to read the bible: The Bible in a Year. Begin to plan on offering Bible study or small groups based on scripture after the first of the year. 


For those who started Alpha the week of Sept. 17 we are already halfway through the sessions. We shared meals, watched 5 videos and discussed these topics: 

  1. Is there more to life than this? 
  2. Who is Jesus? 
  3. Why did Jesus die? 
  4. How can I have faith? 
  5. Why and how do I pray?

For those unable to attend I draw your attention to the session entitled: “How can I have faith?” The group reflected on this picture asking the questions: 

  • What time of day do you think it is?
  • What could it mean that the vines are growing up over the door?
  • Any thoughts on why Jesus isn’t actually looking at the door?
  • If you could put yourself in this painting, what would you be doing?
  • Why is there no doorknob on the outside of the door?

Alpha Retreat: If you are doing Alpha, please be sure to sign up for the Retreat Day on Sat. Nov. 4. It will be held at Vincent de Paul Parish, Springbrook. 9:00 – 4:00. Free, lunch provided. The theme of the retreat will be the 4 sessions of the Holy Spirit that are part of the Alpha course. Registration for Alpha Retreat Nov. 4, 2023

Click here for a brief 2-minute video on Alpha. You may want to show it to the leaders of your parish. Introduction to Alpha

Ash Wednesday is Feb. 14, 2024. If your Family of Parishes is thinking of doing Life in the Eucharist during Lent, now is the time to be trained. Two training sites are remaining. Click here to register:

As always if there is some way that I can assist your parish in InReach/OutReach or any area of evangelization, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

I would appreciate it if you would pass on this newsletter to others who may benefit from it.

Last Thought: A bible falling apart belongs to someone who isn't.