Faith in our Future

DoT FaithInOurFuture FN


Posted Friday, July 8 at 4:45 p.m.

 With respect to Cohort #17 (of which St. Michael’s Church is a member), below are the preliminary recommendations and rationale for those recommendations made by the Diocesan Planning Commission as part of the Faith in the Future process. Our Cohort (as well as all the Cohorts of the Diocese) now will devote several weeks to further study and discussion of the recommendations. The Planning Commission will meet again in October to review the Cohort responses and bring together a set of Final Recommendations for Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., to consider.  For additional information about Faith in Our Future (including the Commission’s preliminary recommendations and rationales for the other 24 Cohorts) please visit




COUNTY: MONMOUTH                         COHORT 17

PARISHES                                                   CITIES

St Jerome                                                       W. Long Branch

St. Mary of the Assumption                           Deal 

Church of the Precious Blood                        Monmouth Beach

St. Michael                                                    West End  

Christ the King                                               Long Branch  

St. Dorothea                                                   Eatontown  

SCHOOLS                                                    OTHER INSTITUTIONS

St. Jerome                                                      Immaculate Conception Korean Community     

Monmouth University                                   Monmouth Medical Center


We wish to thank you for the prayer, reflection and work which you have put into Faith in Our Future to date.  We appreciate the time and effort you have given to evaluating your parishes and your cohort based on the goals and criteria established by Bishop O’Connell and for making Cohort Suggestions for your future.


We commend you for:

  • Your spirit of cooperation. 
  • Your commitment to the discovery of your individual and shared gifts, as well as needs. 
  • Your willingness to coordinate Mass and confession schedules, Adult Faith Formation programs, and co-sponsorship of St. Jerome’s school, cohort-wide.

Preliminary Recommendations:

After reflecting on Bishop O’Connell’s goals and criteria for Faith in Our Future, your Cohort Evaluation, your Parish Evaluations, your Data Verification Forms and Parish Summary Forms, we respectfully disagree in part with your suggestions and we make the following preliminary  recommendations:

  • Model Three: Merged Parishes between St. Jerome and St. Mary no later than July, 2018 at the St. Jerome Site, pending a structural review and maintenance appraisal with an additional worship site at St. Mary’s.
  • Model Two: Linked Parishes between the new parish community at St. Jerome’s and St. Michael.
  • Model Two: Linked Parishes between Church of the Precious Blood and St. Dorothea
  • Model One: Collaborative Parishes with Christ the King and the other parishes in the cohort.

We further recommend that as a cohort you:

  1. Engage in cohort-wide coordination of Mass and confession schedules.
  2. Explore cohort-wide co-sponsorship of St. Jerome’s school.
  3. Implement a cohort-wide communication system.
  4. Increase cohort-wide awareness and efforts to address the need for more vocations.
  5. Collaborate regarding Campus Ministry at Monmouth University.
  6. Coordinate faith formation including religious education and youth ministry.
  7. Utilize the Parochial Vicar at St. Jerome’s to cover the Campus Ministry needs at Monmouth University.
  8. Determine the most equitable solution for Pastoral care at Monmouth Medical Center.
  9. Take action on your willingness to explore mutual satisfaction of rental issues and needs.
  10. Continue planning pro-active efforts to improve vocational education and prayer to this end. 


We make these preliminary recommendations based on your own study and data and the following:

  1. The various models will provide access to many ministries already existing in individual parishes in the cohort.
  2. This sharing will give rise to a broader sense of cooperation among pastors, parishioners and ministries that will lead to livelier and stronger bonds.
  3. By collaborating with each other, strengths and needs will be better understood cohort-wide. Facilities, ministries and resources will be used more efficiently and economically which would include the elimination of commercial rentals. Stewardship should be spiritually driven, not solely budget based.
  4. Working together, learning from each other, taking time to listen and to be open to new approaches, will enable us to better serve our communities as well as meet the spiritual needs of our Cohort group. This includes reaching out to inactive Catholics, the poor and marginalized, as well as emerging adults, utilizing the diocesan ministerial resources available through Catholic Campus Ministry at Monmouth University.
  5. Cohort populations would benefit from pastoral ministry to Hispanic and Multi Lingual Catholics. We will develop a communication system that shares all ministry information. Within our Cohort we would provide interactive opportunities in order to build an integrated community
  6. We believe our preliminary recommendations for models and ministries will help Cohort 17 achieve the 5 goals approved by Bishop O’Connell for Faith in Our Future.



End of Posting 







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("Ad Resurgendum cum Christo"...."To Rise with Christ") 

Helpful and instructive information on the proper care for and treatment of cremated remains consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church has been provided in an informative and reliable document issued by the Holy See's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope Francis in 2016.  This Instruction document ("Ad Resurgendum cum Christo"...."To Rise with Christ") is recommended reading for all the Catholic faithful and for funeral directors who assist their clients with Catholic funerals.  The Instruction's information and guidance are recommended to be part of the planning for funeral arrangements and cemetery arrangements.  

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