Vision 2030 in Carbondale/Simpson
This page will have all the released information for the Diocese of Scranton's Vision 2030 process as it pertains to
St. Rose of Lima and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parishes.
New Parish Name - 12/14/2023 (published 12/31/2023)
Please see the letter from Bishop Bambera concerning the selection of a new name for our Parish effective July 1, 2024:
New Parish Names Top 3 - 11/26/2023
We thank the over 500 people who voted for the name of our new Parish. Here are the top 3 that will be submitted to Bishop Bambera, who will have the final say on the new name. The top 3 in order of their feast day on the calendar are:
Mother of Sorrows Parish
The Little Flower Parish
Our Lady of the Rosary Parish
New Parish Names Top 10 and Selection Process - 11/5/2023
Top 10 new Parish names for prayerful consideration:
Presentation of the Lord Parish
Ave Maria Parish
Parish of the Risen Christ
Saint Joan of Arc Parish
Mother of Sorrows Parish
Saint Padre Pio Parish
The Little Flower Parish
Our Lady of the Rosary Parish
Saint John XXIII Parish
Saint John Paul II Parish
Selecting a New Name for our Parish Family!
Earlier this summer in June, after consulting with the Joint Parish Pastoral Council, Finance Councils, and the Diocese of Scranton, we had a town hall meeting outlining the plan for the immediate future of the parishes of St. Rose and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The plan moving forward is to unite the parishes under a new name. Although we have not yet received an official decree, the bishop has indicated on a number of occasions that he supports this recommendation.
Therefore, I expect our new beginning as a unified parish will be July 1, 2024! A vital step in preparing for this important event is the selection of a new name for our new parish family. And while our combined parish community will be receiving a new name, it is also important to remember that the name of a church does not change. The Church of St. Rose of Lima and the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel will still be known by those names as places of worship within the new parish. As announced in the Town Hall Meeting the Church of St. Michael’s will be closed.
In deciding on options for names, the Code of Canon Law provides guidance concerning what names can be given to churches and parishes. The name must fit into one of the following categories:
• The name of the Trinity
• A name for Christ invoked in the liturgy or a mystery of his life
• The name of the Holy Spirit
• A title for Mary invoked in the liturgy
• The name of a holy angel
• The name of a canonized saint
In selecting the names in this booklet, we also considered several other factors. We did not include any of the 184 names already being used in the diocese for either a church or a parish so as to provide us a unique identity, as well as to avoid creating confusion with an existing community. We did not select any names too strongly connected with the ethnic identity of any of the communities which make up our diverse parishes, or the names of any of the Selecting a New Name for our Parish Family! along the way.
In many aspects, conversations like this have been going on in Carbondale since 2009 but seeing the long-term proposal in print is much different.
So what happens next? Our immediate next step is sending Bishop Bambera recommendations for a new parish name, which will be completed in early November. Once the bishop makes his decision it will be announced in the bulletin. Once we have a new name then we will have a lot of work to do in the office to prepare for the new parish to become a reality: changing the parish web domain and email accounts, updating and merging our parish data into one system, building a new website, designing and ordering new stationary, merging our bank accounts, updating our information with our vendors, changing the name associated with our EIN number, just to list a few.
We will also prepare for the closing of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel on Sunday June 2, 2024. This is also the Feast of Corpus Christi and we will have a procession and transferal of the Eucharist to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and then to St. Rose Church as a sign of unity Christ uniting us all. In the months before the Closing Mass at St. Michael’s we will have some special liturgies to give thanks for the people who served and worshiped here. We will also be planning for our opening liturgy as a new parish for the weekend of 6th/7th of July, 2024. More details to follow in the coming months!
We will continue to reexamine our community’s needs, facilities, and finances, and look again at our projected needs for worship and community gathering space.
This is both an exciting and challenging time for our community as we look toward the future. May all the angels and saints pray for us during this period! We are in need of their prayers, and we need each other’s prayers. May the Lord bless us as we experience both the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, and may we eternally receive the new life he offers us.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Seth Wasnock, V.F.
Vision 2030 Update: What we've accomplished and what comes next
Last March, when I arrived as your pastor, our two parishes were just beginning to engage the Vision 2030 Pastoral Planning Process established by the Diocese of Scranton. This began after Bishop Walsh held a town hall meeting in the fall of 2021. Over this past year, I have continued this process with the Joint Pastoral Council, the Finance Councils of both parishes, and representatives of the Diocese of Scranton.
Our first step was to evaluate the Mass schedule. As you know, we made necessary adjustments for better and more fruitful liturgies. As a result, even though we have fewer Masses between our two parishes, our overall Mass attendance has continued to steadily increase. Please continue to join me in welcoming our neighbors who seek a spiritual home with us!
The second step we took was to evaluate the overall condition of our parish buildings by utilizing an independent engineering firm. These studies were completed last summer. In the fall of 2022, the councils met to review this information along with our finances. A town hall meeting then took place at each parish in November to share this information and discuss the priority drivers of the Vision 2030 Process (the people of the community, the finances and facilities conditions of each of the buildings, and priests available to serve the community).
Beginning in January 2023, the Joint Pastoral Council and the Finance Councils of both parishes began very intentional meetings exploring each priority driver in detail. Small groups consisted of members from each council along with a facilitator from the Diocese. This information was coupled by the sharing of financial data and parish life statistics in our parish bulletins during the months of January and February.
Taking all the feedback from the people and parish leadership into account, I developed a plan that I believe addresses our current reality and will position us for decades to come to grow in out mission and in love.
I first presented this Pastoral Plan to the councils and to our Diocesan facilitators at a joint council meeting in May. The plan was also shared with the entire parish on Monday, June 5, 2023, at a town hall meeting in Saint Michael’s Church.
I was only able to develop and propose this Pastoral Plan because of the wisdom, guidance, conversations and leadership provided by the people who sit on our parish councils. These dedicated parish leaders (who represent all parishioners) have spent countless hours reviewing numbers, statistics and reports and the work has not been easy. I truly thank them for their input, wisdom and suggestions church buildings which are a part of our history, past or present.
With those considerations in mind, I, with consultation of people and the Joint Councils chose each of these names with a view toward providing a new patronal feast or mystery which can become a symbol of unity for us, someone who can build up our faith life, and a name that, through the witness of life or mystery celebrated, will support our mission to do the work of our Lord in this world.
The list includes a few ancient names and a few modern ones, mysteries of the Lord, men and women saints. In the booklet there is a short description and reasoning behind each saint. Please take the next two weeks to prayerfully consider each, discuss it with your family and friends, reach out to me, Fr. Mosley, or the Parish Office with any questions.
At the Masses the weekend of November 18th and 19th everyone will be invited to fill out a poll and rank their top choice. There will also be a poll available online that same weekend that you can cast your vote on. We will take the Top 3 Names and send those to Bishop Bambera. Once Bishop Bambera receives our recommendations, he will prayerfully consider them when making his decision on our parish's new name. Keep in mind that while he will likely choose one of the three options we send him, he may decide on a completely different name. In making his decision, he must take into account the needs of our community, the good of the diocese, and the guidance he receives from the Holy Spirit in prayer. Please keep the bishop in your prayers as he discerns the will of God for us and for all the people of the diocese!
Yours in Christ,
Reverend Seth D. Wasnock, V.F.
Carbondale Town Hall Meeting - 6/5/2023
View a video recording of the Town Hall Meeting, including slides:
View the slide show presented at the Town Hall Meeting:
Pastor Letter on Three Phase Pastoral Plan - Published in the June 11, 2023 bulletin. (Click page for full screen)