Renew My Church
Renew My Church Updates

PASTOR DECISION – There was a deanery meeting this week that Fr. Larry and some of our staff attend. At that meeting, we asked Bishop Bartosic about the Pastor decision. He told us that the council was meeting on March 26th and that a decision would be made that day. It will be up to the new pastor to share that when he is ready. Bishop said that we should have a name well in advance of April 9th.

Gerry Winters, with the help of Canon Lawyer Brody Hale and parishioner Sean Vinck (lawyer), filed our Appeal to the Merger on Friday, February 21st with the Archdiocese. Cardinal Cupich responded on February 26th denying our appeal. St. Matthias now has 15 days to appeal this decree directly with the Vatican, and we are working currently to meet that deadline. After the appeal goes to the Vatican, we expect the process to take between 3-6 months before a formal decision to close St. Matthias parish can be approved or denied. Please note that the Archdiocese has not yet issued a decree regarding the Cardinal's decision to close St. Matthias Church. The plan is to appeal that decision when it is made.

The St. Matthias community is actively fighting the decision to close St Matthias Parish and Church. The canon laws which govern all activities of the Catholic Church allow St Matthias to appeal these decisions directly with the Vatican in Rome, and we are taking all actions available to us to ensure that St Matthias remains open for many, many years to come. Do not give up hope – we need everyone’s hope, prayers and support as a community to be successful.

For more information on community efforts to save our Church or to offer your direct help, please contact parishioners:

Gerry Winters,
Pat Kubistal,
Terry Tuohy,
Bob Farster,
Bill Horan,
Molly Cook,
Sean Vinck,

We will also continue to update the community as changes happen.

Current Reality for St. Matthias:

As of July 1, 2020, St. Matthias Church will merge with Queen of Angels, with Queen of Angels being the parish church. A new pastor will be named in the coming months who will work with both parishes to transition to our new parish model. St. Matthias School will continue its academic and spiritual excellence under the direction of Principal Katie Carden and the school staff as an Archdiocesan School. Please continue your prayers and support for our Church and School. The community of St. Matthias has always been a very strong one and that will continue as we move forward together.

Information from the Archdiocese...

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you ... plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

With trust in our Lord, we step forward to be led by the Holy Spirit toward our future.

What’s Next for our Parish?

Now that the specific decision concerning our grouping and parish has been shared, the next effort will focus on supporting all that needs to occur during the transition. A dedicated team from the Archdiocese will provide hands-on assistance to ensure the most effective and positive implementation of any necessary changes, such as financial and facilities planning.

  • Members of the archdiocesan team will be on-site in the coming months to introduce themselves, provide an overview of the support process, and gather feedback from staff.

  • Specific and meaningful guidance will be provided regarding the parish naming process. Recognizing the emotional and personal nature of this – we are, in fact, seeing the birth of a new, unified parish community – there are very helpful steps that the Church provides. We will hold opportunities for parish-wide prayer and liturgies, reflection, and sharing.

Keeping an Eye on Why We Need Renewal
With each step forward, we must keep reminding ourselves why this is so important to our parish, our families, and our own faith lives. Look around and what do you see? Fewer and fewer people attending mass. An alarming number of people choosing to reject any religious affiliation. A broken world that doesn’t even know it’s broken.

  1. Jesus is calling us to follow Him more closely and seek out His lost sheep. As Catholics baptized into the life and love of God we are called – and commissioned – to discern our part in making disciples. What do we need to do to ensure we are not the last Catholics in our family? How do we practically evangelize others and promote/encourage vocations to the priesthood, religious life and married life?

  2. Stretched, limited resources have challenged parish ministries; even parishes with abundant resources struggle to engage youth and young adults. Christ is calling us to discern what parish and school vitality means in today’s world and to build communities. How do we work together, across parishes and throughout the Archdiocese, to strengthen each other today and create Catholic communities that are sustainable for the future?

  3. As Christians, we bear Christ’s light and hope in the world. Just as Jesus moved among the people, Pope Francis implores us to go out to the world and to those on the margins. How can we work together in new ways to inspire witness within a world that is numb to the real presence of God?

We Are a People of Great Faith and Hope

With any discernment process comes an element of change and self-giving infused with great hope knowing that what our Lord Jesus Christ has in store for us is so much bigger than what we could imagine for ourselves. The future will be strong and vibrant for the current generation, as well as many more to come!

I am excited and eager to see the fruits of this work come to life. At the same time, I am fully aware of how difficult this change will feel. For many of us, you can’t get much more personal than how, where, and when we practice our faith and encounter Jesus in the sacraments. Fortunately, He is our faithful Shepherd who teaches us that “with God all things are possible.” We will truly marvel at His handiwork in all of this. Please continue to pray for a successful transition and renewal that will lead to greater discipleship, community and witness for our parish, your loved ones, and our entire Church.

FAQ's for Parishes with Structural Changes
What will be the name of the new parish?
What happens with our parish name? This is an opportunity to look forward with a new beginning and, as such, step forward together with a new name that reflects the faith, hope and love of the entire community. The new parish community can propose possibilities for the new name. Cardinal Cupich makes the final decision on the parish name. The specific churches of the uniting parishes will keep the names they received at their dedication. Nonetheless, if there is a good reason, the good of the faithful allows the archbishop to grant a dispensation (that is, he may allow a change of name for a remaining church). If a change of name is desired, the community may request such a dispensation from Cardinal Cupich.

Why do we need structural changes like closings and mergers to Renew My Church?
As we have begun to see through the recent decisions concerning the first set of parish groupings, there is no cookie-cutter approach to how the Holy Spirit will lead our Archdiocese and parishes through renewal. Some parishes will see structural changes, and some will not. But all are being called to renewal, which will take shape in many forms. In those instances in which parish and/or school structural changes do occur, there are many factors that lead to those thoughtful and forward-looking decisions (e.g., changing demographics, the conditions and affordability of our buildings and our resources). Any changes are intended to establish a more secure and sustainable foundation that make ministerial renewal and vitality possible. As a community of believers in the archdiocese, we pray for the wisdom and humility to be good stewards of what God provides today so that we may sow an abundant harvest for generations to come.

How and when will the pastor be selected?
The Archdiocese’s Priest Placement Board is working to identify a pastor whose gifts and skills will fit well with the particular needs of the new community. The Board will propose a candidate for Cardinal Cupich who will make the final appointment decision. All priests across the archdiocese, including the current pastors, may apply to become pastor of the new parish.

What will happen with Mass times?
Mass times will be reviewed in a manner that is both in the interest of the parishioners as well as the schedule of the local pastor and available priests. It is the goal to review the schedule of Mass times and adjust, as necessary, to support a new Mass schedule on the weekend after the start of the pastor’s assignment.

Will our parish organizations merge? What will combine and what won’t?

For parishes that are combining and unifying, some elements will necessarily merge, such as finance, operations, human resources and facilities management. Regarding parish ministries, how those groups work together and strengthen each other will be addressed by the pastor, with support from the Archdiocese, during integration of the new parish community.

Now that the decision has been shared, what will happen next?

An Archdiocesan operations team will support parishes undergoing reorganization. This team will work with parish staff during the transition to help set up new parish structures including financial planning and facilities management. In the weeks ahead, this team will work to schedule a meeting to introduce the support team and provide an overview of the transition schedule.

What happens with our current funds?

As we unite to form one parish, our assets will come together under the new parish. The new parish will have one budget and one Finance Council to serve our entire community. A dedicated Archdiocesan Finance Manager will support the financial planning aspects of reorganizing a new parish, which will likely include setting up new bank accounts and financial accounting systems. The Archdiocesan operations team will support the best practices in financial management, which can be found on our Financial Services page.

What will happen with our To Teach Who Christ Is (TTWCI) funds?
When multiple parishes are combined, their individual TTWCI accounts will initially be kept as separate accounts. The RMC team will review the original intent of the donors (via the case statement) to ensure that funds are applied to those original intentions within the context of the new parish reality. Honoring the original case statement to the greatest extent possible is a priority. If there are changes or excess funds left over, the pastor will work with the parish finance council on any request to use the funds for anything other than its originally intended purposes.

Renew My Church: A Prayer

As followers of Christ, all that we do – the very work of our mission – must be rooted in prayer. Let us take a look at the prayer specifically written to bless our Renew My Church efforts:

Lord Jesus, you speak to us today,
as you spoke to holy men and women
who have gone before us.
In every age and in our own time,
you call to us and say: Renew My Church.
Pour out the gift of your Holy Spirit upon us,
and so enable us
to hear you clearly,
to listen to each other attentively,
to imagine our future boldly,
to discern your direction wisely,
to persevere in your holy will courageously,
to stay together in charity,
to surrender our own plans readily,
to embrace the greater good,
to hand on your gifts to future generations.
May we remain in the holy company of
the Blessed Virgin Mary, the apostles, and all the saints.
May their example and presence
inspire us with patient confidence
in the work of your grace.
We ask this of you who live and reign
with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
forever and ever. Amen