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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
February 18, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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February 18, 1990

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PAGE 12 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC FEBRUARY 18,|( "qC )~: ;k iSmmm thi At left, the Ku Klux Klan gathers around a statue of a Confederate war hero in weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. The march Included rellg Pulaski, TN, prior to holding a news conference. The KKK was thwarted from leaders and national celebrities. (T.F. Shaughnessy/The Tennessee marching by local residents, who organized a brotherhood march (at right) the CNS) By Tom Ulrich A year or so ago, I was asked by a diocese to assist a group of parish lead- ers in developing a method for exam- ining a parish budget in light of the U.S. bishops pastoral letter, Economic Justir.eforAIL My first instance, like that of many of us, was to preach, to pro- vide all the answers the participants could ever imagine - a sort of gospel according to Tom Ulrich. (Thank God the people around me keep me from embarrassing myself.) Instead, I offered a process that attempts to do two basic things. First, the process tries to help the participants develop an understanding of the six basic moral principles out- lined in the bishops' pastoral message that introduces Economic Justice for AlL This understanding would be based on their own experience of their parish's life. Second, once the participants have a firm grounding in the principles behind the pastoral, the process offers a frame- This process can easily be used by any parish that is interested in examining its own budget. work for applying those principles in the context of deciding on the priori- ties of the parish as reflected by the parish budget. What follows are the steps that were ,developed to help this process work in a three to four day session. This proc- ess can easily be used by any parish that is interested in examining its own budget. Be forewarned, however, that the results derived from the process may not be as easy to implement. Step One Open the session with an explanation T; of the two objectives as described above, most from the way the parish uses its tools we parish people have tore The explanation needs to emphasize resources? put our values where our bucks are that the participants will be using their In may be easier to visualize how my work, I have been a joyful wime q own insights and parish experiences parish resources are divided up. You its occurrence. This is not to imply ! while examining the parish budget, could have each team draw a pie, with the resulting priorities will be the,l' Therefore, the answers discovered will pieces showing how they perceive the for everyone. That's not even the apply only to their own situation and resources being used. I think the point is that we have'a not necessarily to the neighboring Step Six and an opportunity to make theb parishes. Have the individual participants re- ops' pastoral our pastoral, and toby: Step Two flect on the values identified earlier and our community in the process. ': 3 Use a prayer that stimulates the par .... (Th/s article appeared in Today J [i ish, a national monthly magazine in.u t ticipants to think of the social mission The that Catholics, especially in their par- bmhops' pastoral ,,go t .,,e mi,,ia,y, No-o./D,c., ish communities, are called to follow, letter on the economy can by (q3uilding Partnerships: An Experience be one of the most useful of Faith," a videotape produced by the Campaign for Human Development, tOOlS p.arlsh people have to rt/ ter' ltr0 &., iii x has been used very effectively in such put their values where their prayer services. The video and study guide are available through your dioce- san CHD director.) Step Three On a sheet of paper, list the six moral principles from the pastoral message. In columns to c_he right of each prin- ciple, have the participants reflect on and jot down answers to the following questions (one question per column): * How would you describe this prin- ciple in your own words? * What values form the basis of this principle? (e.g., fairness and security) * Where do you see this principle being violated or upheld in this parish? * Who are the people most affected by the violation of this principle? Step Four Have the participants discuss their responses with each other. Summarize bricks are. identify how the current parish priori- ties might change to reflect those val- ues. Finally, in the previously organized teams, have each team discuss and agree on a new set of parish priorities. Again, it may be helpful to draw a new pie that would reflect a more ideal set of parish priorities. Step Seven Have the team report each new set of priorities back to the larger group. Then, after each iteam has an opportu- nity to report, the group develops an agreed-upon list of parish priorities. It is important to note that the new list may be quite similar to.the previous one. In fact, one hopes that it would the main points, be. But the proposed process ensures With a brush In his right Edward Kwiatkowski Step Five that the values and principles woven his artistic technique outS!de l It] teams of two or three,lidentify the throughout the bishops' pastoral letter following items: on the economy arereflected upon inHolyoke, MA, home as he WOIg, i * Parish resources (for example, an organized and intentiomd manner,hill painting, "The Pope." income, talents, buildings, etc.) Income and expenses can now be year-old artist, who has cere lj|t * Parish priorities (that is, on what assigned to reflect those priorities, palsy, says that cultivatin{l are we using our resources?) Make It Yore-, Own artistic talent has given him * The beneficiaries of the priority list. The bishops pastoral letter on the purpose in life. (CNS/Frecl Le [, In other words, who is benefiting the economy can be one of the most useful The Catholic Observer)