May 20, 2020
The Vision Committee for the Catholic Church of Bettendorf has changed from physical meetings to virtual meetings. Building upon the planning and study done before, the group is moving forward to imagine how the Catholic Church, serving Bettendorf, will look in the short term and long term as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why plan for the future now?
COVID-19 shows how change can spur our creativity and our prayers. When the world is changing around us, we can find ourselves leaning even more on God. What is His plan for us?
The good news is the truth of our faith never changes and the fundamental mission of the Church never changes, but how we execute that mission has to change. With COVID-19 at our doorstep, we have had to think even more deeply. In a relatively short time parishes have transitioned to online Mass. People are connecting for prayer and rosary through technologies that we didn’t use as widely as we are now. More people are giving online. Students are learning through a virtual classroom. We can adapt when we need to.
The vision committee recognizes at the heart of our planning effort is the realization that when we work together as a Catholic community we can accomplish far more than we can alone. Thinking about who the parishes serve, there is no geographical stronghold for either parish. Both have an almost identical geographic distribution of parishioners across the City of Bettendorf. Since both parishes have essentially the same mission and the same community to serve, working together makes sense. The big question is: how does working together happen?
To that end, the next step in what has been a multi-year process is gathering parish leaders. The leadership gathering was initially scheduled for March, but now rescheduled for July 19. More communications will come to you following these meetings. The leadership gathering will be followed by multiple rounds of conversation within the parishes so as many people who want to give input can do so. The format for gathering will be a hybrid of people gathering physically in a safe manner and people participating via video conference. This initial conversation will invite all in lay leadership and staff positions at the two parishes to think about these big questions:
- What will the next generation of Catholics inherit from us?
- Since the Gospel will always be relevant to humanity, what evangelization do we need in this time and how do we prepare to evangelize with greater effectiveness in the future?
- How do we live and work together according to the faith to which we were called and given?
Various forms of collaboration will be considered. Catholic Schools of Scott County have already led the way by imagining a regional Catholic school system that better connects the realities and cost of delivering excellence in Catholic education within a competitive marketplace where parents have choices.
Thank you for your prayers and support as we continue to think about our futures even though we are isolated and separated. May the Lord bless and guide our deliberations as we seek to more effectively carry out His mission to the glory of God.
March 5, 2020
Dear parishioners at St. John Vianney and Our Lady of Lourdes Parishes:
We are entering into an exciting period of our history, a time to consider the long-term direction for our parish mission in the Bettendorf community.
Meitler, a national consulting firm for Catholic parishes and schools, has been engaged by the parishes to facilitate various opportunities for you to give input over the next few months.
These include large and small group meetings, a detailed survey, leadership retreat, interviews, and conversations with parish councils and committees.
The goal of the process is to develop a broad consensus around one plan that can succeed with a high level of participation including conducting a full-scale feasibility study.
For additional information about the study, please read the Overview and Questions & Answers documents below.
May the Lord guide us as we seek to follow His plans for our community.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Jason Crossen & Rev. James Vrba