February 14, 2019
Dear Friends in Christ and Partners in Ministry,
Bishop McKnight has, in consultation with both lay and ordained diocesan leaders, decided that the time is right for us to get an Assessment of the current functional state of the diocesan chancery and the diocese. This Assessment will be conducted with the help of an experienced and trusted partner, Leadership Roundtable, located in Washington, D.C. The Assessment is designed for Catholic dioceses around a six-stage model of best practice developed by Leadership Roundtable. The Assessment we are undertaking is based on research and experience with Catholic dioceses at various scales and is not just based on corporate or public sector practices.
Their singular purpose of Leadership Roundtable since being established in 2005 has been to be of service to the Catholic Church. It is a non-profit organization that serves the Catholic Church by bringing high-level expertise to our Catholic Church in leadership and temporal management. More about Leadership Roundtable is available on www.leadershiproundtable.org.
Framework for this Assessment
The core framework of the Assessment is mission-capacity. Leadership Roundtable will assess our diocesan capacity for leading and organizing ourselves for mission relative to the very highest functioning dioceses of similar scale in the US. The Assessment uses three lenses: structure, resources and culture. The Bishop will receive a report on how our diocese is structured, uses resources and its culture compare to the best in the country. There will be specific, concrete recommendations. Leadership Roundtable will then help us build a Roadmap of how to move toward having the best leadership and mission management.
The Assessment explicitly excludes doing personnel performance Assessment. It is an Assessment of the systems of diocesan administration, not of the individuals who staff it.
Elements of the Assessment Process
The Assessment process has multiple elements:
- Interviews of some selected chancery staff during an onsite visit (February 26-27) that usually begin and end with an interview with the bishop
- A survey of all diocesan staff that is completed (online) prior to the onsite visit (February 26-27)
- A survey of diocesan department directors (online) prior to the onsite visit (February 26-27)
- A survey of some other selected lay and ordained leaders in the diocese prior to the onsite visit (February 26-27) that will include members of diocesan advisory and consultative bodies, deans, parish life collaborators , and other ministerial and catechetical leaders
- A review of a defined list of diocesan and parish documentation such as pastoral plans, financial reports and sacramental data
After the Assessment
After the Assessment is complete and the written report is delivered, Leadership Roundtable helps the diocese develop a Roadmap for implementing the recommendations in a timely, comprehensive and coherent manner.
Leadership Roundtable Staff
The Assessment administered by two members of the Leadership Roundtable staff, Jim Lundholm-Eades and Dominic Perri, who have many years of ministry experience working in lead roles in the Church, as well as specific preparation for this Assessment in a Catholic setting. They know the Church, they know diocesan ministry, are mission focused, and have themselves ‘walked the walk,’ so to speak.
What happens now?
Bishop McKnight has determined that this Assessment is high priority and you are expected to make yourself available for both completing the survey on time and for interview if needed. The schedule will be available to you soon.
There are two action steps that will involve you:
1. You will receive an email with a link that gives you access to the survey that you need to complete. This survey needs to be complete by February 22nd. Some of you may be receiving links for more than one survey. Please complete as directed.
2. If you are being interviewed by Leadership Roundtable you will receive an email that tells you when and where the interview will take place. Please confirm your availability to be present for the interview with your parish office or Fr. Greg Meystrik, the diocesan contact, 573-635-9127, ext. 222.
Thank you for your participation in this Assessment. Other dioceses that have undertaken this process have said that it had a great impact on the ability of the diocese to serve parishes, on the relationship between the diocese and parishes, and very importantly was of great benefit to pastors, other clergy and lay leaders. Please join me in prayer that we may better build the Kingdom of God through this effort.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Msgr. Robert Kurwicki, vicar general
Sr. Kathleen Wegman, SSND, chancellor
Fr. Greg Meystrik, moderator of the curia