Welcoming our new Pastoral Leadership!

June marks the time for many transitions for school and parish life! A time to say goodbye and a time of welcome! Transitions can be very smooth or sometimes, chlanenging. The Office for Pastoral Ministeries has created a new handbook with resources to assist school/parish communities as they say goodbye and welcome new pastoral leaders.

Navigating a Transition in Pastoral Leadership: Handbook and Resource Guide.  Pastoral Transition Handbook_Fnl

In 2019, the Archdiocese of Seattle’s Office of Pastoral Ministries posed the question: How can we more effectively support our parishes and pastoral leadership in the transition process? To this end, the Office of Pastoral Ministries designed and implemented surveys of pastoral leaders, parish staff and parish leaders who had recently experienced a change in pastoral leadership. We also invited Seattle chancery colleagues familiar with the historical process to complete the survey. We are grateful to the ordained and lay leaders who so generously contributed their observations and insights. This guide reflects the recommendations they offered.

In our survey work, we asked the following questions:
What worked well during your recent transition?
• What did not work well?
• What need does the pastoral transition process serve?
• What does the outgoing pastoral leader need?
• What does the incoming pastoral leader need?
• What does the staff need?
• What does parish leadership need?

Using responses to these and other questions, a dialogue with sister dioceses, and insights from subsequent research into materials from other U.S. dioceses of comparable size, this guide aims to help pastoral leaders understand the dynamics of pastoral transition and better prepare them for successful change.