Archbishop Lucas gathers input from pastors and school leaders
Archbishop George J. Lucas met with dozens of pastors and school leaders over the last two weeks as the archdiocese studies possible mergers and collaboration among 37 parishes and 18 elementary schools in east Omaha.
"He gave everyone a chance to give their input," said Msgr. James Gilg, superintendent of Catholic schools in the archdiocese. "The archbishop expressed his own willingness to listen and he wanted feedback."
Pastors in north and South Omaha met as separate groups with Archbishop Lucas for about 90 minutes each Feb. 2. And the archbishop met Feb. 13 for about two hours to talk about Catholic education in north Omaha with school and parish leaders and other members of the community.
No decisions were made at any of the meetings, Msgr. Gilg said.
One suggestion among many in the yearlong study of schools in the area has been forming a Catholic schools system for several parish-based schools, to centralize administration and increase collaboration among several parishes.
A prevailing theme in the Feb. 2 meeting was a desire by pastors to remain an integral part of faith formation in Catholic schools in the archdiocese, no matter what system of administration is used, Msgr. Gilg said.
"Priests value their place in the schools," Msgr. Gilg said. "They don't want to lose that spiritual role in the schools, as teachers of the faith, providers of the liturgy and enhancing the Catholic character."