Father Lorig adds pastoral planning director to his duties
Father Jeffrey Lorig, director of pastoral services for the archdiocese, assumed additional duties Dec. 1, replacing Deacon Steve Luna as director of pastoral planning.
Deacon Luna recently retired from that role, but continues in his other role as director of human resources for the archdiocese.
“My decision to retire at this time is in the best interest of the archdiocese planning process, to ensure it continues to move forward,” he said.
To lead that planning process, Father Lorig is now working with parishes and deaneries (regions of the archdiocese) as they assess demographic trends, facilities, funding, staffing and the organizational structures needed to achieve the archdiocese’s pastoral vision and priorities while adjusting to the declining numbers of priests and lay faithful.
“The goal is to help parishes have healthy structures,” he said. “It will be difficult for us to achieve our vision if pastors are working 90 hours a week.”
That means enabling pastors to equip their parishioners to be disciples, helping in the task of evangelization, Father Lorig said.
“I’ve already had beautiful experiences with some of the planning groups,” he said. “They’re stepping back and asking, ‘What’s going to be the best for this mission field in front of us?’ and not just what’s best for our parish … not just taking care of ourselves.”
Father Lorig was ordained in 2004 and has served as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Omaha and St. Patrick Parish in O’Neill, where he also taught at St. Mary School.
He was pastor of St. Ludger Parish in Creighton and St. Ignatius Parish in Brunswick from 2012 until his appointment as the archdiocese’s director of pastoral services in 2017. He also has been interim director of the Center for Family Life Formation since 2017.
During his tenure, Deacon Luna coordinated parish listening sessions for Archbishop George J. Lucas and served on the envisioning team that helped develop the archdiocese’s pastoral vision and priorities.
He also coordinated necessary parish mergers and church closures as part of Promise 2020, a strategic plan for schools and parishes in east Omaha, and a study of urban population growth that identified needs for new parishes.
Priests to offer input
After meeting with the Archdiocesan Council of Priests, Archbishop George J. Lucas is asking all priests to gather Jan. 10 at St. Patrick Parish in Fremont to offer perspective and input for a diocese-wide pastoral planning proposal.