St Joseph Dyer


We are beginning the first stage of our parish renewal process called “RENEWED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT”
We are inviting our St. Joseph Parish Family to take the time to be interviewed by one of our listeners … a member of our parish who has been trained to listen to you tell your story of your experience at St. Joseph Parish.
Please sign-up by writing your name, cell phone number, and email address on a piece of paper and drop it in the collection basket at Mass.
You can also call our parish office at 219-865-2271 to let us know you want to be interviewed.
We thank our St. Joseph Parish Family in advance for your participation in our parish renewal.

Dear Friends in Christ,
For the past six months, the leadership of our parish has been engaged in discernment regarding a program of parish renewal. We have been meeting with Ray Schulte of the Center for Parish Development which has helped many parishes undertake a renewal program. What do I mean by “parish renewal”? First, this is NOT code for parish closure or amalgamation. Rather the Parish Council and I see this as an opportunity for revitalization of the good things already happening here at St. Joseph’s and an envisioning of what God is calling us to be in the future. The name of our renewal process is “Renewed in the Holy Spirit.”
Why “renewal” at this time? I have served you as pastor for over eighteen months. Now that we have come to know each other better I would like to invite you to engage in a conversation regarding the parish’s past, present, and future to achieve a strong and shared spiritual identity as a family of faith. Our parish has so much to offer, and we should discern together how we can share this with others. Moreover, there are challenges we are called to face as we rediscover the mission of Jesus and listen for God’s purpose for our faith community in today’s world.
I have called together a Renewal Coordinating Team (RCT) to shepherd our journey. They are a Spirit-filled group eager to facilitate your participation in “Renewed in the Holy Spirit.”
We are currently recruiting individuals to serve as “listeners” in a method of story-sharing called the Narrative Process. This process involves a three-part series of short interviews with members of our community. These interviews will ask (consecutively) the following questions:
– Who have we been as a parish?
  – Focus on stories of the past so that we can together name and own our values and our gifts.
– Who are we now?
  – Focus on stories of present experiences so that we can name existing strengths as well as needs.
– Who is God calling us to be?
  – Explore the possibilities of how God is writing the future story of our parish and inviting us to recognize that future through the eyes of faith.
After each of the three rounds of interviews is completed, a summary will be created which will be shared with the whole parish for your input. Once all three rounds are completed, summarized, and reviewed we will prayerfully discern a vision plan for St. Joseph Parish that reflects our being “Renewed in the Holy Spirit.”
One might ask: Why don’t we hand out a written survey and tabulate the responses? The Parish Pastoral Council discussed this method and judged it to be too impersonal. There is something sacred about one person sharing their insights with another. Prayerfully sharing our stories is itself a gift to our parish. What a beautiful opportunity we will have to get to know one another at a deeper level! What a powerful affirmation of our belief that God speaks through each of us!
We will conduct the first round of listening sessions during Lent (which begins February 14th this year). I sincerely encourage your participation. I want to invite in a special way our new members from parishes in Illinois to also participate. Your experience is valuable to our growth as together we seek to be “Renewed in the Holy Spirit.”
May God bless each and every one of you!
Fr. Peter Muha