Director of Evangelization and Small Groups
St. Patrick of Merna
1001 N Towanda Barnes Rd
Bloomington, IL 61705
Pastor: Fr. Dustin Schultz
About St. Patrick Church of Merna:
St. Patrick Church of Merna in Bloomington, IL is a Catholic parish of 1,719 families. The original St. Patrick Catholic Church was built in the small town of Merna in 1891 and was destroyed by a tornado in 1982. At this time the Bloomington/Normal area was growing quickly, and with no parish located on the east end of town where the growth was occurring. Bishop O’Rourke decided to build the church at its current location, thus giving it the unique name St. Patrick Church of Merna. The first semi-rural church built here was home to 50 families but has grown significantly over the last almost 40 years, with two major building projects to be one of the largest parishes in the diocese of Peoria. To meet the needs of the parish Stewardship was implemented under the theme of Rooted. A Parish Stewardship Council that was organized and under the direction of the pastor has been working to implement the following mission statement: Rooted in the Most Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, St. Patrick Church of Merna welcomes all to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ through stewardship, by loving and serving others through our God-given gifts. St. Patrick Church of Merna is connected to Corpus Christi Grade School, a consolidated school that serves multiple parishes in the Bloomington/ Normal area.
In addition, St. Patrick has a large religious education program for students who attend public schools in the area. St. Patrick Church of Merna is linked to St. Mary Church in Downs, a parish of 201 families.
With the support and collaboration of the pastor, work to ensure that all those involved with our parish have an opportunity to encounter our Lord in a manner that changes their lives in a substantial way. The Director of Evangelization will utilize current small groups and build new small groups as a tool for these evangelization efforts. This role will also include looking comprehensively at all that the parish offers and helping these efforts to become more effective and focused.
- Education: A college degree is required. A masters degree in Catholic theology or equivalent is preferred.
- Experience: Must be a practicing Catholic in good standing. Previous evangelization experience required. Individuals should be able to demonstrate familiarity with the various aspects of ministry including liturgy, catechesis and faith formation, and day to day operations of a parish.
- Job Related Skills: Experience in ecclesial/ministerial visioning/planning including familiarity with Church structures and systems, experience collaborating with clergy/staff/volunteers, and possessing exceptional personal skills such as listening, conflict resolution, collaboration, written/oral communication, management/supervision, and effective public speaking skills and presence.
- Small Group Coordinator – The ministry of small groups began in this parish about 8 years ago. A few members of our parish staff partnered with Evangelical Catholic to help more intentionally in the first years of running small groups but less in recent years due to pastor and staff changes. However, small groups implementation at this parish is providential and an important tool for evangelization where parishioners of a big parish can, within an intimate setting, share faith with fellow disciples of Christ. Formation of small group leaders and promotion of these groups will be a primary part of this job.
- Establish relationships with our current small groups giving them direction and support as needed
- Work to create new small groups
- Work to invite new parishioners and those currently not in a small group to participate in one
- Oversee training of new small group leaders
- In the past we have used Evangelical Catholic (aka EC) and their ReachMore curriculum.
- Find an existing or create a curriculum/program for this purpose
- Look at what ministries currently exist within our parish to see if the small group model may be integrated in order to make this ministry more effective.
A Place of Encounter
After assessing the state of our parish and getting to know its parishioners, work to create a culture of evangelization. Work to organize and facilitate retreats and parish programs that give parishioners an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ and his Church in a more profound way. Historically, there have been only a few efforts made in this area.
- Assess the current Baptismal Preparation Program and make changes that would facilitate the parents’ encounter with Christ and help them more fully understand the significance of Baptism and understand what it means to raise their child(ren) in the faith.
- Work with the pastor to build a strong marriage preparation program that involves the clergy and laity of the parish. A strong emphasis will be placed on the engaged couples encountering Christ and understanding more fully his role in their marriage.
- Assess the current RCIA program and work with the pastor and RCIA team to ensure that those in the program are evangelized.
- Implement ways to reach out to those active, inactive, and unchurched in our community.
- Organize events for new parishioners which may include though aren’t limited to Pizza with the Priests.
- Oversee the New Parishioner Committee which serves to engage new parishioners
- Oversee Adult Faith Formation: i.e. Scripture studies, book studies, etc..
- Participate in the Parish Stewardship Council
- Participate in the Eucharistic Revival Team
Compensation:(Full-Time with Benefits)
Compensation for all lay employees within our parishes is intended to enable them to provide for the needs of their own lives and those of their families and will be based on experience and qualifications. Compensation includes health insurance, tuition assistance at Corpus Christi Grade School, and retirement contributions.