Criteria for Initial District Models


Criteria for Growth and Vibrancy

  1. Considerations for the use of church buildings must allow for 25% growth based on seating capacity against 2015 October counts. Thus the models must allow enough space for new Sunday Mass attendees assuming one Saturday Vigil Mass and two Sunday Masses per priest.
  2. Viable models for parishes or collaboratives of parishes are based on the total population (Catholic and others) of the district. This is also considered the mission territory. Total district populations are between 33,119 (Duquesne, Homestead, Munhall Area) and 168,525 (Pittsburgh City, Strip, East End, Point Breeze, Hazelwood).
  3. Viable models for parishes or collaboratives of parishes are based on individual (each member) parishioner registrations of between 7,368 (SE Washington County and all of Greene County) and 59,741 (South Hills).
  4. Viable models seek to build upon existing collaboration between parishes when possible.
  5. All models must anticipate growth with respect to parishioner gatherings outside of Mass and growth in staff. Building considerations must include adequate capacity for office, meeting, and gathering space and parking.
  6. Viable models must consider present needs for pastoral care and reasonably demonstrate growth or at least sustainability for more than a 20-year time period.

Criteria for Proper/Accessible Pastoral Care

  1. Viable models are based on no fewer than 1,000 persons attending weekly Mass against the 2015 October counts, and preferably between 2,000 and 4,000 weekly Mass goers, to ensure quality worship, accessibility to a priest, and enough resources to provide excellent pastoral care and evangelization.
  2. Viable models should not exceed one priest for every 2,400 persons attending weekly Mass unless a priest is required to minister to a specific community present.
  3. Viable models should assume that assignments for priests include coverage of hospitals, prisons, nursing homes and other sacramental needs.
  4. Viable models take into consideration natural traffic patterns and topography to ensure accessibility to worship.
  5. Viable models take into consideration existing relationships and connections among communities.
  6. Viable models take into account, when available, the parish maps of where registered parishioners live in relationship to their current parish territorial boundaries

Criteria for Resources

  1. Viable models do not group parishes of great financial distress or great financial affluence together unless all neighboring parishes share a similar financial situation in order provide a sound financial footing for continued growth and pastoral care.
  2. For the sake of outreach to the poor and the salvation of souls, viable models can waive criteria for financial viability provided an alternative financing plan other than the parish’s own resources can be developed.
  3. Viable models consider the effect that current parish assets or liabilities would have on other parishes should changes to those parishes take place. This includes the transfer of debt and/or savings as to not gravely or disproportionally impact the parishes of reception or new parish entity.

Criteria for Clergy

  1. Viable models and institutional ministries must consider 60% of the 2016 diocesan priests in active ministry based on current priest and seminarian projections. That projection would be 133 priests in active ministry.
  2. Viable models projected the same number of permanent deacons available as the 2016 population, which would be at 100.
  3. Viable models must be based on no more than one Saturday Vigil Mass and two Sunday Masses per priest assigned (see #1)
  4. Viable models can include a Deacon Administrator (Parish Life Collaborator), and the lack of a resident priest/pastor, provided a Priest Direct is assigned for proper oversight and the care of souls.
  5. When possible, recommendations will be made for priestly residences to be separate from rectory offices to provide adequate personal space for the priest(s).
  6. Viable models include priests ministering and living together provided that the mission territory and pastoral need necessitate it, that those in residence mutually agree and that the rectory available provide adequate living space to share.