Parish Spotlight: Sharing the Struggle
Petersburg Pastoral Region, Wapakoneta, OH
Fr. Sean Wilson first attended the Amazing Parish conference as one of the youngest pastors in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. His first assignment (Petersburg Pastoral Region) was a challenging one: a pastoral region of four parishes, all going through a time of transition and restructuring. He faced multiple issues within the staff, which was operating in silos. On top of this, he began to experience anxiety and chest pain as a reaction to the stress.
Within two months of forming his parish leadership team, he felt the intense burdens of his assignment lifting from him. He saw fruits from praying more intentionally with his team and staff, especially having partners within the team committed to daily prayer for one another. In fact, it was his prayer partner that made sure he saw a doctor for his chest pain. “This last year, my first as pastor, was the most difficult year of my life. However I know that I am not alone. There are people who I can freely share issues and struggles and rejoice in successes.”
The parish leadership team has rallied around Fr. Sean to unify the parish and staff. They worked through challenges by having strategic meetings, healthy conflict and vulnerable discussions. Ultimately, they made the push to relocate all four of the parish offices to a single location. Without the team, this decision would have been a difficult move surrounded by hesitation. The team members have been essential in developing clarity for the parish, and Fr. Sean is now communicating that clarity to parish staff, councils and key volunteers. “My parish leadership team has totally bought into the Amazing Parish process. Whenever I see them, there is an appreciation of their lives and generosity toward God and His Church. The members of this team love me and support me.”