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Renew My Church

Below is the full report compiled by the Christ the King and St. Barnabas Renew My Church Committee, which will be submitted to the Renew My Church Standards and Recommendations Commission on March 30th, 2022.
We had a very sizeable and engaged crowd in the CK Church on February 10th to discuss the Renew My Church process. The RMC Committee presented a background on the process to date and outlined the various scenarios that are under consideration in our current collaborative discussions with St. Barnabas. Fr. Larry assured those in attendance at the outset that none of the scenarios would result in the closure of CK Church or School. These presentations were followed by a very engaging question and answer session with those in attendance. We thank everyone who joined for the meeting and hope all found it helpful.
Please click the link to view the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting. It summarizes the material that was discussed, including an outline of the three scenarios that are currently under discussion.
We are mid-process and parish input is a critical component of our next steps. Please take the time to complete the feedback form either online here or download and print a copy here and return it to the rectory at your earliest convenience.
We are having a smaller group information and question and answer session on Tuesday, February 15 in the Gleeson Center at 7:00 for anyone who was unable to make our church meeting (and for those who were in attendance and want to engage further in the discernment process). We will have another such session on March 15 at the same time, as well as a conclusory meeting in church at the end of the process, which will occur in several weeks.
Please feel free to reach out to any committee member if you have questions.
Thanks again for your engagement in this important process.




According to the Archdiocese of Chicago, the objective of the parish grouping process is intended to create and renew vital and sustainable parishes that have the appropriate vision, leadership, and resources to create an effective cultural evangelization that makes disciples, builds communities, and inspire witness.


The initial phase of the Renew My Church Process, known as the “Discernment & Decision Phase,” is for communities, equipped with a clear understanding of the current realities, strengths, and challenges of their grouping parishes (Christ the King and St. Barnabas), to prayerfully discern the right parish structures for future vitality, and to share their feedback with their local vicariate bishop and Cardinal Cupich.


The pastor of each parish selects a team of members from that parish to represent their parish in the Renew My Church process. Our CK team will be meeting with the St. Barnabas team to discuss and discern the structural, ministerial, and operational strengths and challenges of our parishes.


The role of a grouping team from each parish is charged with reflecting upon current parish realities, including, but not limited to their current: structural; ministerial; operational; and financial status. Based upon each, the grouping team provides Cardinal Cupich and the Archdiocese feedback on potential scenarios for the parish structures and to present recommendations to the Cardinal so he can make final decisions regarding potential changes to the parish structures with the Cardinal’s intent of the Church as a whole. 





Fr. Larry Sullivan – Fr. Larry was ordained a priest in May of 1992. He truly loves being a priest and serving the wonderful people of Christ the King parish. Fr. Larry feels incredibly blessed to be a part of our amazing community.


Ann Marie Riordan – Ann Marie and her husband have been parishioners of CK since 1999 and their four children all attended Christ the King School. Ann Marie is currently serving in her 8th year as the principal of CK School.


Tom Fahey – Tom and Mary Ellen have been parishioners since they bought their current home in Christ the King in 1981. They sent their five children through CK and will have their oldest grandchild starting her CK experience as a preschooler in the near future. 


Maura Saas – Maura is an alumna of Christ the King School, class of 1983. She and her husband Mark have 4 grown children, all graduates of CK. Maura is currently in her 9th year as the CK Alumni Director and additionally works on special parish projects.


Lisa Livermore – Lisa and her husband Brian have been CK parishioners for 23 years. They have 2 grown children who graduated from CK. Lisa is a pediatrician in Hinsdale but still lives here because she loves the CK community. 


Mark Singler – Mark is a graduate of Christ the King, class of 1991. Mark and his wife Josie have been CK parishioners since 2009. Their four children currently attend CK: 8th grade; 6th grade; 4th grade; and 1st grade.


The Christ the King and St. Barnabas Renew My Church teams had their first meeting on January 10th at CK to pray and reflect upon the current realities of their parish communities. There will be seven of these meetings over the next 3-4 months, with each being led by an archdiocesan grouping facilitator. Over the course of these meetings, the grouping teams will work together to develop potential models of how to keep our parishes vibrant and sustainable long into the future.


At this meeting, the archdiocesan representative gave an overview of the program and outlined the factors that brought it to fruition. The archdiocesan mass attendance numbers, the number of young people that are not practicing their faith, and the declining number of active priests (with a projection of retiring priests over the next several years) in particular presented the stark reality that we are dealing with and that this program is attempting to address. However, the representative was clear in pointing out that this program is not all about closing parishes. Instead, it maintains as its primary purpose the renewal of our church, with its goals being to:


-      Make Disciples (evangelization, formation, vocations)

-      Build Communities (leadership development, parish & school vitality)

-      Inspire Witness (faith in action, community engagement, concern for society)




As our CK Team wants to provide as much information and transparency as possible throughout the Renew My Church Process, two of our CK Team members will be hosting a Renew My Church information reception in the Gleeson Center at 7:00 pm, following the Tuesday Winter Evening Respite in Church on January 18th; February 15th; and March 15th.


If you have any questions about the Renew My Church Process, you can attend the information receptions or you can email the CK Team Members:


Fr. Larry Sullivan: [email protected]

Ann Marie Riordan: [email protected]

Tom Fahey: [email protected]

Maura Saas: [email protected]

Lisa Livermore: [email protected]

Mark Singler: [email protected]



With that, the RMC program has been launched at CK.


The video below is a presentation by your friends, neighbors, and community members. These dedicated parishioners want to share their love of CK with all of you.
Please watch the video with an eye on how our local faith community can help you on your spiritual journey through life.
Video Format
1) Introduction - Fr. Larry, Pastor
2) Overview - Dr. Ann Marie Riordan, School Principal
3) Presentation by Parishioners - Your friends, neighbors, and community members
4) Conclusion - Dr. Ann Marie Riordan, School Principal
Letter from Christ the King's Pastoral Council
To our friends and fellow parishioners,
We had a nearly full church on August 30 to hear a presentation on the Renew My Church (RMC) initiative and its possible implications for Christ the King. 
Fr. Larry and the pastoral council had three goals for the meeting: (1) to inform the parish about the RMC program with full transparency; (2) to open the door for ongoing dialog so that views can be shared and rumors can be addressed; and (3) to call upon all parishioners to reflect on their level of engagement in the church and parish, and to ask them to materially elevate that engagement level. While we will not be able to control all aspects of the RMC process, what we can control is our collective and personal level of commitment to CK and our spiritual life. We see it as critical that CK enter the RMC process with its members as fully engaged in parish life as possible so that the great story of a vibrant Christian community can be told.
Here is a brief summary of the meeting.
-         Fr. Larry began the meeting with a discussion of the history of parishes and their purpose in the church structure. 
-         He then raised the question about whether our parish is meeting the needs of its parishioners, described the efforts that CK is making to ensure that is the case, and reiterated that he is always looking for ways, and suggestions, to make sure CK continues to adapt to current realities and the evolving needs of the parish
-         He set the tone for the later discussion of engagement, and what the parish can be doing to bring more of its members into an active parish life
The RMC program
-         He reminded everyone that there is a very good discussion of the RMC program at www.renewmychurch.org
-         We are coupled with St. Barnabas for a review of options for the two parishes. These options include:
  1. CK and St. Barnabas remain independent, with more resource and programmatic collaboration
  2. One or the other would close, with the surviving parish assuming the responsibility of the parishioners of the closed parish
  3. Both CK and St. Barnabas consolidate into a newly formed parish with a new name
-      Our parish school is an essential part of our community. There are currently no discussions on the school itself, but the relationship between the school and parish has been an important ingredient in the school's success.
-         The review process will begin in January 2022 and will likely conclude by June 2022, with a decision at that time
-         We believe that the RMC process provides a wonderful opportunity for us to collaborate with St. Barnabas in ways that will enrich our faith lives. We hope to maximize such opportunities in the coming months while minimizing outcomes that would erode our strengths (including our school, our leadership, and our dynamic menu of engagement opportunities and ministries).
The Need for Open Dialog
-         We intend to communicate regularly as the RMC process unfolds, and as we move forward with our parish engagement process. 
-         If you are reading this letter you are undoubtedly signed up for the parish email list. Please talk to others to make sure they are as well. We will be sharing videos and information about parish ministries, as well as updates on RMC and other parish activities. Feel free to send suggestions if there is information that you feel you need.
-         Please help us control the rumor mill by getting your information directly from the parish. Also, if you have any questions please send them to Maura Saas at [email protected].  We will share information in other ways as well and will be glad to host additional meetings in church if that will be helpful. 
The Need for Engagement
-         Much of the meeting was focused on the need for greater engagement from our parish community. It is the one thing we can control in this process. And it is a perfect time to ask all parishioners to reflect on where they are in their spiritual journey, and whether there is more that CK can be doing for them, and they for CK, in order to make our parish as strong as possible.
-         Specifically, we are challenging everyone to consider becoming actively involved in parish ministries, to give strong consideration to signing up for e-Giving, to become active in their daily and weekly mass and prayer activities, and to evangelize by spreading the word of our call for active participation.
-         The parish Ministry Fair (Commitment Weekend) is taking place on September 18 and 19. Please use that opportunity to educate yourself about engagement opportunities and sign up for one or more (truly, we have something for everyone!)
-         If you want to start your own faith-informed activity talk with Fr. Larry. We are always looking for new ways to engage our parishioners.
-         As for e-Giving, we have approximately 80 people giving regularly through the program. It is very easy to do and is a great way to assure a steady stream of support for the parish. Ironically, ten people giving $10 each week suggests greater vitality than one person giving $100.  Can you help us meet our goal of doubling or even tripling the number of e-Givers? We think it will be a very strong message as we enter this process. https://giving.ncsservices.org/App/Giving/christthekingchurch
Thank you to all who coordinated, presented, asked questions, and attended the Town Hall Meeting.
The Pastoral Council