Council Notes from New Orleans (April 2017)

The Superintendent of Catholic Schools gave a report to New Orleans Council members at their April meeting. The report involved matters concerning admissions, marketing, and communications. Members offered a few revisions especially in regard to consultation and communication with pastors of parishes without schools. The new superintendent, who takes office on July 1, was also introduced.

– An extensive discussion took place with leaders of the Office of Religious Education and Family Life Apostolate in reference to development of an archdiocesan plan to address pornography. The plan would have a parish and school focus. Minutes note financial assistance may be available from a Christian Internet accountability and filtering company.

– Council members unanimously approved a motion to recommend elimination of a question on archdiocesan job applications regarding being convicted of a felony. The recommendation does not include positions in Catholic schools. Background checks and other assessments would continue. Minutes note the hope is that eliminating the question on the application would expand opportunity for those who are returning to the workforce after being convicted of a felony.

– Members heard a report from the Tribunal from the Judicial Vicar. He reported a marked increase in the number of annulment cases in 2016 likely due to the elimination of fees as well as the impression the process is faster. Minutes note if all materials and documents are filed timely, the annulment process is usually concluded in nine to twelve months.

–  A draft of parish pastoral council policy was presented to members. It addition to the council, it will be submitted for review to the Council of Deans and Administrative Council. Afterwards the policy will be brought back to the council for final approval.

– Finally, the chair of the Continuing Formation Committee distributed a handout of a three-year plan for priestly continuing formation. The April Study Day focused on immigration.