I subscribe to Church Magazine a quarterly publication, which always has helpful articles on ministry. Recently I read an article by David DeLambo entitled “In Search of Pastoral Excellence”. The article probes the possibility of identifying certain characteristics that make a parish excellent. We are familiar with the saying, “I’ll know it when I see it”. It is more difficult to name, define or measure pastoral excellence. Yet the article highlights these five marks of an excellent parish: 1) preaching that connects Scripture to daily life; 2) attending to the needs of the sick, homebound and bereaved; 3) having a pastor and staff energized and enthusiastic about ministry; 4) liturgies that are prayerful, reverent, and spiritually moving; 5) engaging in outreach to the poor.
I believe in the quest for excellence. As my dad used to say, “If you are going to do a job, do it right”. Here at St. Luke’s we set lofty goals. Are we there yet? Probably not, but we are on the road.
Fr. Bob Hawkins June 3, 2007