A Partnership in Marian Devotion

For You and the Families in your Parish

Background

Marylake Shrine of Our Lady of Grace has a strong tradition of establishing partnerships in and among parishes, dioceses, and other branches of the worldwide Augustinian Communion. These partnerships can encourage, among other things, prayer, learning, face-to-face visits and material exchanges.

We wish to support and uphold parishes that choose to walk together, sharing their experiences and supporting one another in mission. Past experience has shown that, if entered into in a spirit of mutuality, with a commitment to intentional relationship, a partnership journey has the potential to enrich and transform both sides.

These guiding principles have been developed as a means of assisting parishes who seek to begin or strengthen a partnership.

Keys to Success

Whether a partnership is entered into because of a shared contact, geographic proximity, a galvanizing issue or simply out of a desire to learn and have a mutual exchange between Marylake and your parish, the most successful and rewarding partnerships have, for the most part, shared many of the following characteristics and best practices:

your_parish

Partnerships of depth and commitment can be achieved in a variety of ways:

  • Weekly prayer
  • Letters
  • Phone calls
  • Exchange visits
  • Fundraising projects

Whether the churches are to have a prayer partnership, charitable partnership, relational partnership or a blend of all three, it is important to be as precise as possible about mutual expectations at the outset. Both parties must come to the table with a similar understanding about what partnership means.

For example, if the partners will be sending and receiving material goods, whether mittens or choir robes or prayer books, needs must be defined, quantified and, most importantly, agreed-upon.

It is also recommended that a timeline for the partnership be established at the outset, as well. How and when will the partnership be dissolved? These are questions to be asked and, if not fully answered, at least considered when establishing a partnership.

Cultural Challenges

Successful partnerships must be culturally sensitive. This means that both parties need to challenge any and all cultural assumptions and come to the table having let go of ethno-centric notions of superiority. They need to be committed to walking together as equals. This includes cultivating an ability to sit with differences, without judgments or jumping to conclusions - to listen, often without offering solutions.

Communication

Good communication is as essential to a successful parish partnership as it is to all relationships. This includes acknowledging and being sensitive to different cultures of communication between the Council at Marylake and your parish.

Start the dialogue. Contact us.