Leadership Days, an annual diocesan gathering of parish leaders, has been cancelled due to low registration.
Only 31 people had registered as of July 26 whereas a minimum of 60 would have been required by that time, said Bernard Grizard, diocesan director of the office of Parish Support Ministries, which coordinates Leadership Days. The event had been set for Aug. 3-4 at St. Mary’s Church in Canandaigua, and was to include several workshops and a keynote by Stephen J. Stenbeiser, director of liturgy at Duquesne University.
Grizard explained that the low number of registrants would have resulted in only a handful of people per workshop. “I don’t think it’s fair to the presenters as well as the keynote speaker,” he said.
Grizard noted that attendance for Leadership Days has steadily dropped in recent years, saying that based on feedback he has gotten, “It’s difficult for parishes to free two whole days to come to this event.”
He said it’s too early to predict whether Leadership Days will be resurrected next summer. One potential alternative he mentioned would be to offer similar programming with more local appeal for parishes. Lack of this narrower focus may have also been a contributing factor in declining attendance, he said.
“We may need to come up with a different structure, to go more by regions than the whole diocese,” Grizard said, adding, “The interests in the urban settings are quite different from suburban and rural.”