Managing Polarities in Parishes – breakout session with Patrick Clarke

Breakout session at Congress Days – 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 28, 2020

Managing Polarities in Parishes – Polarities are everywhere.

Right now you are experiencing a naturally occurring polarity – you are inhaling and exhaling. Imagine the lunacy of identifying the breathing polarity as a problem to solve and its solution is to either inhale or exhale to the exclusion of the other. Try it for just a few short seconds. How did it feel? Did you benefit from the exercise?

Parishes often mis-identify organizational polarities as ‘problems to solve’ rather than as ‘polarities to manage’. Like the breathing exercise, when mis-identified, parishes end up experiencing the downsides of both poles of the polarity in frustrating and parish-life-draining ways. When identified properly, parish leadership is presented with a life-giving experience of maximizing the benefits found in the upsides of both poles.

This presentation is based upon the work of Barry Johnson (Phd) and Roy M. Oswald (The Alban Institute).

Patrick Clarke has served the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon over the past 21 and half years as a Youth Minister, Pastoral Associate, Parish Life Director, Cathedral Administrator and currently as the Human Resources Manager.

An associate member of the Chartered Professional Human Resources Association of Saskatchewan, Patrick holds certificates in Business Administration from the U of S and in Human Resources and Labour Relations from Athabasca University. Patrick is certified by Kilmann Diagnostics to use the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument in working with teams and individuals. Patrick is married to Tanya (20 years) and has three children ages seven to 14.