Catholic Charities Employees Preparing for Change (Story & Photo by Andy Telli, Tennessee Register)

Posted 04/24/2015

As Catholic Charities of Tennessee prepares to move the majority of its workforce into its new offices at the Catholic Pastoral Center this summer, the organization's employees gathered to discuss change.

"There are as many positive things about change as there are negative," said Bill Halbert, Ph.D., a management consultant who led a discussion of the move to the new offices and its impact on the Catholic Charities employees.

"People don't resist change. They resist being changed. There's a difference," Halbert said. "The nature of man is change. We like change if we're in charge of it. A lot of change, we're not in charge of, especially at work."

The session's goal, Halbert told the Catholic Charities employees, "is to help you think about your power in this change. ... In the final analysis it's all about you. It's not about the building. It's not about the stuff. If you have a good feeling about it, it's going to be a good change. If you have a bad feeling about it, it's going to be bad."

About 125 to 130 Catholic Charities employees will move to the Catholic Pastoral Center from several locations, including St. Mary's Villa on White Bridge Road, offices in another building on White Bridge Road and Holy Name Church in East Nashville. Several programs, such as Loaves and Fishes, North Nashville Outreach, the South Nashville Family Center and others, will remain where they are.

The Diocese of Nashville bought the former Fellowship at Two Rivers facility on McGavock Pike overlooking Briley Parkway across from Opryland Hotel last summer. The diocese will move its administrative offices to the new site, which has been renamed the Catholic Pastoral Center.

The Sagrado Corazón Hispanic Ministry Center has already moved to the Pastoral Center, and other diocesan offices are scheduled to move in late spring and early summer.

"I'm a man who believes in divine providence," Bishop David Choby told the Catholic Charities' employees during their meeting.

For five or six years, the diocese had been considering moving from its current location on 21st Avenue South, Bishop Choby said. Last summer, someone suggested the diocese consider the Two Rivers property.

"What I appreciated about this place... is it offers a much wider sense of possibilities to us than any other place we could go to," Bishop Choby said. "I really believe this is a moment the diocese begins to write a new chapter in its history."

Planning experts project the Nashville metropolitan area will double in population to 3.5 million people in the next 25 years, Bishop Choby said. "That kind of growth is going to have an impact on the life of the Church as well."

The Pastoral Center will allow the diocese to grow as the needs of the local Church and community grow. "In the long run ... the diocese will be richly served by having the opportunities this facility offers us," Bishop Choby said.

Catholic Charities is an important part of the Church's outreach to people who come to it in need, Bishop Choby said. "A great number of people are affected in a positive way, making people's lives better" through Catholic Charities' work.

The new Pastoral Center also provides the opportunity for people "to come together for the enrichment of the diocese," Bishop Choby said.

"The bishop did a wonderful job of helping (the employees) catch a vision of this place for going forward," Halbert said.

The morale of Catholic Charities' employees is high, Halbert said. "I think this is a healthy organization."

SOURCE: (Page 10)

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