by Bishop Richard Pates, Episcopal Moderator of DISC, Diocese of Des Moines

There is a saying, “The One Constant in Life is Change.” DISC is celebrating its 25th year of existence. Lou Orbin and many others over the years have contributed much to establish and then see DISC grow and become a valuable organization in service to the Catholic Church Community. To all who have given extensively, great gratitude is owed for this leadership and dedication.

As DISC examines the future landscape with its many opportunities and challenges, it seems wise in these times of limited resources to embrace a strategic plan that at once preserves the unique identity of DISC but at the same time expands to join with other Catholic entities who also significantly utilize technology. Two such possible entities come immediately to mind – Catholic higher education and Catholic health care.

From a purely pragmatic viewpoint, it seems likely that by expanding to a broader umbrella organization – the partners of such a grouping would obtain better pricing, more partnerships and more services. Such an outcome would positively accrue to the Diocesan communities we serve.

At the same time, subgroups could be maintained that would have their unique character, could meet separately in the context of a larger gathering and benefit from the relationships and friendships that come from such interaction.

Finally, I believe we always need to keep in constant focus the ethical as well as the pastoral character of technology. Both the larger grouping as well as the smaller organizations are called to be aware of the Catholic Community they represent and serve. We need to exercise leadership for the benefit of the secular society and the common good. A larger organization would most likely amplify this voice and thus have greater impact.

I endorse the DISC Board of Directors as it deliberates and seeks to lead our organization into the future. Reasonable change could very well be the most significant tribute the Board could pay to all those who have invested so much in DISC over more than 25 years and assure benefitting from their contribution into the future