Up Front and Personal

Restructuring Is Necessary for Survival

by Father Eugene Hemrick

In an age of endless restructuring, will we ever be able to settle down and just enjoy the status quo?

To answer this, we need to interpret what is meant by “turmoil.” Does it connote chaos and pandemonium, or is it simply the commotion that comes with restructuring?

I believe it is both: restructuring generating commotion that is often interpreted as pandemonium.

Recently, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that it would close and/or merge a large number of schools. It isn’t giving up on Catholic education; rather, it is restructuring its resources to create new life in its educational mission.

No doubt some people are confused and are asking, “Why can’t we leave things as they are?” Restructuring includes change, commotion and new ideas, and as Shakespeare once noted, “Knowledge maketh a bloody entrance.”

When we reflect on today’s society, it leaves little doubt we have entered an age of endless restructuring. Aging water conduits feeding our cities are breaking down.
Plumbing systems no longer have the capacity to meet demands. Bridges and roads are crumbling.

And then there is the need for restructuring the economy and the business world and developing inventive theories that contain updated ethical standards.

As our problems become increasingly complex, new laws need to be written to iron them out.

As the government founders, political and social scientists and a new, sage voice of the people are needed to create more efficient and effective structures of government service.

Having entered the new age of radical restructuring, what should be our attitude toward it?

Cyril Magnin, once a prominent U.S. business person, would counsel, “Never look at the doors closing behind you or you’ll miss the ones opening ahead.”

As sentimental human beings, we tend to cling to and romanticize the past. Magnin encourages us to dream of the new opportunities and creations awaiting us.

Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jimenez moves us from the seemingly chaotic state of mind restructuring often connotes to its nobility in stating, “A permanent state of transition is man’s most noble condition.”

Wherever we go these days, we will experience restructuring. It can either cause exhilaration and expectations of great things to come, or sadness and a sense that our world has come to an end, depending on how we see it.[hr] Father Hemrick is a priest of the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., currently working for the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops in Washington, D.C.