Elephants in the Living Room—About Us

Mission Statement

We are an organization of priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit, strongly supported by participating laity, who seek renewal of the Church of Detroit. We do this by offering opportunities for education and creating an open forum for discussion and dialogue that will lead us to developing and advocating more collegial solutions to the challenges we face. We firmly believe these efforts will contribute to a greater solidarity among priests and a renewed Church of Detroit.


At the biannual priests' convocation at Boyne Mountain, MI in October 2003, Fr. Gerry Bechard rose to ask Cardinal Maida of they were going to talk about the Elephant in the Living Room. Cardinal Maida ignored the question and returned to the agenda. A few priests decided that some subjects needed to be discussed and agreed upon returning to Detroit to hold gatherings for that purpose.

The first meeting was held in November 2003 with 12 priests and 8 laypersons. They decided to continue to meet. Other priests and laypersons continued to join, so that today, the membership is almost 1,500, and continues to grow. There are committees dealing with the archdiocese's pastoral plan, with the abandonment of the Church in the city, and advocacy for those who may have been hurt by the Church. The Educational Committee strives to select topics of interest and concern, then tries to obtain the best speaker available to present the subject. The Elephants regularly sponsor educational forums featuring notable speakers on topics pursuant to our Mission Statement.