There are two very significant criteria for collaborative planning with neighoring parishes:

a) collaborating will strengthen and enhance the quality of our ministries; and/or,
b) collaborating will avoid unnecessary duplication of services, will serve unmet needs and will model good stewardship of human and financial resources.

In some cases this collaboration is named in the directives from Called to Holiness and MIssion — where parishes are identified as linked or in partners.  Other natural collaboration has developed in a given deanery or region focusing on certain ministry goals.  Sometimes there is wisdom to work on joint projects beyond a geographic area or even beyond the Diocese, if needs or opportunities present themselves that are within the mission of the parish.  Some excellent programs are happening with other Christian or religious groups, and wil community agencies such as health of social service providers.  What is important is that the collaboration is related ot the living out of the mission of the parish and in so doing it enriches and reflects good use of resources.