Bishops' Schedule of Parish Visitations
The schedule of visitations is created each year in the early fall, and sent out to all parishes by the end of October. This has been done in recent years as an electronic communication to all priests and deacons, wardens and church offices. Parishes which are scheduled to receive a visitation in the coming year are invited to request preferred dates by email to Arlene Bullard between June 1 and September 15, and we will do everything possible to accommodate those requests. We have almost always been able to provide a visitation when requested. In addition to the regularly scheduled visitations by the three bishops of the diocese, we are also able to provide, from time to time, visitations by Bishops Donovan, Packard, Grein and others. In this way we can meet the needs of parishes who require a visit for the purpose of confirmation during their "off year." Please arrange for such visitations through Arlene Bullard
The Diocese of New York is on a two-year visitation cycle, which means that we are committed to ensuring that every parish will have a visitation by either Bishop Sisk, Bishop Dietsche or Bishop Smith at their principal Sunday morning service once in every two year period. Within that cycle, the three bishops will rotate through the visitations, so that each church can anticipate receiving all three bishops within each six years. In December 2007, Bishop Sisk completed a full six-year rotation since becoming the diocesan bishop, and had made a visitation to every church in the diocese. A new six-year rotation began in 2008.
A parish receiving a visitation should expect that the visiting bishop will preach and celebrate the eucharist. It is not necessary that there be confirmations at the time of the visitation. The sacraments of initiation - baptism and confirmation - are customary at the time of visitation, but not necessary. The bishop will also want to meet with the vestry, and to review the books in which the parish records of baptisms, marriages, confirmations and burials are recorded.
It is also very much the preference of the bishops to officiate only at the principal service at the time of the visitation, unless a very compelling reason suggests that the bishop be present for more than one service. It is always expected that the propers for the visitation will be those of the Sunday, as assigned by the lectionary.