Strengthening our Parishes
The heart of our Diocese is our parishes. Always mindful that we are a universal Church, it is unquestionably at the parish level where we most regularly feel God’s presence through the celebration of the Sacraments and involvement in our local Catholic community. Our parishes are blessed with dedicated clergy and committed lay leaders who shepherd and serve our diverse faith communities in engaging ministries for the Glory of God.
“The parish is a privileged place where the faithful entirely experience the Church.”
During the Diocesan Synod, we affirmed that while our parishes possess many strengths, they also face a number of challenges, both common and unique. One of the major initiatives that emerged from the Synod was the recommendation that each parish undertake a comprehensive two-year pastoral planning process. The parish pastoral planning process helped to answer the questions:
- Who are we as a parish?
- What are we called to do?
- How are we best going to do it?
- Do we have the necessary resources, personnel and structures in place to do what we want to do?
Through this planning process, many of our parishes identified capital needs and improvements to make their worship and meeting spaces more welcoming or to create new spaces for greater fellowship. Other parishes identified the need to enhance catechetical and faith formation programs, strengthen their liturgy and worship experience, increase evangelization efforts or address matters of community and family life.
Strengthening our parishes is essential to face the challenges of our age. We do this by making them more welcoming and joyful; fostering evangelization; creating dynamic faith formation programs; enhancing the celebration of the sacraments; evaluating, repairing, and renovating older facilities and establishing new facilities. Through the pastoral planning process, we have identified ways in which our parishes can fully engage the faithful, satisfy the longing for spiritual growth, and welcome fellow Catholics home to loving and sustainable parish communities.
Answering the call to renew and strengthen the parishes of our Church, we will dedicate 50% of the funds raised at each parish to the parish’s identified priorities. We will develop, with diocesan approval, a case for support that reflects each parish’s most pressing needs to be addressed through their portion of campaign funds. In total, $37,500,000 will be directed to ensure strong, vibrant parishes for our children and their children.