During the week of Oct. 8, clergy from across the diocese gathered in Alexandria for their annual clergy conference.
As part of the discussion, Brenda Kresky, diocesan planning director, unveiled a preliminary draft of the 2019 pastoral plan. Bringing together input collected from listening sessions across the diocese over the past year, the plan proposes the creation of Area Catholic Communities.
“Every parish in the Diocese of St. Cloud will be part of an Area Catholic Community consisting of two or more parishes in a given area,” the vision statement for the recommended plan reads. “These communities are expected to collaborate to provide for the pastoral and spiritual needs of all in the given area based on the Catholic population.”
Pastors were given a map of the proposed communities and were asked to share it in their parishes, with the option of hosting town hall meetings to gather additional comments. Kresky asked that further feedback be reported to her by Thanksgiving.
“The planning council has been working hard over the last few months to develop a concept to be used across the diocese,” Kresky said. “By sharing resources, talents and efforts we hope to reenergize Catholics and help all parishes provide vibrant, comprehensive ministries.”
Kresky, along with the diocesan planning council, will review additional recommendations and submit a final proposal to the bishop. Upon his approval, the pastoral plan will be set in motion and it is anticipated that the first phase will be rolled out by July 2019.