You’ve heard about it. You’ve read about it. You’ve talked about it with your neighbors. You might even have participated in some of the discussions. The Diocese of St. Cloud is working toward a new pastoral plan for parishes expected to launch in the summer of 2019.
In the coming months, you will be asked for your input. Your pastor will be holding meetings to provide parish and diocesan statistics as well as to gather responses and seek input for what the church in our diocese should look like in light of a projected decline in the number of priests available for ministry over the next 10 to 15 years.
Parishes will then be asked to offer “substantial recommendations” on possibilities for the future of their specific parish or parish cluster. The pastor will compile the recommendations and submit them to the Diocesan Planning Council by May.
The goal, according to the diocesan planning office, is “to have communities that are vibrant centers of parish life, providing Sunday liturgy, faith formation and spiritual development, active lay involvement, strong pastoral leadership and financial stability.”
In case you missed it
About two years ago, Bishop Donald Kettler formed a task force to offer recommendations to the Planning Council in light of a projected decline in the number of priests available for ministry. This past summer, the council held three meetings around the diocese for priests to offer their input and ideas. A similar meeting to garner input from laypeople was held at Diocesan Ministry Day in September. And in November, meetings were held at the deanery level that included parish and finance council members, parish staff and others involved in parish leadership.
Once the parish recommendations are received, the council plans to review and work with all of the data in the summer of 2018 to formulate a specific plan for the diocese. The council will then submit a proposal to Bishop Kettler for his approval, which is expected by the fall of 2018. Implementation of the approved plan is anticipated by July 2019.
Know the lingo
In light of this planning process, you might hear terms that are uncommon, unfamiliar or have more than one meaning. The infographic (below) attempts to explain some of the terms.
Stay in the loop
The Visitor has been running updates on the planning process and will continue to do so throughout the process.
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