Pastoral Planning resources for priests

Thank you for all you are doing to inform, inspire, and lead your people during this time of pastoral planning. This page has been established to provide an up-to-date place where you will find the information and materials you need in order to carry out your responsibilities in this planning process.

Parameters Consultation

Please meet with staff and pastoral council(s) (separately or together) and complete input survey by May 26, 2021

Questions You Have Asked

The timeline is focused, but necessary. It can be done with the full cooperation and participation of all pastors, staff, and parishioner leaders and the dedicated time and attention of Pastoral Center staff. Implementation will be accomplished in phases so that all Families of Parisheswill have the support necessary to ensure success.

The outcomes of Beacons of Light have not been predetermined. Archbishop Schnurr will has articulated principles that are the foundation for Beacons. Following consultation with priests, parameters will be affirmed by Archbishop Schnurr. These expectations will guide the development of a pastoral plan for each Family of Parishes led by their pastor, taking into account the strengths and pastoral needs of their parishes and people.

The canonical issues related to pastoral planning are being considered at every step of Beacons of Light.

The elements of parish vitality and mission are the goals of Beacons of Light and are in sync with the messaging by the Archbishop of Radiating Christ. This is why every step will be taken to promote growth and ministry as we take these important steps. The Amazing Parish process results in stronger parish leadership teams that are better equipped to lead toward the parish vitality we all seek. Nothing in Beacons of Light is incompatible with the Amazing Parish approach.

The 12 deans will play an important role in leading the pastors of their deanery, establishing schedules that are appropriate for the Catholic community in his deanery and ensuring access to the sacraments for all the faithful.

The health of our priests is an essential component of a vital future for our parishes. Special attention is being given in Beacons of Light to fostering healthy priestly life.

This is an issue that will be addressed through partnership with the Catholic Schools Office. As many of you are aware, data has been gathered for our Catholic elementary schools as well as parishes and will be considered in the modeling of the Families of Parishes.

Beacons of Light is being designed to bring the leaders of the Families of Parishes together to discern the shape of life for their parishes. Closure may not be the first step, but may be discerned as necessary and beneficial over time. One of the key challenges will be broadening people’s perspective that the Church is bigger than just their parish; such change in mindset will take time.

The new Families of Parishes will be implemented in waves over a two-to-three-year period of time with the planning process commencing as the Family of Parishes is formed. Families of Parishes will be encouraged to continue to build strong, vital parish life now, so that coming together will be from a perspective of grace and strength.

Absolutely. All parishes are expected to fully participate and all will be touched by it in some way.

The underlying principles that were articulated in the framework still apply and much progress has been made toward most of the points of the framework. The Office for Pastoral Planning has been established; we are utilizing experts in data gathering and analysis in the identification of the new Families of Parishes; common terminology for groupings of parishes is being developed; communication is under way and will be ongoing to inform and engage the lay faithful about Beacons of Light; the ultimate goal of one pastor, one parish still stands.

The framework was written at a time when it was believed that the current pastoral region plans were sufficient to address the future availability of priests. However, with new, more accurate projections of available pastors and the decision to move toward fewer parish groupings in the future, it is necessary to wait for the development of change plans until the new Families of Parishes have been formed. The Beacons of Light process will include the guidelines, expectations, and support necessary for each Family of Parishes to create a plan for their future.

As Beacons of Light communication continues,  you will note that the long-term goal of one pastor, one parish is acknowledged. For example in the FAQ on the Beacons of Light web page, linked here

Priests Communication

Beacons of Light Questions

2020 Convocation 

Contact us with additional questions, comments, and ideas at [email protected]