Making the Plan
Little Flower's parish priorities will align with the Archdiocesan priorities outlined by Archbishop Don for 2017-2020. They're outlined below. The August 28 session resulted in three distinct strategies coming forward, to which we'll assign concrete actions at our October 18 meeting.
All are welcome to join us and work to determine our next steps.
Notes from our initial parish meeting
We opened the meeting with a prayer and then and explanation and reading of the Archdiocese Priorities as set out by Bishop Dan Bolen.
We then divided into groups and discussed each point in the priorities and generating ideas for each of these:
|1.||Vital and Viable Parish|
Evangelization and Discipleship: Encountering Jesus
Evangelization and Discipleship: Equipping and Empowering Disciples
Evangelization and Discipleship: Formation of Lay Leaders and Clergy
|5.||Listening, Dialogue, Justice, Reconciliation|
We were given six stickers each, to place one or more (vote) on the items that we feel are most important to us. This generated the items of most importance to the group. The items with the most dots formed the topics that were of most interest to the group and that we as a parish will work on first.
The items of most importance were as follows:
Vital and Viable Parish
- Strengthening community involvement, extending our visibility in the larger community
Evangelization and Discipleship Equipping/ Empowering Disciples
- Formation. Being better Christians, more Christ-like. Form a buddy system and form a welcoming committee for new parishioners and especially new Canadians.
Evangelization and Discipleship, Formation of Lay Leaders and Clergy
- Break down the walls and mingle with all cultures
- Start with the Grassroots youth and invite them to serve and support the church. Invite them to Serve/Have ownership in the church.
- Ministering to our families in the parish
- Maintaining momentum: Sign-up sheets for availability and recruiting more volunteers
We then discussed how some of these points could be gathered into one point under Listening/Dialogue/Justice and Reconciliation. We then voted on eliminating one of these points (so as to have a manageable number of priorities to deal with) and the first point - Strengthening Community Involvement, Extending our Visibility - was eliminated.
Our three points that were finally settled on were as follows:
1. Start at the Grassroots level with our youth, inviting them to serve, support and take ownership of areas of the church.
2. Minister to our families in the parish.
Break down the walls and mingling with all cultures in the church.
Form a buddy system and a welcoming committee for new parishioners, especially new Canadians.
3. Maintain the momentum. Have sign-up sheets accessible for parishioners to indicate availability – recruit more volunteers.
We then decided to meet again on October 18, 2018, at 7 p.m. to discuss these.
From Fr. Jose:
Thank you everyone for sparing your valuable time for this great meeting. We had a great meeting and we all will work together to put this in place for the future of our parish and make it a vibrant and viable Parish. I look forward to your assistance once again when we meet to make our action plan.
Following a consultation and discernment process in the Spring and Summer of 2017 with lay leaders and staff, consecrated women, and archdiocesan clergy, I have heard, prayed on, and now offer the following priorities for the Archdiocese of Regina for the next 2 to 3 years. I look forward to working alongside Archdiocesan clergy, staff, parish leaders, the lay faithful, Catholic organizations and community partners in reflecting on and setting goals towards these priorities, which our loving God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit - has set upon our hearts.
Since God has “shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6), we, in the Archdiocese of Regina, feel called to sustain and strengthen a church that is:
1.Building vital and viable parish faith communities
A healthy archdiocese and strong parishes are intrinsically bound together. Each of our parishes is unique: rural or urban, large or small, with its own vibrancy and challenges. And each, with its own dynamics, is called to be a genuine community of faith, where those who come feel that they belong, can grow in their Christian discipleship through the Church’s sacramental life and teaching, and are strengthened to live and love well in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Healthy parishes need effective spaces for ministry, with people prepared to serve and effectively live out God’s mercy within and beyond the parish, and with sustainable spiritual, financial, human, and capital resources.
2.Living evangelization and discipleship
Jesus, the Word made Flesh, longs to meet us and draw us into love. Our world needs to meet Jesus, and each of us needs to meet Him over and over again. This is the heart of a world transformed by God (cf. Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel, 1, 3, 8-11).
a.by facilitating encounters with Jesus
We need to go out to where people are, with strengthened ability to speak about Jesus, to introduce others to Him, to trust God to speak and act powerfully in our lives. Our personal and collective communication should always be an invitation to meet and follow Jesus as disciples.
b.by equipping disciples to live as authentic witnesses
The world needs witnesses to Jesus, to the changes the Lord makes in our lives, to the hope, peace, forgiveness, love, and true joy that come with faith (cf. Gal 5:22-23). We need to support and seek out continual education, formation, and deep personal growth as the disciples of Jesus, for our own salvation and so that we can be signs of God’s constant loving work in the world.
c.by forming and supporting strong lay leaders and clergy
We need to foster leadership and grow lay and ordained leaders on a parish and on a diocesan level who can develop new skills, practice effective approaches to discipleship, and build unity among God’s people.
3.Listening, engaging in dialogue, and seeking justice and reconciliation
Pope Francis has called us to be a church in dialogue, a reconciled and reconciling community, giving witness in a world that often questions faith’s relevance and credibility. We need to love one another and our neighbours with an openness and humility that invite relationship and engagement in many areas: seeking truth and reconciliation between peoples; working for justice and the common good, and to uphold the dignity of the human person; reaching out to those who have been hurt or alienated by the church; fostering relationships and cooperation with ecumenical partners and other faith communities; engaging the culture in dialogue; and learning to deal with personal and ecclesial conflicts and tensions in a Gospel-informed way.
4.Growing in faithful and responsible stewardship
To be able to share the gifts that we have been given (1 Pet. 4:10), we need to work together in planning transparently for our future, in the archdiocese and in our parishes. We need to build on and grow our working together towards generosity and accountability, financial stability and responsible stewardship, trusting always that God will provide what we need in His abundant generosity.