While I am away on pilgrimage I wanted to pass along some answers to your questions about our Diocesan Pastoral Plan for 2019 and beyond. The next few bulletins will each contain a number of questions and answers regarding our Area Catholic Communities. I will be back in the office on March 26th; feel free to bring any additional questions you may have to me then.
Peace in Christ,
The 2019 pastoral plan for the Diocese of Saint Cloud introduces the concept of Area Catholic Communities. The aim of this pastoral plan focuses on strengthening the life of the Church in central Minnesota. This will be accomplished through collaboration and sharing of resources, talents, and efforts within an Area Catholic Community.
What is an Area Catholic Community?
Every parish in the Diocese of Saint Cloud will be part of an Area Catholic Community. These communities are comprised of two or more parishes of which can gain substantial advantages by offering a more comprehensive set of pastoral services for their parishioners by being part of the group.
What is “intentional collaboration” in an Area Catholic Community?
Intentional collaboration is about building mutual relationships where every parish shares for the good of the Body of Christ. Every parish is unique and has something to offer.
What has been the planning process thus far? Bishop Kettler asked the planning council when looking at demographics and numbers to develop a plan for the diocese to be implemented in 2019. Priest focus groups began the process in the summer of 2017. Additional input was received from participants at the Diocesan Ministry Day workshop in September, at a Curia meeting, and fall deanery meetings with parish leadership representatives from every parish. In the spring of 2018, each parish was asked to hold discussions and submit recommendations. The planning council read through the over 650 submitted recommendations. Discerning and praying about the input from all of these discussions and studying work done from other dioceses the planning council discerned the concept of Area Catholic communities.