The Year of our Pastoral Plan
After a summer break, we are back on board and have resumed our work on the Pastoral Plan which will be released this year! Specifically, we are developing recommendations that your parish can engage with, to further build a culture of discipleship and evangelisation where you are.
It is hard to believe that Lent is almost upon us but it is a time of conversion and hope – the season reminds us that at the heart of our growth as disciples is a renewed belief in Jesus, Son of God, and the mission of his Church. It is an apt time for pastoral planning, reminding us of the need to match the faith that we live with the Gospel mission we have been called to fulfil.
As we will share in the March edition of the Catholic Outlook, our Pastoral Plan depends on the involvement of every disciple in the Parramatta Diocese. Only our common and continual conversion to Jesus’ person and his message can lead to a heart for service and a heart for evangelisation. Only when people begin to grow in the Gospel can the Church begin to grow. We hope our Pastoral Plan will be a resource for the growth of your faith and that of your community in the years to come.
We hope the Pastoral Plan will revitalise parishes and faith groups in the mission for which they exist: for evangelisation and outreach to those who do not know Christ or those who should know him better. Pope Benedict XVI recently reminded us of this central goal in an address to the Bishops of Western France (21 September, 2012). He said:
"Solving pastoral problems that present themselves in your dioceses must never limit itself to organisational questions, however important these may be. This approach risks placing an emphasis on seeking efficiency through a sort of ‘bureaucratisation of pastoral care,’ focused on structures, organisations, and programs, ones which can become ‘self-referential,’ at the exclusive use of the members of those structures. These would have scarce impact on the life of Christians who are distanced from regular practice of the faith. Instead, evangelisation requires starting from the encounter with the Lord, within a dialogue rooted in prayer, which then concentrates on the witness of giving itself toward the end of helping the people of our time to recognise and discover anew the signs of the presence of God."
If we grow as disciples we will be better witnesses and take the Gospel into the world and the everyday places in which we live. The Pastoral Plan will seek to inspire and support that mission of evangelisation so that we attract new disciples into the future.
We remain on track to launch the Diocesan Pastoral Plan in the second half of this year and it will reflect the feedback and ideas that you shared at the twenty-nine consultations held last year, as well as the latest research in pastoral practice both in Australia and abroad.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers and we look forward to keeping in touch with all the latest developments here at www.faithinourfuture.org.au
Yours in Christ,
Pastoral Planning Officer
Posted by Daniel Ang at 11:28 AM