What, Why & How

What is Pastoral Planning and why is it important?

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Pastoral planning is a process by which we can work towards a shared vision, common priorities, and an action plan that will guide our Diocese into the future.

Planning is an essential part of our lives, whether in our families, our work life, or in retirement.

As a Diocese, our planning together provides us with an opportunity to build upon our strengths as a community of faith, to better meet the challenges and pastoral needs of our time, and to develop new directions for the years ahead in response to the living Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our Diocesan pastoral planning process is called “Faith in Our Future”.

As Bishop Anthony shared in his Pastoral Letter, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and our own recent 25th anniversary as a Diocese provide us with a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our life and mission, 

 “How might we live our faith in the future, with fresh enthusiasm and vitality, with commitment and joy, here in Western Sydney?  How do we reconnect with those rarely at church and welcome them home?  How do we draw in those who do not yet know that their spiritual home is with us?  How might we better support our families, parishes, schools, Aboriginal and migrant communities, in living and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ?  How do we best deploy our spiritual and human energies in service of these tasks? 

It is with such questions in mind, and with great confidence in God and the people of Western Sydney, that I have initiated a process of pastoral planning within our Diocese.  Now is the time to plan under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Faith is our response to divine grace; planning and action are our living out that faith under grace.  Now is the time to share our thoughts, make preparations and go forward with Faith in Our Future.”

How will it happen?

Over the next two years, there will be a series of consultations held in our parishes, with our schools, Diocesan agencies and many ethnic communities throughout the Diocese of Parramatta.

Keep checking this website, your parish and community bulletins, and look out for posters and leaflets for news of ‘when’ and ‘where’ a consultation event is taking place near you!

A ‘Diocesan information Guide’ has been prepared so that each of us can participate more fully in the consultation sessions. It is available in the February 2012 edition of our official diocesan publication, the Catholic Outlook. The guide provides information about our life as a Diocese, who we are as the Catholics of Parramatta, our sacramental trends, our numbers of clergy, influences impacting our faith and participation, our works and information about how these works are funded.

The “Diocesan Information Guide” is also available on this website (click here) so please take some time to read, reflect and pray about this material and then join in a consultation event and be part of the conversation!

If you’re unable to attend any of the consultation sessions happening across the Diocese, you can also submit your response online! Click here to have you say and share your ideas with us.

Once the feedback from the consultation phase is received, working groups will be formed to turn the responses of the diocesan community into practical actions. Recommendations will be developed, prioritised, costed, and strategies of implementation will be established. (A more detailed version of our planning timeline is available here.)

As we embark on this process of planning for our Diocese, please get involved and offer your gifts, prayer, passion and vision to the future of faith that awaits us. Share this website with your friends and family and we hope to meet you at one of the consultation events happening near you!