Shaping Our Future: A Pastoral Plan for St. Matthias

Since the Pastoral Plan was finalized in June 2015, we have made considerable efforts to implement strategies outlined in the plan.  Since July 2016, we have revamped our efforts and in consultation with the leadership bodies of the parish (Pastoral Council, Finance Council and Pastoral Staff) we will continue the prioritization and implementation process. The final plan can be read by clicking on the link at right.

This Plan was the result of seven months of Study Groups with the Best Practices for Parishes materials. The study groups were followed by three months of work by a writing committee comprised of Fr. Craig Forner, Sabrina Harper, Judith Greenalch, Deacon Rich Foley, Liz Vugrinecz, and David Rolandelli.

At the April 2015 Convocation, small groups reviewed each of the seven themes. Revisions to the plan will be made and prioritization of the goals and strategies of the plan are the next steps.

Best Practices for Parishes: A Pastoral Planning Process for St. Matthias

In 1992, the United States bishops provided a framework for Catholic evangelization in this country in their document Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States. Since the election of Pope Francis, and his message to Catholics to “bring our faith out of churches and into the streets”, there has been an increased excitement about this effort. Our parish community, like all parish communities, is called by the Lord himself to strive for excellence in the way we witness to our faith and serve others. Many things we do very well here at St. Matthias. However, in honesty, we have to admit that we are weak in other areas and some needed ministries are not present at all. For 7 months, beginning in June 2014, we engaged in a process by which identified our parish’s strengths and weaknesses and then formulated a parish pastoral plan which will guide us into the years ahead.

We began this process with a Parish Convocation on May 18, 2014. About 60 members of the parish community were in attendance for the Convocation. Follow the link to read Fr. Craig’s keynote address from the 2014 May, Convocation Talk.

Our study groups examined seven areas of parish life.

Prayer & Worship

The Best Practices for Parishes: Prayer and Worship component addresses these categories:

  • Priority in Parish Life
  • Formation for Liturgical Ministers
  • Catechumenal Liturgies
  • Infant Baptism and Confirmation
  • Eucharist: Environment
  • Eucharist: Ministers
  • Eucharist: Music
  • Eucharist: Ritual
  • Other Eucharist Contexts
  • Reconciliation and Anointing
  • Marriage
  • Christian Burial
  • Prayer and Spirituality

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Justice & Charity

The Best Practices for Parishes: Justice and Charity component addresses these categories:

  • Spirituality of Justice and Charity
  • Formation in Justice and Charity
  • Justice and Charity in the Liturgy
  • Justice and Charity: Collaborative Relationships
  • Parish Participation in Justice
  • Parish Participation in Charity
  • Parish Participation in Solidarity
  • Parish Finances and Commitment to Justice and Charity

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Community Building

The Best Practices for Parishes: Community Building component addresses these categories:

  • Pastoral Planning
  • Pastoral Council
  • Communications
  • Small Christian Communities
  • Social Opportunities
  • Neighboring Parishes, the Diocese and Beyond
  • Relations with Other Communities

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The Best Practices for Parishes: Catechesis component addresses these categories:

  • General Features
  • Areas of Special Emphasis
  • Program Administration
  • Catechists
  • Learners
  • Leadership
  • Parish as Learning Community

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The Best Practices for Parishes: Stewardship component addresses these categories:

  • Spirituality of Stewardship
  • Stewardship Formation
  • Everyday Ecology
  • Global Stewardship of the Earth
  • Sacrificial Giving
  • Fiscal Management
  • Parishioner Involvement in Ministry/Mission
  • Leadership Development
  • Management/Human Resources

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Ministry to Family and Pastoral Care

The Best Practices for Parishes: Ministry to Family and Pastoral Care component addresses these categories:

  • Domestic Church
  • Marriage Preparation
  • Marriage Enrichment
  • Non-Traditional and Special Needs Households
  • Pastoral Availability and Support
  • Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction
  • Sick and Homebound Persons and Bereavement Ministry
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Minority and Diversity Issues

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The Best Practices for Parishes: Evangelization component addresses these categories:

  • Evangelization: The Parish’s Deepest Identity
  • Parish Support for Living and Sharing the Faith
  • Parishioner Participation in Faith Sharing
  • An Environment of Hospitality
  • Outreach to Seekers and Inactive Catholics
  • Extending Invitations
  • Ecumenical and Inter-faith Relations
  • Discipleship in the Word

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