Back in February, our Parish Pastoral Plan Writing Team asked for parishioner feedback about what we can do as a parish to achieve this Vision: Holy Family strives to be a joyful, welcoming community of faith that encounters Jesus, and thinks with His mind and loves with His heart. We are pleased to have received 189 responses. Some people addressed issues related to Church teaching, which is beyond the purview of our parish to change. Yet, these matters are certainly worthy of our concern by both helping to dispel any misinformation there might be as well as by reaching out to those we encounter who feel unwelcome.
These responses, of course, rest upon all Catholics and not upon Church leaders alone. The comments focused on these general areas: Reliance on Prayer, Communication needs, Reverent and Active Sacramental Life including the Sunday Experience, Hospitality, Discipleship Focused Faith Formation, Apostolic and Charitable Activities, Social Interaction, and various miscellaneous responses, like one written from a young parishioner, “Tell other people that this church is really good.” The Plan Writing Team members have been meeting regularly to review these responses and to come up with goals and milestones to accomplish them. We’ll keep you updated periodically as we go along. And, eventually, we will get back to those parishioners who indicated that they would like to participate in other opportunities for consultation.
I share with you below one element of Pope Francis’ hope for the Church from his document, Evangelii Gaudium, 27.
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“I dream of a ‘Missionary Option’ that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.”