By: Fr. John Jasica
DECISIONS COME WHEN WE TAKE EACH STEP
By now most of you would have received your LENT/EASTER mailout that shared our Lenten and Easter celebrations in addition to the IGNITE THE MISSION: Introduction & General Summary. My letter also listed the upcoming Sharing Sessions for our family of parishes as we continue to reflect on our mission, understand our present circumstances and embrace an apostolic missionary mode for the future to build the kingdom. The mailout is the only way to reach every registered parishioner in the family of parishes informing and inviting everyone into discernment.
Of course everyone also has access to the full discernment document called IGNITE THE MISSION: Apostles for a New Era that tries to set the tone for our prayerful sharing sessions to determine how best we can be missionaries in a very different world. Three short videos will be posted later this coming week that breaks down this large document into smaller sections as another way to digest and understand fully the information being shared. All of this in hopes to produce valuable feedback from the faithful. These are but the initial steps in the process.
NEXT STEPS—HOW DO WE MOVE FORWARD?
Beginning the weekend of March 4/5, we will be praying the IGNITE THE MISSION PRAYER at each of our weekend Masses. Prayer cards will also be available so that the faithful can pray at home. I want to thank the Ursuline Sisters for their support as they are praying for our discernment each day.
(2) SHARING SESSIONS
During the month of March, we are hosting seven Sharing Sessions (6 in-person and 1 online) reflecting on three major questions that I shared in the February 19, 2023 bulletin article. The list of dates and times are found on the next page of the bulletin and also at the family website.
The Sharing Sessions will consist of a time of prayer, a brief presentation and then table discussions on the three questions offered for discernment. A brief large group sharing will take place at the end of the gathering.
Participants will be able to complete a FEEDBACK form at the end of each session or take the form home and hand it in at a later date or complete the online version of the form.
(3) FEEDBACK FORMS
Beginning the weekend of March 4/5, 2023, FEEDBACK forms with the three questions will be available for parishioners to complete and submit. Forms will be available at the back of each church and accessible on the family of parishes website. The final date to submit forms will be Easter Sunday April 9, 2023.
Parishioners will be able to return paper forms in the collection basket at the weekend Masses, drop them off at the family offices (St. Agnes site) or mail them.
(4) REVIEW OF FEEDBACK
Submitted forms will be forwarded to a REVIEW TEAM made up of Pastoral Council, Finance Committee and Pastoral Team members. A general summary report will be prepared for parishioners by the end of April. This report will also be shared with Bishop Fabbro and diocesan leadership (who already have documents & information we have shared)
(5) FORMING AN ACTION PLAN
It will be the role of the entire Pastoral Council, Finance Committee and Pastoral Team to draft an ACTION PLAN based on all the information and feedback offered so that we can form disciples who reach out to all most effectively in our world today. It will be detailed in many ways but will continue to adapt as we journey over the next few years.
This living ACTION PLAN will keep us on track so that we can continue to grow and develop our pastoral outreach that we call the GAME PLAN. The hope is that this draft ACTION PLAN would be completed by the end of May 2023.
(6) ACCEPTING THE ACTION PLAN
Once a final version of the ACTION PLAN is approved by the Pastoral Council and Finance Committee, it will be forwarded to Bishop Fabbro for his support.
Once Bishop Fabbro reviews and endorses the ACTION PLAN, then it will be up to all of us to implement it over time so that we can transition from a Christendom mode to an Apostolic missionary mode of church—becoming like the Apostles after the resurrection, eager to share and invite everyone to encounter the Risen Christ.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
I truly believe that trusting the Holy Spirit, staying focused on mission and being honest with where we are at—we can truly thrive and grow in the future!!