The Planning Event
All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola
With an assembled team and the parish needs assessed, it is time to plan. You are about to embark on developing pastoral initiatives adapted to your parish which will mold your community and have a profound influence on connecting parishioners with Jesus Christ, their church, the archdiocese, their community-at-large, and the mission of the church. The success and vibrancy of our parishes depend on building upon current opportunities and organizing new programs that help to live out the desired future.
Planning is not for the faint of heart, but it is not impossible. During the planning session, you will use valuable insights and knowledge compiled during the parish assessment, along with the pathways and objectives as starting points for faith formation and ministries.
However, what about our daily struggles, personal biases, and attachments? Intentionally let the Holy Spirit get involved in the process. There is a Discernment Action Team available to facilitate this action if you want. They will help you select or develop assessment questions to understand what’s most important to parishioners and guide you on where to invest in education, programs, and resources to help your community more joyfully live their life in Jesus Christ. Contact us for more details.
Check out this discernment infographic, summarizing what it is.
Do you want to know how to improve your discernment capabilities? We recommend these books for your reading:
Discernment, reading the signs of daily life. By Henri Nouwen.
What is Ignatian spirituality? By David Fleming.
Here are some prayers to initiate your planning.