How parishes are fostering a Spirituality of Communion

August 19, 2014

HOUSTON — We are now one full year into the three-year plan that Daniel Cardinal DiNardo envisioned to embrace a “spirituality of communion” — a concept first presented by St. John Paul II in 2001. 

Based on the expressed hopes and aspirations of the faithful, parishes are encouraged to write action plans to make certain that the Archdiocese achieves this vision and grows with the needs of our faithful. 

To date, 34 parishes have formally submitted action plans that support one or more of the nine objectives developed by the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council to: 
• Find ways and means to enhance Church communities;
• Provide insights into steps needed for collaboration and cooperation with other parishes; and
• Become more effective evangelizers of God’s good news.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church will focus on teaching their youth about the purpose of the traditions and rituals performed during Mass and have the children share this knowledge through student presentations. 

Youth evangelization is strong at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Huffman, where youth of the parish share their respect for the Eucharist and express their faith on Guadalupe Radio.

Queen of Peace Catholic Church in La Marque is implementing prayer walks after Saturday morning masses, promoting Eucharistic adoration every Friday and forming adult Bible classes.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church developed a multicultural Spirituality of Communion task force to create awareness and appreciation of the parish’s cultural and ethnic diversity as well as honoring intercultural perspectives in all aspects of parish life.

Pastors at both Holy Rosary and Prince of Peace churches already blog about fostering a spirituality of communion. St. Martha Church in Kingwood is implementing culturally focused homilies.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Crosby is promoting liturgical and spiritual development such as, praying the rosary before Masses, showing a Catholicism DVD series and installing Acolytes. The pastoral team is also compiling a data bank of parishioner talents and skills.

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Alvin is re-establishing their parish hospitality ministry to encourage fellowship at Masses and among families of CCE students. English- and Spanish-speaking members of this ministry will be trained on the program.

St. Michael Catholic Church has created a stronger youth program and Saints Simon and Jude Church in The Woodlands has developed a plan for a variety of adult faith formation offerings.

Several action plans include partnering with neighboring parishes — St. Francis of Assisi, St. Philip Neri and St. Michael all are collaborating to identify opportunities and share resources. 

Sts. Simon and Jude, in cooperation with St. Anthony of Padua Church also in The Woodlands, has developed a Hispanic ministry council that will deliver Spanish Liturgy and access to Spanish Sacraments, as needed, at both churches.

As Christians, we are called to be positive and loving members of our Church and community and express a heart-filled respect for everyone who crosses our path. 

By building up the body of Christ, others are attracted to this communion and collectively we strengthen the connections between us, and ultimately the Church. 

In the Gospel of John (Jn 17:21) Jesus says, “Father…that they may all be one.” How can one foster a spirituality of communion in your life, in your family, work, parish and community? Identify one to two actions and send an email to pastoralplan@archgh.org or tweet the Archdiocese at @archgh.