‘Listening sessions’ offer faithful chance to tell Archdiocese about needs, hopes

March 15, 2011

HOUSTON — The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is beginning a year-long Pastoral Planning Process starting this month. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo is inviting all Catholics to participate in listening sessions to hear what the faithful appreciate, hope for and need from the Catholic Church in the coming years. To help prepare for the upcoming listening sessions, the Texas Catholic Herald has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the Pastoral Planning Process:

Q: Why is the Archdiocese doing this?
A: The Archdiocese has an opportune moment to consider how to meet the escalating needs and hopes of its people and parishes. To do this, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo wants to hear directly from local Catholics about their faith and needs. 

Q: How will this process work?
A: The process will begin with a series of “listening sessions” across the Archdiocese. Several sessions will be held in various parishes throughout the 10 counties of the Archdiocese. Participants can choose any session that matches their schedule and travel needs. Participants only need to attend one session. During the Listening Sessions, participants will address: 

• What they appreciate; 
• What they need;
• What they hope for from their parish and from the local Church.
A trained facilitator will moderate each Listening Session. All sessions will be conducted in English and Spanish. In addition, the Archdiocese will distribute a survey to solicit feedback from those who cannot attend a Listening Session.

Q: When and where will the Listening Sessions be held?

A: Sessions will be held from March to May at parishes throughout the Archdiocese.  

Q. Who participates in the conversation?
A: Their will be 14 general listening sessions for Catholics who are actively involved in their parish. There will also be special listening sessions for priests, deacons, religious, inactive Catholics or those who do not attend Mass regularly, non-Catholics, young people and Eastern Rite Catholics. 

Q: What happens after these Listening Sessions?
A: Participants’ responses will be prioritized and a core team of Archdiocesan leaders will discern and propose potential directions to the cardinal.

Q: Who do I contact for more information?
A: E-mail listening-sessions@archgh.org or call 713.652.4446. †