Parish action plan progress topic of meeting
November 12, 2013
HOUSTON — Representatives from parishes around the Archdiocese met recently at All Saints Catholic Church in Houston to listen, share and celebrate their early successes in developing parish action plans in support of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan.
Forty-eight people from 16 parishes participated in the Oct. 23 meeting, providing essential feedback and results, plus ideas for supporting other parishes in the Archdiocese.
Monsignor Adam S. McClosky welcomed visitors to All Saints, the “Jewel in the Heights,” with a spaghetti dinner served by the All Saints Knights of Columbus Council 12748, and opened the session in prayer.
Participants were seated according to the objective that their parish had selected to embrace in support of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan; each table discussed the successes and challenges their parishes encountered as part of the action planning process and offered recommendations for supporting other parishes with the process.
At the conclusion of the session, Monsignor McClosky offered an impromptu personal tour of his newly restored church. The participants departed for their home parishes with a renewed spirit of communion and strengthened connections with the Archdiocese.
This session culminated 30 months of work in engaging parishes in the development of an Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan to address the pressing issues of the local Church, while supporting the needs, hopes and dreams of the faithful.
In early 2011, 7,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese attended “Listening Sessions” and responded to surveys; this provided the input necessary to create a “Vision for the Future” for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
The following year, three “Pathways” were established as a roadmap to achieve this vision — Live Our Faith, Share Our Faith and Nurture Our Faith — and nine subsequent objectives were identified.
This groundwork gave pastors and their parish leadership the structure necessary to create practical action plans for their parishes.
“The planning process is very beneficial. It parallels a lot of issues in our parish,” Jeff Antonelli from Holy Family Catholic Church in Galveston said. “After we were hit by Ike, several parishes were consolidated into one, but there are still several churches. We have come together but we have challenges ahead of us. The idea of the spirituality of communion and collaboration with other parishes has been helpful.”
Feedback obtained from the Oct. 23 session indicated that the overall pastoral planning process was positive, useful and clearly focused for those parishes that got involved.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Tom DeBoise, the Action Oversight Group leader, encouraged the participants to volunteer as ambassadors to other parishes to discuss the action planning process and reinforce the benefits of participating in this Archdiocesan-wide effort.
For more information about the Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan to foster a spirituality of communion, visit www.archgh.org/pastoralplan or call 713-652-4446.