Frequently asked questions

Charting our Course: FAQs about Diocesan Pastoral Planning

What is a pastoral plan and why do we need one?

A diocesan pastoral plan establishes a Christ-centered vision for our diocese. The plan reflects the vision and hopes of the bishop, the principal shepherd and teacher of the Catholic community in the diocese, but it is arrived at in community. We are living in a time of many changes and transitions. It is vital that we as a Church community come together, talk about who we are as church, and how we can work together as we move into the future. As the Body of Christ, we need to pray about our goals for the future. With the wisdom of the Holy Spirit guiding us, we must think about planning actions that will help us move closer to this Christ-centered vision.

Is this some kind of program? How does it work?

No, it is not a program; it is a process. The clergy (priests and deacons), religious women and men, diocesan and parish staff, lay leaders of diocesan and pastoral councils, elders, families, single persons, youth and young adults all have an opportunity to share their perspectives. People offer diverse ideas about actions that would bring us closer to Christ. They share their thoughts in listening sessions and on surveys. With civility and respect for differences, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we prayerfully discern how the church is being called by God to live out our mission of evangelization in this time and place. We reflect on Church teachings, listen to the voices of the faithful, and prayerfully consider all together.

What are our goals?

Our overall goal is to create, implement and evaluate our diocesan pastoral plan while considering the vitality and sustainability of the diocese. Other goals are: (1) To deepen relationships and encourage a community dialogue around mission; (2) To educate everyone about the diocese as the “local church;” and (3) to encourage participation in various ministries.

What are some of the questions we need to consider?

Who are we? This question involves the church’s mission and vision plus data about our demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Where are we? What are our strengths and limitations as Catholic in Utah? Who and where are we called to be by God? What do we discern is God’s vision for the Catholic community in Utah? How do we move from where we are now to where we are called to be? As faithful disciples, what steps must we take to respond to God’s call?

How will we put all of this into action?

An action plan must be concrete and practical. People must be accountable and we will need resources to move forward on the plans that evolve from the process. Because we are a pilgrim community of disciples following Christ, we are continually growing, changing and becoming a clearer reflection of our Lord in this land and in this time.

How can I participate?

Please pray for our discernment as we engage in the planning process. A special prayer will be distributed for everyone to pray in one voice for our discernment. Each parish is asked to pray the prayer together at liturgies and meetings, and you are encouraged to make it a part of your family and personal prayer, and your prayer groups.

Look for updates that will be provided continually on this website, through the Intermountain Catholic, through your parish bulletin, and by other media.

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