Parish Pastoral Planning – Big Picture 2019 My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We have spent 2018 in planning mode, listening to you. Your input has contributed significantly towards the preparation of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan. We are heartened by the responses and feedback that we continue to receive, and these are informing the next stage of our planning. You would recall that in our timelines, January to May 2019 would have been dedicated to the preparation of the Parish Pastoral Plans.
The Pastoral Team has been doing some deep listening to the feedback from the people of God. One of the hallmarks of good leadership—servant leadership, especially in a planning process as this, is active listening. Now that we have arrived at Parish Pastoral Planning, the process slows and becomes more deliberate, funnelling down to some specific actions for this year (2019). We are beginning with foundations—the Sunday experience.
Remember our big aspiration for the Archdiocese:
We are the people of God, united by Word and Sacrament, building Christ-centred communities that form Catholics to discern their vocation as missionary disciples of Jesus who work for the development of each person, every dimension of the human person, and all peoples with a preferential option for the youth and the poor.
We have six pastoral priorities, each important in their own right. Since we cannot do everything at once we begin with two—Catholic Education and the Catholic Parish. Each of these is a fertile field of mission.
So what about Youth, Family Life, Priesthood and Vocations, Leadership in Church and Society? They are still on the table. Youth has been elevated to an overarching pastoral goal that all the other five priorities need to work together to achieve.
Family life and priesthood have become foundational for Catholic education and parish. Leadership is what we need to work on to achieve all our aspirations. This one is a continual work in progress, a foundational element supporting all our aspirations.
The major pastoral initiative this year is to renew the Sunday experience by focusing on ‘the three Hs’—Hymns, Homilies and Hospitality. This is vital to reinvigorate the entire people of God in our Archdiocese.
We will develop the approach in subsequent communications. This weekend we introduce the logo for the 3 Hs designed by Trinity TV’s Graphics Department (see front page).
As we seek to build our Church of the future here in Trinidad and Tobago, we continue to ask God to open our hearts and minds to be led where His spirit is taking us.
Yours in Christ
† CHARLES JASON GORDON
Archbishop of Port of Spain
Clergy meeting on January 15 at Fatima RC Parish Hall, Curepe.