Saint Peter Parish Geneva, Illinois. Pastoral Plan

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1 Saint Peter Parish Geneva, Illinois Pastoral Plan

2 Table of Contents Page Mission of Saint Peter Parish 2 Parish Overview 3 Introduction 4 Priority One - Worship 6 Priority Two - Education 7 Priority Three - Community 8 Priority Four - Service 10 Page

3 St. Peter Mission Statement We, the people of Saint Peter Parish, guided by the Holy Spirit, are called to celebrate life in a community of faith, growth and compassion. This community fosters individual growth in our Catholic faith through: reflection on His word, encountering Jesus in the breaking of the Bread, praying, and serving one another. This parish fosters community by continuing to provide supportive activities that will enable each of us an opportunity to grow in knowledge of faith, in unity as a loving Christian family, and to demonstrate our Catholic faith in the world for the greater honor and glory of God....I will be a witness to you in the world, O Lord. I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers and sisters... Psalms 18 and 22 Page 2

4 Overview The Pastoral Council initially approved the mission statement in June 1987 as the result of a consultations process with parishioners. Since that time the parish underwent a change in leadership in 1997; however, the mission statement has remained constant and all parish plans continue to be reviewed in the context of our parish mission statement. Four pillars support the life of our parish: Worship (liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments); Education of our children, youth, adults and those outside of our Church; Community (evangelization, stewardship, and drawing others to Christ); and Service (active Catholicism in our parish, community and beyond). St. Peter Parish continues to evolve with time. Liturgy and prayer have always formed the spiritual foundation for our many efforts and continually nourished the vitality of the faith family of Saint Peter Parish. Since the publication of our last Pastoral Plan in 1998, our ministries have grown from 67 to 80, in proportion to the growth of our parish. In 2003 we expanded our weekly Eucharistic Adoration to 24-hour Perpetual Adoration with the completion of the Panus Angelicus Chapel. The opportunity for continuous adoration was immediately embraced by over 600 parishioners (and many others who travel from other parishes) who maintain a constant vigil with our Blessed Savior. We believe that the Lord offers so many opportunities for us to seek God s grace in our lives, and we refer to these collective ministries as the River of Grace. Our vision for our faith community is that everyone has fallen head over heels in love with God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit! And that this tremendous love will grow as we seek God s grace in our lives through worship, community, and service. In pursuing our vision, we fulfill our mission and expand God s Kingdom on earth. Page 3

5 Introduction Background 1. In September 1997 a Diocesan survey was administered at our parish Masses to persons age 16 and over, of which 1,242 surveys were returned. The response to this survey formed the foundation for the Pastoral Plan of In February 1998 a draft of the pastoral plan was mailed to parishioners, inviting their consideration, and a town hall meeting was subsequently held to critique the draft plan. That effort resulted in a plan with two priorities and four objectives for each priority. a. Priority 1: Leadership that encourages parishioners to a greater awareness, appreciation and participation in the liturgical and social life of the parish. All objectives were met. The last objective - physical expansion of the St. Peter School and Parish Center and establishment of the Panus Angelicus Perpetual Adoration Chapel - was completed September 13, 2003 with the dedication of these facilities by Bishop Doran. b. Priority 2: Examine every practical avenue that leads to better communication between parish leadership and parishioners...between the parish organizational network...between parishioners...and within the Geneva community. All objectives were met. Our Communications Coordinator has been very effective in advertising, media relations, and publishing; our Website is used regularly and links with key Catholic sites; and our expanded weekly bulletin addresses the multitude of needs our ministries serve. Our Millennium effort was successful and we continue to strengthen the parish through daily and Sunday homilies that focus on our mission and vision. A very effective method of seeking and communicating parish needs evolved through a monthly Sunday luncheon (Food for Thought) with the pastor and from 12 to 18 parishioners. 2. In late 2001 the US Congregational Life Survey was administered at parish Masses to persons age 16 and over, and 1,807 responses were received. We found that 40% of our parishioners have been in the parish less than five years, and 87% of these were transfers from other parishes. This trend will continue as Geneva grows and attracts more young, upwardly-mobile families. We found that 80% of our households have traditional marriages and 65% have children at home. While the parish reflected national norms in regard to the understanding of parish ministry and purpose, we were disturbed to find that only 79% of parishioners found their spiritual needs being met in the parish. We found that 59% of parishioners are not regularly involved in parish group activities. We also found that only 32% of our parishioners are prepared to invite friends or relatives to Mass who do not now go to church. These findings showed us that additional emphasis is necessary in the 2003 Plan for building identity and spiritual connections. All four pillars of parish life arc affected. Page 4

6 3. Based upon the results of the survey nearly two years ago we have already made some significant strides. The Ministry of Adult Formation has offered various theological presentations and keynote speakers on numerous topics, introduced an Advent retreat and expanded Small Christian Community involvement, and continues to evolve the evangelization plan within the parish. Our communications efforts have focused on creating relationships, improving people-to-people communication, keeping parishioners informed and revising publications to reinforce the feeling of community and inclusion within parish efforts. Web communications and the expansion of volunteer involvement have also been focus areas where we have seen significant advances. The Parish School has expanded to 30 staff and many volunteers to serve 500 students and about 300 families. Many school families are very involved and committed to all aspects of parish life. The Religious Education program continues to grow as the parish grows; in the School Year we have 1,322 students enrolled in pre-school (3 and 4 year old groups), grades K-8, and home study classes. This program is guided by two full-time and two part-time staff but requires the services of an army of 341 volunteers to successfully execute a dynamic curriculum (106 catechists, 73 assistant catechists, 48 high school assistants, 21 junior high assistants and crafters, 27 session secretaries, 15 substitutes, two aides, 17 clerks, nine crossing guards, 21 babysitters, and two Parish School volunteers). Design and Execution of the 2003 Plan 4. The Pastoral Council developed the new Pastoral plan based upon the Pastoral Plan of 1998 and with input from key members of the Parish Staff. The current plan is valid for the years 2003 through 2006 and is subject to annual review and evaluation. Throughout this process we see the need to develop and maintain an integrated, synergistic approach to faith development and parish life. 5. The stability of our Parish leadership team is vital for the success of our plan. Our pastor recently received a six-year extension of his pastorate, and we believe this continuity will help us focus and achieve our objectives. Our parochial vicar is halfway through a three year assignment, and his strength in the liturgical aspects of our parish is important in expanding our evangelization efforts. In 2002 we were blessed with the ordination of a permanent deacon, and several men who completed the Diocesan Ministry Formation process are presently discerning the Deaconate. Our parish staff has expanded over the past two years to support Religious Education, Youth Ministry, Adult Formation and Communications effort. 6. St. Peter Parish aspires to be the Ideal Christian Community; therefore, we will focus our efforts and priorities on all four pillars of parish vitality: worship, education, community, and service (WECS). To this end, we will strengthen ministerial leadership through additional adult formation efforts, guidance and tools to ensure connectivity, and will engage in more active planning and coordination to ensure correlation with the liturgical calendar and direction. We will also periodically survey various groups within the parish to determine our success in meeting needs, fulfilling our mission, and moving closer to our vision. Page 5

7 St. Peter Parish Plan Priority One - Worship Priority 1: To be a vibrant spiritual community with joyful, reverent and devout celebration of the Liturgy and Sacraments and expanded parishioner participation in spiritual growth programs. Objective 1-1. The Director of Adult Formation will work with the Pastor in connecting evangelization with liturgy. The design and implementation of this endeavor (which is already underway with an emerging curriculum) will afford adults in each and every Ministry the opportunity of being fully unified with the mission and vision. Initial Target: Dec 2003 with updates every six months. Objective 1-2. The pastor, in conjunction with the Communications Coordinator and lay leaders of key ministries, will increase parishioner knowledge and participation in Perpetual Adoration. Initial Target: Nov 2003 with subsequent action a minimum of quarterly thereafter. Objective 1-3. The Director of Religious Education and Junior High Youth Minister (DRE/JHYM) will continue development of the curriculum, focused on the worship schedule and use of high technology to engage young student minds. The video library, and classes on the Mass, Adoration, Reconciliation and the Liturgical seasons are in place as of Oct 2003; further development of the Video Gospel series will continue until all three Cycles are completed (2005). Objective 1-4. The High School Youth Minister will incorporate the education of and increased teen participation in Perpetual Adoration. Initial Target: Dec 2003 with subsequent followup bi-monthly throughout each school year. Objective 1-5. The High School Youth Minister, in conjunction with the parish Liturgist and staff, will increase teen participation in key roles in the liturgy, including Lectors, Greeters and Ushers. Participation as Extraordinary Ministers of Communion will be extended to those teens who demonstrate deep devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and who are recommended by the HS Youth Minister as extraordinary examples of teens who are fully living their Catholic Faith. Initial Target: Feb 2004 with subsequent surveys and evaluations of teen participation on an annual basis. Objective 1-6. The High School Youth Minister, in conjunction with various volunteer teen leaders, will develop a small group faith sharing community to support spiritual growth of our teens. Initial Target: Jan 2004 with monthly supervision and evaluation. Objective 1-7. The Parish School will continue to advance joyful and reverent practice of the faith through: daily religion classes; prayer in the morning, at lunch, and at the end of school day; participation in the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Adoration, and Reconciliation; and full participation in the Sacred Liturgy each Friday morning by reading, serving, singing and the presentation of the gifts. Page 6

8 St. Peter Parish Plan Priority Two - Education Priority 2: To strengthen and expand our efforts in teaching Catholic doctrine and theology through the ministries of Adult Formation, Religious Education, Youth Ministry, and the Parish School; to serve the call for Social Justice by educating our parishioners on local, state and federal issues that are affected by our Church s teaching; and to ensure correlation of all programs with the liturgical calendar and pastoral direction. Objective 2-1. The Director of Adult Formation will continue to expand the Retreat Program, explore options for innovation and adaptation of existing models and introduce different styles of spiritual retreat. Initial Target: Nov 2003 for remainder of 2004 Liturgical Year. Subsequent cycles will be reviewed in September prior to the next liturgical year. Objective 2-2. The Communications Coordinator will enhance the Parish website to include interactive live voice and/or video presentations, a lecture library, linkages to key Catholic websites (USCCB, Vatican, key Universities, etc.), and linkages to upcoming Catholic conferences and programs to facilitate registration and participation. Initial Target: TBD Objective 2-3. The Director of Religious Education/Junior High Youth Minister will also develop and send more information about our Faith to be sent to student homes, as budgets allow (Feb 2004 and subsequent years thereafter) with evaluation on an annual basis. Objective 2-4. The High School Youth Minister, in conjunction with the Pastor, will establish Question and Answer (Q & A) sessions for both teen and high school volunteers. Initial Target: Dec 2003 with two sessions scheduled throughout the school year and evaluated on an annual basis. Objective 2-5. The Director of Religious Education will re-institute Vacation Bible School (July 2004) with initial focus on the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. Objective 2-6. The High School Youth Minister, in conjunction with the Director of Adult Formation, will actively promote and engage student participation in parish-wide ministry events related to Catholic doctrine and teaching, e.g., Parish Mission, outside speaker presentations, etc. Initial Target: Dec 2003 with continued participation and evaluation on an annual basis. Objective 2-7. The High School Youth Minister will survey teen interest in development of a Catholic Bible Study program, and develop such a program to fit the needs of our Parish. Initial Target: Apr 2004 with continued development and evaluation on an annual basis. Objective 2-8. The Saint Peter School teaches children about faith and about formal and informal prayer, and in doing so instills values that reflect faith by asking What Would Jesus Do? Students perform well on standardized religious education tests (ACRE), but the true test is putting their knowledge of their faith into practice. These programs are effective Sep 2003 and are continuous. Page 7

9 St. Peter Parish Plan Priority Three - Community Priority 3: To be an evangelistic community that: (1) Nourishes leadership, fellowship and spiritual courage among our adult and adolescent parishioners, (2) Engages and inspires the alienated, non-practicing Catholics in our Parish family; (3) Invites others to join our Faith community, and (4) Expands the depth of understanding of stewardship among all parishioners. Objective 3-1. The Director of Adult Formation, in conjunction with the priests and deacon, will develop a more comprehensive plan for Evangelization which is based on the liturgical cycle and better enables all adults in the parish to effectively witness for their Catholic Faith. Initial Target: Feb 2004 with updates every six months. Objective 3-2. The Director of Adult Formation, in support of Pastoral direction, will support the development and growth of Small Christian Communities as the normative structure of being parish. This emerging model will progress steadily, using the liturgical cycle of scripture as the central focus. Initial Target: Nov 2003 for remainder of 2004 Liturgical Year. Subsequent cycles will be reviewed in September prior to the next liturgical year. Objective 3-3. The Communications Coordinator, in conjunction with the Pastor and Director of Evangelization and Pastoral Council, will develop monthly pastoral letters that are thematically tied to this Plan s priorities and the liturgical cycle. Initial Target: Dec 2003 (for Advent); calendar for the remainder of liturgical year 2004 by Jan Calendars for subsequent liturgical years due by September of the preceding year, e.g., Year 2005 by Sep 2004, 2006 by Sep 2005, etc. Objective 3-4. The Director of Religious Education and the Junior High Youth Minister will continue to provide and promote community gatherings for key Worship experiences (Youth Mass, Adoration, Stations of the Cross), family activities and events (Bowling, Wacky Olympics, etc), and service projects (Annual Food Drive). Target: Oct 2003 (annual calendar) with evaluation of progress on an annual basis. Objective 3-5. The High School Youth Minister will instruct and guide the teen leaders of our parish (Peer Ministry Team and the Peers-in-Training Program) on the key concepts for teenage evangelization (as formulated by Cultivation Ministries) and develop their skills in implementing these concepts throughout their ministries. Initial Target: Dec 2003 with ongoing education throughout the school year and evaluation of progress on an annual basis. Objective 3-6. The High School Youth Minister, through the Peer Ministry Team, will increase student participation at the monthly Gateway evangelistic outreach programs. Initial Target: Dec 2003 with subsequent monthly updates to the Catholic Education Commission and an annual report to the Pastoral Council, Objective 3-7. The High School Youth Minister will re-introduce and promote the Open Gym Game Night Ministry that reaches out and invites others to have fun and join our community of faith. Initial Target: Jan 2004 with an evaluation of progress at the end of each school year. Page 8

10 Objective 3-8. St. Peter School forms a smaller community within the larger parish community. Many of the adults and children are involved in various organizations and ministries. The school parents are Connected in Prayer for the children, provide Parent to Parent programs, help with meals for those who are in need, and provide tuition assistance as necessary. These programs are effective Sep 2003 and are continuous. Page 9

11 St. Peter Parish Plan Priority Four - Service Priority 4: To expand volunteer involvement in all existing ministries, and to expand our physical presence within Geneva and the Fox River Valley in areas crying out for missionary effort. Objective 4-1. The Director of Adult Formation will work with the Social Justice Ministry in building and presenting annual programs and series that address the most pressing SJM issues. Initial Target: Feb 2004 for annual calendar and plans for first program presentation; quarterly updates thereafter. Objective 4-2. The Communications Coordinator, in conjunction with the Director of Adult Formation and leaders of various ministries, will develop and publish educational shorts in the weekly bulletin, focused on the Christian mission and value of service (through voluntary action) and linked to the liturgical calendar. Initial Target: Jan 2004 for the remainder of liturgical year Calendars for subsequent liturgical years due by September of the preceding year, e.g., Year 2005 by Sep 2004, 2006 by Sep 2005, etc. Objective 4-3. The Director of Religious Education and the Junior High Youth Minister will encourage and enjoin more adults and high school youth to become engaged in the religious education of parish youth as catechists, assistant catechists, baby sitters, crossing guards and secretaries. Initial Target: Dec 2003 with semiannual evaluation thereafter. Objective 4-4. The Director of Religious Education will continue development of the LEAD Team Peer Ministry Program and promote annual programs (Food Drive, Soup and Stations, Nursing Home visits, the Lenten Rice Bowl, and Checks for Jesus ). Initial Target: Feb 2004 with semi-annual evaluation thereafter. Objective 4-5. The High School Youth Minister, in conjunction with the St. Peter Community Food Pantry, will coordinate and execute the annual Fall Food Drive for the Pantry. Initial Target: Oct/Nov 2003 with continued participation on an annual basis. Objective 4-6. The High School Youth Minister, in conjunction with the Social Justice Ministry and Right-to-Life Committee, will initiate participation in the Crisis Pregnancy Center s spring fund-raising drive. Initial Target: May 2003 with continued participation on an annual basis. Objective 4-7. The students of Saint Peter School serve various ministries in different ways. Many are involved in Boy and Girl Scout activities that support local charities and needs. During Catholic Schools Week, students collect hundreds of dollars in coins to support the Food Pantry, Holy Childhood, Hearts for Peru and other Catholic Schools. Students are taught to think and act locally and globally. These programs and objectives are effective Sep 2003 and are continuous. Page 10

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