Briefly, the chronology of events leading up to this pastoral plan are as follows:

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1 St. Thomas the Apostle, Crystal Lake With a Heart Renewed June 28, 1999 St. Thomas the Apostle Mission Statement We are a Catholic family, living our awareness of Christ s presence through worship, service, evangelization and community for the benefit of all. Introduction This pastoral plan is the product of one and one-half years of meetings and discussions involving many of the parishioners and ministries of our parish. We are very grateful for the input of the parish staff members who have worked so diligently to move the concepts herein from a plan to a reality. We are indeed indebted to the other parishes in our cluster that participated in a number of discussions with us. We have all learned from each other. Briefly, the chronology of events leading up to this pastoral plan are as follows: In September, 1997 the With a Heart Renewed survey was administered at all parish Masses to people age 16 and older. A total of 1,608 surveys were completed and processed by the Rockford Diocese. The Pparish Consultations Committee studied the results. Particular attention was paid to those areas where parishioners had high expectations. In Fall, 1997, the parish staff, the Consultations Committee and the parish council completed a parish evaluation, using the materials provided in the With a Heart Renewed manual. The parish was compared to the ideal parish, as defined by the Diocese in their report Indicators of Parish Vitality. In January, 1998, a synopsis of the parish survey data was published in the bulletin and parishioners were invited to give their comments on the data. The Consultations Committee met in February and March, 1998, to write the first draft of the pastoral plan. The committee compared the survey results with its own evaluation of the parish, and also took into account the comments provided by parishioners after reviewing the parish survey data. On March 22, 1998 a parish town hall meeting was held in the Community Center for feedback and input on Draft 1. A town hall meeting was facilitated by a trained professional. The PCP Committee then took all the comments and revised the plan. Shortly after this we submitted Draft 2 to the Diocesan PCP office. Starting in April, 1998 and continuing for about six months thereafter we had monthly cluster meetings with five of our neighboring parishes. These cluster meetings were chaired by a Diocesan representative and involved active feedback from the Diocesan PCP coordinators. These meetings added significantly to our knowledge about the needs of the community. In November, 1998 we were requested by the Diocesan PCP office to prepare a third draft of the pastoral plan incorporating the conclusions reached from the cluster meetings and other sources of feedback and planning.

2 Early in 1999 representatives of the parish PCP team met with our pastoral council to review the status of PCP and to itemize the actions taken to date and the proposed future steps. The pastoral council requested that the parish staff assist the PCP team in assembling the information for the third draft. In the Second Draft we stated our three major recommendations were: Recommendation 1: To reinforce the importance of being a welcoming, open community of faith, eager to celebrate and share its life with all people. Recommendation 2: To enrich the lives of our people by providing a wide range of worship opportunities. Recommendation 3: To expand the parish s role in protecting the rights and dignity of all people. Parish recommendations are all equally important and not in order of importance. Since these were the recommendations of the parishioners as derived from responses to the original With a Heart Renewed survey, they continue to provide the basis for this third draft. In this third draft we intend to report on the actions taken and the current status of specific objectives to achieve these overall recommendations. In conclusion Finally, we recognize that part of being a family, whether it be a parish family or natural family, is supporting and caring about each other. As the St. Thomas the Apostle family we are aware of all the gifts and efforts of our clergy, our parish staff and our parishioners, particularly those who are active in our ministries. We are all gratified by the results of the With a Heart Renewed survey. We were advised by the Diocesan coordinators that a quality-importance discrepancy (QID) of plus or minus.75 indicates that our parishioners perceive little difference between the importance to them and the quality achieved on any one indicator of a vital parish. Since our QlDs ranged from +.48 to -.60, we feel this is an important indicator that all of working together is bringing about the parish family all of us wish to have for ourselves and for those that will follow us.

3 Saint Thomas the Apostle Church Crystal Lake, Illinois PARISH CONSULTATIONS PROCESS REPORT RECOMMENDATION: To reinforce the importance of being a welcoming, open community of faith, eager to celebrate and share its life with all people. OBJECTIVES 1.1 By the spring of 2000 to have developed an evaluation and assessment tool which seeks to determine the effectiveness and needs of our many ministries. Many of our ministries have already adopted this process, notably Youth and Young Adult ministries as well as Religious Education Formation programs. Within a year, an instrument will be developed by the parish leadership, which will be used in all departments as a standardized form for ministry evaluation. 1.2 With the beginning of the Fiscal Year to hire an additional staff person to coordinate the areas of Adult Development and Evangelization, This has been accomplished as of July, To encourage youth participation in all ministries of the parish beginning with the Parish Stewardship of Talent signup, Inroads being made with the inclusion of youth as essential to the vision of parish life and our mission statement. Youth are currently involved in liturgical ministries, catechetical ministries, representation on parish committees of Justice & Peace, Christian Formation Board, and Liturgy. 1.4 To promote adequate training and spiritual formation for all in parish ministries. Liturgical ministries have had training programs and spiritual enrichment sessions for a number of years. This is ongoing. With the addition of the parish nurse workshops and training, programs are being conducted for Ministers of the Sick. In cooperation with the Diocesan Ministry of Care Formation Program will be completed by the fall of 1999.

4 Youth ministry has consistently been dedicated to the training and formation of our young people. Some of those opportunities here would be: Annual attendance by our Youth at the Christian Leaders Institute. Also, the Catechist Peer Ministry Training Program and Catechist Certification for those involved in catechetical ministries. Catechetical instructors are presented with a number of opportunities each year for formation and spiritual nurturing. Baptism and Beyond Program formation and training. Spiritual formation sessions offered for all catechetical ministries during January and Lent. By May of 2000, each ministry will be asked to develop a training program for spiritual formation. This to be reviewed annually. 1.5 To develop a communication technology plan, utilizing the Internet. Parish has developed and is on line with our web page as of Summer, Youth Ministry has also developed the same. Plans are being formulated to create a data base of college students so that parish news might be transmitted via . While St. Thomas School was not directly a part of the Parish Consultations Process, a comprehensive document entitled Strategic Planning Process has been developed and implemented. A comprehensive technology plan for the school is included in the Strategic Plan, 1.6 To strengthen and lend support to the ministries of the parish which are directly involved in welcoming new members. Welcoming committee has been expanded. Welcome packets are given to each new parishioner indicating specifics of parish life. On a regular basis a newcomers reception is held with parish staff and leadership in attendance. 1.7 To highlight 3 or 4 parish ministries, per month through a variety of media, such as bulletin boards, parish newsletters, display boards, parish bulletin etc. RECOMMENDATION: To enrich the lives of our people by providing a wide-range of worship opportunities. OBJECTIVES 2.1 To encourage and facilitate the formation of small group reflection on the Scriptures or on the Sunday readings. Through the Director of Adult Formation this has been implemented with small groups meeting in the fall and spring of the year. Beginning in the fall of 1999, the parish contracted to begin the Renew 2000 Program. This five-semester program, based on Pope John Paul II s themes on the Coming of the New Millennium, is directly aimed at small group faith formation. High School Youth Ministry Program is based on the small group model in that a

5 theme is discussed in the setting of faith sharing and support. Young Adult Ministries have also been meeting for Breaking Open the Word, a process directed at faith sharing. 2.2 To respect the diversity of Catholic prayer experiences such as novenas, rosary devotions, Benediction and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Although the people responding to the PCP survey indicated a basic satisfaction with the parish s emphasis on Celebration of the Eucharist and Sacraments, the leadership, in a desire to provide for the needs of such a vast sweep of people, has instituted opportunities for other types of worship experiences. 2.3 To enrich our personal faith journey by promoting increased participation at the Sunday Eucharist. The parish has begun a 5:30 p.m. Sunday Mass in an attempt to respond to the wishes of our Young Adults and youth. The Liturgy Commission is planning a walk-through the Mass in order to give the entire assembly an opportunity to understand the parts of the Mass, the flow of the Liturgy and their role within it. 2.4 To provide a variety of opportunities for spiritual growth through days of prayer, retreats, parish missions. Youth of the parish are offered a number of opportunities for retreats during the course of each year. This is in addition to the Confirmation retreat that is offered. Youth rallies are planned each year along with a special celebration commemorating World Youth Day. A parish mission is conducted each year. Religious Education Department offers a variety of retreat opportunities each year for catechists and parents. Also offered are evenings of reflection for parents of children celebrating sacraments of initiation. RECOMMENDATION: To expand the parish s role in protecting the rights and dignity of all people. OBJECTIVES 3.1 To revitalize the parish Justice & Peace Commission. That Commission has begun monthly meetings in September, The Commission approached and met with Hispanic Community to work together to better relations between the two communities in November, 1998 In January, 1999, the Commission reached a new level of membership with an almost equal representation from both the Spanish-speaking and English speaking communities.

6 3.2 To develop a task force composed of parish leadership and interested parishioners to assess how well the needs of the grieving and suffering are currently being met and to develop a timetable for formation of a Bereavement Ministry. 3.3 To organize a group of parishioners to assess, make recommendations, and implement Saint Thomas commitment to the needy, poor, elderly, disadvantaged, and unborn. In 1998, developed the Parish Nurse Program with a Health Cabinet to support the on-going medical issues in the parish. 3.4 To promote an ongoing education of Catholic Social Justice teachings.

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