Pastoral Plan Pastoral Plan Roman Catholic Diocese of Amarillo April 17, 2010

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1 Pastoral Plan Pastoral Plan Roman Catholic Diocese of Amarillo April 17, 2010

2 A Pastoral Plan for The Catholic Church of Amarillo Our Catholic community of the Diocese of Amarillo has been in a year-long process recommitting ourselves as Church to go forth and bear fruit as baptized Christians. During this Grace-filled time, we have prayed, studied, and conversed about how we can best help "the Kingdom come, -- where we live, work, and worship as Jesus' disciples. We have listened, understood and now we proclaim the Kingdom of God in what we are doing and in what we plan for the future of the Diocese of Amarillo. In Bishop Zurek s Pastoral letter on The Church he reminded us: You must realize that you are not just any people. You are the Church of God. Through Baptism, we committed ourselves to build the Kingdom of God as Jesus announced and pro-claimed. The Kingdom of God is at hand in what we have done and are doing in the Diocesan Assembly process. Because of this Diocesan Assembly we are somehow the same and yet somehow different. In the Gospels, Jesus' disciples ask Him to teach them how to pray. "When YOU pray," He told them, "say: 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come....'" [Lk 11:2-4] Christians for all the following centuries until today know the Lord's Prayer." While the entire prayer is important, the petition "your kingdom come" has special relevance as the Christian community of the Diocese of Amarillo gathers for the Diocesan Assembly, called into being by our local shepherd leader, Most Reverend Patrick James Zurek. In the recently convoked plenary session of the Diocesan Assembly, representatives of the parishes discussed and approved general goals and objectives for submission to the Bishop and his Diocesan Assembly Steering Committee for organizing into a preliminary format for a Pastoral Plan. Those approved goals and objectives have been organized and made more specific in the following pages. This may seem an ambitious plan, but it is the work of the Spirit. Now it is our work! It is our Mission! It will require an appropriate financial sacrifice by all, but it is for the Lord Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church that we love so dearly!

3 Pastoral Plan Faith Formation Roman Catholic Diocese of Amarillo April 17, 2010

4 Faith Formation From Bishop Zurek s Pastoral on the Church (#6): Christian formation in the Faith does not end with First Holy Communion or Confirmation. Adults need to deepen their knowledge of our Catholic Faith. We also evangelize, as did our ancestors in the Faith, by actually living the Gospel. This is what made Pope John Paul II so appealing and convincing to so many. He truly believed all the teachings of the Church, but he actually lived them! That is our most credible witness to our love for Christ. The Rational for Faith Formation The Great Commission given to the Apostles as Christ was about to ascend to the Father spells out the main obligation and duty of the Church. It takes on a great seriousness since it comes from the lips of Jesus himself. It is even more profound since it is the last discourse recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. Christ says: Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. (Matt 28: 19-20) This is a major ministry of the Church and hence, a major preoccupation of the bishop of a local diocese. Thus, it is a major task that faces every pastor and his local parish. There is no doubt that the effort to proclaim the Gospel to the people of today, who are buoyed up by Hope but at the same time often oppressed by fear and distress (especially of an increasingly secular society and culture), is a service rendered to the Christian community and also to the whole of humanity. (Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, #1) This is the goal of catechesis: to introduce the human person to Jesus, the divine-human person who is our origin and goal. HE is the one who makes our human existence complete. (St. Theresa of Avila) Or as St. 1

5 Augustine affirmed in his Confessions, Our hearts will always be restless, until they rest in You, O Lord! (Bishop Patrick Zurek) As the implementation of the Diocesan Plan unfolds, the six tasks of catechesis will be incorporated, namely: Catechesis is to promote knowledge of the Faith, to teach knowledge of the meaning of Liturgy and the Sacraments, to stress moral formation in Jesus Christ, to teach the Christian how to pray with Christ, to prepare the Christian to live in community, and to promote a missionary spirit that prepares the faithful to be present as Christians in society. (National Directory for Catechesis) Faith Focus 1: Adults Witnessing our love for Christ, adult Catholics in the Diocese of Amarillo participate in life-long Faith Formation. Faith Actions: 1. Office of Faith Formation for the Diocese in the Fall of 2010 initiates a committee to research and recommend a faith renewal and education program for adults and promote through-out the diocese a minimum of two approved life-long faith formation series that include books and videos in English and Spanish easily useable in every parish program for adult formation. 2. The Faith Formation Office of the Diocese in the Fall of 2010 initiates a diocesan-wide invitation for submission of names for a Speakers Bureau for speaking at adult Faith Formation events in parishes and deaneries, as well a list of approved resources. 3. Catechists for adult or life-long faith-formation programs are recruited, trained, and certified by the Diocesan Office so that they can be ready to initiate parish programs by

6 Faith Focus 2: Migrants Witnessing our love for Christ, Catholics in the Diocese of Amarillo grow together in cultural sensitivity and mutual acceptance of all. Faith Actions: 1. Diocese of Amarillo, by Lent of 2012, plans and initiates teachings and materials for all parishes of the diocese about our Faith s acceptance of all people, no matter the culture, language, or nationality, in order to begin to bridge the language and cultural barriers in liturgy, faith formation, and pastoral outreach. 2. By the Fall of 2012, the Diocese with the help of the Diocesan Liturgy Commission, the Communications Office, and the Faith Formation Office prepares sample welcoming-packets for the parishes that can be replicated and made appropriate to the parish s circumstances, and offers diocesan and deanery workshops for members of Parish Hospitality Ministry, and a mentoring program for welcoming newcomers. Faith Focus 3: Young Adults Witnessing our love for Christ, Young Adult Catholics in the Diocese of Amarillo find new ways of expressing our faith and unity within the diocesan church and within our parishes and communities. Faith Actions: 1. Diocese of Amarillo, by Lent of 2011, coordinated by the Catholic Campus Ministries and the Diocesan Website Ministry, organizes an invitational Young Adult Diocesan Assembly to plan for greater unity and faith growth among young adults in the diocese. 2. Larger parishes of Amarillo, by the Summer of 2011, would be asked by the Bishop to gather interested staff and young adults to research effective models for young adult ministry and brain-storm for the establishment of effective young adult Catholic groups in the city. 3

7 Faith Focus 4: Youth Witnessing our love for Christ, Catholics in the High Schools of the Panhandle find in our churches a ministry that is to, with, by, and for them deepening their Faith, discovering their Catholic identity, and building healthy Christian relationships within their communities. Faith Actions: 1. Diocese of Amarillo, coordinated by the Youth Ministry Office and the Faith Formation, by the Fall of 2011, will help parish Youth Ministry and Christian Formation programs by recommending some standard Faith Formation curricula for our youth, encouraging youth participation in the parish beyond sacramental preparation, and promoting youth programs (e.g. Life Teen) and youth retreats in all parishes and deaneries. 2. By the Fall of 2013, youth ministers in parishes and catechists of teenagers become trained and certified to work more effectively with teenagers: 3. The Diocesan Youth Office continues to coordinate and train diocesan and deanery retreat teams of youth and adult volunteers to offer youth retreats yearly in parishes or clusters of parishes. Bishop Patrick J. Zurek Bishop of Amarillo, Texas Fr. Francisco Perez Chancellor Date 4

8 Pastoral Plan Evangelization Roman Catholic Diocese of Amarillo April 17, 2010

9 Evangelization From the Bishop s Pastoral (#5): It is through our love of neighbor, which is based on God s love for us and our response to that love, that we must be concerned with the Mission of the Church. The Mission of the Church is not just the celebration of the Sacraments and the Proclamation of the Word. It is the continued building up the Kingdom of God. The Church has taught since the beginning that it is a DUTY, given to us by God at our Baptism for us to proclaim the Kingdom with words and the actions of our lives. Rationale for Evangelization God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:4) This truth is none other than Jesus Christ: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. (Jn 14:6) Therefore, Christ must be proclaimed to all the nations and to each individual so that this revelation may reach to the ends of the earth. The Second Vatican Council clearly proclaimed: God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations. (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, # 7) Christ was quite clear; some human person must do the proclaiming! But how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe unless they have heard of Him? And how can they hear unless there is someone to preach? And how can men preach unless they are sent? St. Paul then continues. Faith, then, comes through hearing, and what is heard is the Word of Christ. (Rom 10:14-15, 15) Therefore, we wish to confirm once more that the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church. It is the task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present-day society make all 1

10 the more urgent. Evangelizing is in fact the Grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of Grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ s sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious Resurrection. (Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, # 14) The Church is born of the evangelizing activity of Jesus, sent by the Father and the Twelve, sent by Jesus. Having been born consequently out of being sent, the Church in her turn is sent by Jesus. Today we clearly see this as part of the discipleship of all the baptized. Finally, we are reminded of the obligation to present Truth to others so that they may have the honest choice to choose that which is the ultimate Good over sin and error. Faith Focus 1: Adults Proclaiming the Kingdom of God, adult Catholics in the Diocese of Amarillo will participate in establishing an Evangelization Ministry in the Diocese. Faith Actions: 1. The Bishop s office in the Spring of 2011 initiates a committee to research and recommend a diocesan structure for becoming an Evangelizing community that must first include a deeper knowledge of the Faith with an appropriate role for apologetic studies and how to implement Go and Make Disciples A National Plan and Strategy for Evangelization. 2. All Parishes will continue to promote Retreats for adult Catholics to be Evangelized and spiritually renewed through ACTS, Cursillo, Life in the Spirit Seminars, Couple retreats, etc. 2

11 3. The Office of Communications and Diocesan Website in the Fall 2011 will research and review the various methods of communicating the Gospel Message through the Mass Media, Social Networking and Websites and formulate a set of guidelines and training to make better use of this means of Evangelization. Faith Focus 2: Migrants Proclaiming the Kingdom of God, Catholics in the Diocese of Amarillo through love of neighbor welcome all God s people. Faith Actions: 1. The Office of Hispanic Ministry will develop a program within an Ecclesiological Framework of Hospitality and Integration of different cultures for parishes by the Summer During the Fall 2012 the Diocese of Amarillo will train the Clergy, Religious and Lay leadership in understanding the role of Faith in various Cultures by studying Weaving Ministry in Culturally Diverse Parishes, to better understand know how to reach migrants through Parish and Diocesan programs. 3. Annually the Diocese of Amarillo will publish a letter from the Bishop inviting migrants to find a Church home during the Lenten Season with the listing of the Parish Mass schedules in the various languages of the targeted groups. Faith Focus 3: Un-churched and Lapsed Catholic Proclaiming the Kingdom of God, the People of God in the Diocese of Amarillo continue the Mission of the Church reaching those without a Church home as well as to lapsed Catholics. 3

12 Faith Actions: 1. Diocese of Amarillo, starting in Pre-Christmas/Advent (2011), promotes come home for Christmas public relations and public awareness of our Faith and our caring outreach to people who do not have a church home, as well to lapsed Catholics in English and in Spanish. 2. Promote outreach to those without a church and to lapsed Catholics by using all the diocesan organizations to discover and implement local efforts to reach out to those without a church home and to lapsed Catholics. Faith Focus 4: Young Adults Proclaiming the Kingdom of God, the Parishes in the Diocese of Amarillo recognize the presence of Young Adults as a blessing. Faith Actions: 1. A Diocesan committee or Office for Young Adult Ministry will assist in identifying a Young Adult Ministry Coordinator in each parish and provide training for them by Spring The Catholic Campus Ministry will sponsor an annual Diocesan retreat in the Spring of each year and an annual Diocesan Fall Social Event for Young Adult Catholics. 3. Young Adult married couples will be integrated in the life and the activities of each parish community with Marriage Enrichment programs supported and programmed by the Diocese of Amarillo. 4. Young Adult Single Parents will be encouraged to participate in the life and Ministry of the Church. 4

13 Focus 5: Youth Proclaiming the Kingdom of God the Catholic High School teenagers discover their God given gifts and place in the Church, participating fully in the life of the Church. Actions: 1. The Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry will continue to offer the Parishes, Clusters and Deaneries, the Thematic Retreats especially geared to youth that are not participating in regular youth ministry activities. 2. Teen Acts and other Youth retreat programs such as Net, Reach or Search, in English and in Spanish as needed, will be promoted throughout the Diocese and Parishes by the Fall Parishes must make budgetary arrangements to accomplish this important role. 3. In the Spring of 2013 Mobile Teams at the Deanery level will be established to offer Youth Ministry to those parishes that do not have an identified youth minister. Seminarians can be utilized during the summer breaks in these Mobile Teams and include Vocation Discernment Talks. Bishop Patrick J. Zurek Bishop of Amarillo, Texas Fr. Francisco Perez Chancellor Date 5

14 Pastoral Plan Prayer - Unity Roman Catholic Diocese of Amarillo April 17, 2010

15 Prayer-Unity From the Bishop s Pastoral (#9 and #10): Each individual Christian must pray. So must families pray! Pope John Paul II called for every family to be a school of prayer (Novo Millennio Ineunte). I would like to see Christian couples pray together so that when children come, it is a natural part of their life together. How I would like to see every Catholic family make Sunday Mass a priority throughout the Diocese. What a powerful transformation could take place in each of us individually, and in the Body of Christ of the Diocese of Amarillo if we had such a prayer life. Unity is our call and the natural and logical outcome and goal of Eucharistic Communion. The Rationale for Prayer-Unity Unity is the goal of prayer. In a very intimate prayer to the Father on the night before he died, Jesus prayed for the Apostles. He added, I also pray for those who will believe in me through their word, that all may be one as you, Father, are in me, and I in you; I pray that they may be one in us that the world might believe that you sent me. (Jn. 17:20-21) The last prayers of his earthly life were for unity. Prayer and unity cannot be separated from one another. The time has come to re-propose wholeheartedly to everyone: the whole of the Christian community and of Christian families must lead in this direction to personal training in holiness. This training in holiness calls for a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer. (JP II, NML, # 31-32) We must realize that Christian life is different from the non-baptized. We are called to be the salt of the earth...the light of the world (Matt 5:13-16) the leaven in the dough. (Lk 13:20) Pope John Paul II tells us: Dear brothers and sisters, our Christian communities must become genuine schools of prayer where the meeting with 1

16 Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotions, until the heart truly falls in love. By opening our hearts to the love of God, intense prayer also opens it to the love of our brothers and sisters, and makes us capable of shaping history according to God s plan. (JP II, MNI, # 33) Of all the prayers, it is obvious that our principal attention must be given to the Liturgy, the summit towards which the Church s action is directed and at the same time the source from which comes all her strength. (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, # 10). It follows that Just as the power of Christ s sacred flesh (Communion) unites those in whom it dwells into one body, I think that, in the same way, the one and undivided Spirit of God, who dwells in all, leads all into spiritual unity. (St. Cyril of Alexandria) Faith Focus 1: All Catholics As a united prayerful Community, the People of the Diocese of Amarillo recognize the centrality of the Eucharistic and it s call to deepen our spiritual relationship with the Lord. Faith Actions: 1. The diocese and its parishes should continue to offer varied prayer opportunities that open us to the depth of our Catholic experience of prayer, such as Liturgy of the Hours, Benediction, Way of the Cross, Rosaries, etc. 2. Annual diocesan, deanery and parish programs or retreats will be offered on the respective themes of the spiritual leadership of mothers or fathers in the home. 3. By the Spring of 2011 the Presbyteral Council will identify and recommend programs for adult spiritual development such as Why Catholic? (Renew Program) and To Live in Christ in English and Spanish. 2

17 4. Catechesis on the implementation of the revisions to the English translation of the Roman Missal will be provided in every parish in the Diocese during the months of October and November The Bishop and Pastors will continue to foster the Unity in the Church while encouraging and supporting culturally based devotions, traditions, and liturgies in the appropriate languages. 6. The Liturgical Commission will assure that culturally based musical instruments and styles are pastorally respected and encouraged at the Diocesan and Parish level. 7. The Bishop will convene a committee by December of 2011 to assist in planning for diocesan and parish reflection times to be offered to all age groups for ongoing spiritual development (something beyond ACTS and Cursillos). Bishop Patrick J. Zurek Bishop of Amarillo, Texas Fr. Francisco Perez Chancellor Date 3

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