Chairperson's Let's Talk Roundtable Feedback Summary
June 20, 2016
Dear Members of the Archdiocese,
As the work of the Strategic Planning Committee unfolds, we thank those of you who completed the Parish Ministerial Questionnaire and those who participated as parish representatives in the Round-table "Let's Talk" Sessions in each of the five Deaneries. Your input has been invaluable for us as we move to the next steps in this process. Attached to this letter is a summary of what you said to us at our well- attended Deanery meetings.
To date you have sent us four clear messages:
1. Given the present and foreseeable realities in our Church and in our province, changes must come to the structure and organization of our parishes and of the Archdiocese;
2. In considering possible changes, we must always keep in the forefront the desire of all of us to have a vibrant, energized and responsive Church in every part of the Archdiocese;
3. The time has come to ensure that lay people are fully engaged as pastoral leaders and pastoral ministers within the Archdiocese; and
4. We must always hear and heed the voices of those most affected by the changes that are being considered.
5. In September, members of the Strategic Planning Committee will speak at Sunday Masses throughout the Archdiocese, outlining the next steps in the process. It is the intention of the Committee to have the first stage of a draft plan ready for review and comments by the end of October. Following this review, we will continue the dialogue with you about what happens next.
In his apostolic letter, The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis says:
"The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God's word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey and a centre of constant missionary outreach".
Pope Francis goes on to say that we must review and renew our parishes to make certain that this vision is real for every one of them. This is the responsibility which has been given to the Strategic Planning Committee - to take a leadership role in ensuring that Pope Francis' vision is alive in this Archdiocese, that we are a Church of missionary disciples. May God's Spirit of joy, hope and wisdom be with all of us as we carry out this important work together. We are confident that we can continue to count on your support and good will. It is critical to the overall success of our planning initiative.
Most Reverend Martin W. Currie, D.D.
Archbishop of St. John’s
Chairperson, Strategic Planning Committee
200 Military Road
P.O. Box 1363
St. John’s, NL A1C 5N5
Tel: (709) 726-3660
Fax: (709) 726-8021