More than 400 priests, deacons, religious sisters and ministry leaders attended five training sessions facilitated by Catholic Leadership Institute during September and October. They learned about Courageously Living the Gospel and how each person is needed to make the Vision a reality.
They also learned about PIE, the acronym for the Vision’s three priorities: Proclaiming – knowing and sharing the Gospel of Jesus, Inviting – welcoming and accompanying others as Jesus did, Encountering – growing in relationship to Jesus and one another.
To emphasize these priorities, Monsignor Ron Aubin, pastor, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Land O Lakes, now concludes each Mass with this question, “When life gets tough what do we do?” The parish emphatically replies, “Pass the PIE.” There is also a 20 foot banner covering one of the church’s walls that reads: “Courageously Living the Gospel, Proclaiming, Inviting, Encountering.”
“I want them to know their mission is to proclaim the Gospel, invite others into the life of the Church and encounter Jesus,” said Monsignor Aubin, who believes the repetition will help to ingrain this mission into their lives.
Our Lady of the Rosary is also exploring ideas for enhancing their youth ministry to align with the new Vision. They already have a strong youth ministry in place since the parish recently finished the construction of a new youth ministry building and has three staff members assigned to youth ministry.
“It’s a major part of what we do,” said Monsignor Aubin.
Youth ministry is one of three goal areas that are specific to each parish, in addition to family ministry and forming missionary disciples. Parish teams are currently assessing their strengths and weaknesses in these areas. They have been asked to develop specific and measurable strategies to help them accomplish their goals.
The Diocesan Department of Evangelization, Formation, Youth & Family Life has provided resources to help parishes learn best practices and focus their research.
Thirty parishes in the Diocese are also participating in the Disciple Maker Index, a national survey that asks individuals to reflect on how a parish is assisting in their spiritual growth.
CLI will lead more trainings and workshops for parish leaders in January and February. Dates will be announced soon. The trainings will assist parish teams in finalizing their parish action plans that are due to Bishop Gregory Parkes in March.