Pastoral planning is a process of discerning how God may be calling our Church to fulfill the mission of Christ more effectively.
In 2019-2020, St. Brendan partnered with a consulting firm, Parish Success Group, along with several other parishes in our diocese. John Martino of PSG came out periodically to visit with a committee of parishioners to evaluate our parish and develop a plan.
At the same time, our Bishop asked each parish to develop a three-year plan as part of his Better Together initiative. These parish plans contribute to the whole diocese’s plan.
- Small groups had input.
- Parish Success Group committee had input.
- Themes have come from parish council and finance council discussions.
- Other groups (e.g., youth group) have had input.
- Individuals have had the chance for input.
From this consultation came four goals listed below with key tasks for each goal. The timeline for this pastoral plan is Advent 2020-Advent 2023.
Goal 1: Engaging Under-Served People
- Update parish database
- Improve gathering of data for sacramental records
- Review database to see which families are registered but not active
- Small-group meals and discussions targeting disengaged
- St. Vincent de Paul to do follow-up after service visits
- Highlight significant events in parishioners’ lives
- Increase follow-up after key moments (e.g., baptism, first Communion, Confirmation, etc.)
- Pastor meets with new school families at registration time
Goal 2: Improve Stewardship
- Form a stewardship/communications committee
- Invite Fr. Stephen Jones, diocesan stewardship director to help
- Host a “Ministry fair”
- Review and improve effectiveness of communication tools (e.g., bulletin, website, Flocknote)
- Publish video testimonials to highlight parish ministries / apostolates
- Advent homily series on stewardship
- Update stewardship section of parish website
- Add parish financial summary to parish website
Goal 3: Renew the Sunday Experience
- Needed replacements and repairs on physical church building (HVAC, plumbing, electrical)
- Hire a director of sacred music
- Increase participation in singing / choir
- Increase congregational singing / repertoire
- Involve school children more in Sunday Mass music
- Re-train ministers (e.g., servers, lectors, ushers, etc.) in transition back from COVID
- Develop a video series on the Mass
- Review ministry scheduling program/database
- Encourage greater participation in the sacrament of Confession
- After COVID re-implement snacks, social, and catechetical opportunities on Sunday morning
- After COVID, re-implement Eucharistic Exposition/Benediction
Goal 4: Review Parish Advisory/Leadership Structures
- Publish pastoral plan summary on parish website
- Publish names of council members on parish website
- Review by-laws for parish pastoral council, finance council, and school board
- Host a combined council meeting
- Train council members on Flocknote / use Flocknote groups to ensure communications are sent to the right people
- Share minutes of councils
- Publish summaries of council activities to parishioners