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 was originally Advent 2020-Advent 2023. Official launch for both the diocese and St. Brendan parish has been delayed due to the pandemic, but the parish continues to work on particular tasks.
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 Sunday
- 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