Pastoral Planning

Pastoral Planning

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.


Our Goals

Goal 1: Engaging Under-Served People

Key tasks:

  • 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

Key tasks:

  • 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

Key tasks:

  • 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

Key tasks:

  • 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