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 was originally Advent 2020-Advent 2023. Official launch for both the diocese and St. Brendan parish was delayed due to the pandemic. The diocesan pastoral plan eventually launched in spring of 2021.

The pandemic has limited which goals we are able to pursue effectively for the time being, but we continue to make progress on other areas.

 

What is My Part as a Parishioner?

All St. Brendan parishioners are responsible for the mission of our parish. Parishioners are not customers of the parish—you are the parish. Under the care of your pastor, you are the community of disciples gathered around the Eucharist in this particular time and place. The mission is yours.

Please review the goals and tasks below and prayerfully discern how you can advance them. Here are some ideas:

  • Make sure the parish office has complete and accurate registration information for you
  • Participate actively in Mass each Sunday, in Confession regularly, and in daily prayer
  • Start a small faith group
  • Be an active steward by making an intentional pledge of your giving to St. Brendan
  • Complete safe-environment training so that you are able to participate in volunteer opportunities
  • Explore service opportunities
  • Invite and bring someone to Mass
  • Speak with your children about Jesus and pray with those in your household
  • Learn about your faith through Catechism Live

 

Our Goals

Goal 1: Engaging Under-Served People

Key tasks:

  • Update parish database (ongoing)
  • 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) (ongoing - new website launched; increased use of Flocknote and social media)
  • Publish video testimonials to highlight parish ministries / apostolates (ongoing - view some of our faith testimonies)
  • Advent homily series on stewardship
  • Update stewardship section of parish website
  • Add parish financial summary to parish website ✓ (view the financial summary)

 

Goal 3: Renew Sunday

Key tasks:

  • Needed replacements and repairs on physical church building (HVAC, plumbing, electrical) (in progress - view status of building projects)
  • Hire a director of sacred music ✓
  • Increase participation in singing / choir
  • Increase congregational singing / repertoire (ongoing)
  • 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 (ongoing - view Mass videos)
  • Review ministry scheduling program/database
  • Encourage greater participation in the sacrament of Confession (ongoing)
  • 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 (ongoing)
  • Share minutes of councils (ongoing)
  • Publish summaries of council activities to parishioners