Diocesan Pastoral Planning Update - 3rd Sunday of Easter 2015

Dear People of the Diocese,

The Priests and Directors of Parish Life met on March 25th and reviewed a survey that is now being sent to all the parishes of the diocese.

The purpose of the survey is to provide us with data that can be used to examine the current state of our parishes. The survey has a section for information on the parish church community as well as a section specifically for information on each mission community. The first part of the survey is on statistical information and the second part involves having parish representatives, including the members of the Finance Council and Pastoral Council, share their reflections on the state of the community in light of this statistical information. We are asking that this survey be completed and returned to the diocesan offices by June 30th.

Also approved at the March 25th meeting was a Diocesan Concluding Invocation for the Prayer of the Faithful. This invocation has now been sent to all the parishes to be made available in the churches in such a way that everyone will have access to a copy of it and be able to join in praying this prayer together at the end of the Prayer of the Faithful at all of the weekend liturgies. It is our hope that praying this prayer, along with the continued use of the special intercession for the diocese, during the time of the pastoral planning process, will be a source of blessing for our planning process and will help all of us to be open to, and supportive of, this initiative.

This Sunday’s gospel reading begins with the two disciples recounting to their friends their experience of meeting the resurrected Jesus on the road to Emmaus. I like to think that this Diocesan Pastoral Planning Process will be for us, as a diocese and as individual church communities, a somewhat similar experience of walking together with the Lord; an experience of sharing with him what we are thinking, feeling and experiencing, and of having him “interpret” for us what it all means.

In paragraph 33 of his Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel”, Pope Francis wrote: “The important thing is to not walk alone, but to rely on each other as brothers and sisters, …, in a wise and realistic pastoral discernment.” Asking that you join me in praying that this Diocesan Pastoral Planning Process will be one in which we walk together with the Lord and one another, I remain,

Yours in Christ,

+Peter Hundt

Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador