Advent 2018 Pastoral Letter from Bishop Hundt

The Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador

Pastoral Planning Process

“…the hope to which we are called…”

Advent 2018 Pastoral Letter to the People of the Diocese

 

 

Dear People of the Diocese:

The first Sunday of Advent begins the new liturgical year.  Again this year, I am using it as the occasion to give an update on our Diocesan Pastoral Planning initiative.

During the past year, the Diocesan Pastoral Planning Advisory Committee has visited nine parishes to meet with their Pastoral Council, their Finance Councils and representatives from their parish missions.  The Committee met with representatives from 21 of the 51 Catholic Communities of our diocese.  These parish meetings; as well as, comments and suggestions from the annual surveys, have led the Advisory Committee to make arrangements for a Diocesan Pastoral Planning Conference to take place in Corner Brook from Friday June 7th to Sunday June 9th 2019.

While any member of the Diocese will be welcome to attend this Conference, we are asking each parish to send four specific representatives: the Parish Secretary; a member of the Parish Pastoral Council; a member of the Parish Finance Council; and a member of the Parish Responsible Ministry Committee.  The costs of the meals and accommodations for these parish representatives (and the travel costs of the parish representatives from the Labrador sector of our Diocese who will need to travel to the Conference by air) will be paid by the Diocese from special grants received for this purpose.

The Conference will include the following presentations: our Diocese’s history and present situation; diocesan and parish canonical and financial administration; challenges facing our local Catholic Communities; and, our diocesan policy for safeguarding the young and the vulnerable.  Each presentation will be followed by an opportunity for small group discussion and input from the participants.  The theme of the Conference is: Our Catholic Communities: Sharing, Learning and Working Together. Registration forms for the Conference will be sent to the parishes before the end of January.

The 2018 Diocesan Pastoral Planning Survey was designed to elicit input from parishes and missions to prepare a Conference that addresses the needs and concerns of the Catholic Communities of our Diocese.  The Advisory Committee is very pleased with the survey results.  Not only were there many good suggestions regarding topics to be covered at the Conference; but, there also seemed to be more people involved in reflecting on and responding to the survey questions.  Furthermore, there seemed to be an increased awareness and appreciation of the positive initiatives and projects being sponsored and supported by local Catholic Communities.  The Advisory Committee hopes that the Diocesan Pastoral Planning Process may be helping our parishes and missions to more fully recognize and appreciate the good things they are doing; and, the positive ways that they are serving and witnessing to their families, friends and the broader community.

Advent is a blessed time for us to recommit ourselves to “preparing the way of the Lord”.  I am grateful to all of you who so actively and faithfully prepare the way of the Lord by what you do to make and keep our Catholic Communities vibrant and healthy.  Please continue to join with me in praying for God’s blessings upon our Diocesan Pastoral Planning Process; and, especially upon our Conference this coming June.  May this Conference prove to be another positive initiative in our continuing efforts to grow in “…the hope to which we are called…”.

Yours in Christ,

+Peter Hundt

Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador