people to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, who in turn invites
us into a fuller conversion and witness.
The content of services and ministries is rooted in the doctrine of the
Church and supported by foundational pastoral practices (for exam-
ple, principles derived from the National Directory for Catechesis)
that point parishioners toward and prepare them for discipleship.
The parish ministries effectively engage people through welcome,
inspiration, and effective communication. Meeting people where they
are at and listening to them is crucial in beginning a relationship for
the missionary disciple process.
The parish commits itself to being a good steward of its human and
financial resources, using its resources prudently and responsibly and
continually assessing the effectiveness of its efforts.
Six Dimensions to Consider During a
Pastoral Planning Process
This section can be used as a resource for the pastoral leadership team as it
develops a pastoral plan.
1. Planning for Ministry Is Permeated with Prayer
Fostering a culture of intentional missionary discipleship in the parish
is clearly not a “one size fits all” approach. Each parish with its unique
charisms manifests the Holy Spirit in different ways. Pope Francis reminds
us, “The Holy Spirit also grants the courage to proclaim the newness of
the Gospel with boldness (
) in every time and place, even when it
meets with opposition. Let us call upon him today, firmly rooted in prayer,
for without prayer all our activity risks being fruitless and our message
empty. Jesus wants evangelizers who proclaim the good news not only
with words, but above all by a life transfigured by God’s presence.”
Consider all of the people on the parish committees, councils, boards
of education, etc., and the various groups and ministries active in our
parishes. There are many parishioners from diverse backgrounds whom
the parish leadership interacts with on a regular basis. Engagement and
participation, however, do not necessarily equate to missionary disciple-