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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-