December 11, 2020

New archdiocesan pastoral plan ‘provides a means for a shared vision’ for the years ahead

By Natalie Hoefer

Proclaiming the Gospel of Joy: Living Christ’s MissionArchbishop Charles C. Thompson issued a pastoral letter on Dec. 3 titled “Proclaiming the Gospel of Joy: Living Christ’s Mission” along with a new pastoral plan for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

The plan will guide the vision and focus of the Church in central and southern Indiana for the next three years and will be a resource for parishes for updating their individual parish strategic plans.

Archbishop Thompson says it is his hope “that the implementation of this plan will enhance our Catholic identity, mission and presence throughout the archdiocese.”

The document is the result of several years of prayer, research, consultation, input and effort by a 25-member team of priests, religious and lay Catholics of different demographics throughout the archdiocese.

It addresses five critical areas: prayer and worship; stewardship; family and community; evangelization and catechesis; and clergy life and ministry.

“The advantage of a pastoral plan is to provide a means for a shared vision and coordinated, intentional effort of evangelization and catechesis throughout the archdiocese,” the archbishop says.

Planning team member Father Rick Ginther, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Indianapolis, says the document “is not meant for the shelf.” Rather, it is to be “enacted through the various secretariats of the archdiocese, by pastors, associate pastors, parish life coordinators, pastoral associates—but more so to be enacted in the very reality of our parishes, the people of God.”

Archbishop Thompson explains that “faith and hope” are the ultimate goal of this reality.

“Our ministries and services, while providing care and outreach to the spiritual and corporal needs of individuals as well as communities—families, parishes, schools, marginalized groups, etc.— ultimately exist with the eye of faith and hope in salvation of souls,” he says. “Together, through a common rootedness in word, sacrament and service, we carry on the mission of Jesus Christ as entrusted to the Church, … drawing ever closer to him and providing a credible witness that leads others to a personal encounter with our Savior.”

Read the pastoral plan here

Lea el plan pastoral en español aquí


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