A guide primarily for Catholics, but also for all Christians and others who want to create a plan for following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Planning
Dear LORD help us with your divine providence and the guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT to understand our mission in life and how we can better follow in the footsteps of your beloved son JESUS CHRIST.
VISION AND MISSION FOR THE FUTURE OF (Name of Diocese and certain other Catholic Entities such as Religious Orders)
(Name of Diocese) exists for the sole purpose of bringing together Catholics and other likeminded people for its mission to follow in the footsteps of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. This mission is universal to all individual Catholics, all Catholic parishes, other Catholic entities, all Catholic dioceses and to the worldwide Catholic Church itself.
Chicago Cardinal George’s 2010 message introducing the Archdiocese’s Strategic Planning effort is worth repeating here and is just as applicable today as it was then.
“The Church has one mission, one purpose and one plan entrusted to her by the Lord Jesus. The Church is to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the whole world (Evangelism), to celebrate the Sacraments that make his saving mysteries available to all people until he comes again in glory (Prayer), and to serve the needs of an ailing humanity in a spirit of mercy and compassion (Helping Others). That is her perennial mission.” (Words in parenthesis added)
To accomplish this, we need to engage in the three major categories of religious activities that are interrelated with each other at times and define the life and activities of JESUS CHRIST. First is Evangelism. Jesus always preached to and welcomed people of all kinds. Therefore, in performing Evangelization we need to be as all-inclusive as possible, welcoming (with some limits) everyone, fallen away Catholics, non-Catholics, sinners of all kinds, etc. Second is Prayer, both individually and as a community. For community worship we need an appropriate facility (a church). Jesus always recognized the importance of Temples (“His Father’s House”) in Prayer, but he also frequently used the solitude of mountaintops and gardens for private Prayer. Third is Helping Others. Jesus’ life was full of examples of his helping others regardless of their station in life. All Catholics and all people have the ability to help others.
JESUS CHRIST also Suffered a great deal and taught us how to deal with suffering. Suffering is mostly an individual cross we bear, and thus it is not part of this parish mission statement, but it can affect many groups of people like the Coptic Christians, Jews, etc.
There are many other very important and worthwhile activities (e.g. stewardship, etc.) engaged in by our parishes, other entities and individuals, but none of these deserve to be part of our mission and why we are here. They are means to an end and not the end purpose of our diocese or any other Catholic entity.
(Follow same procedure as shown above for Parishes, etc.)