Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton in Bermuda
DIOCESAN PASTORAL PLAN
To assist Catholics to become more mature in their faith life, and to make the parishes and the diocesan Church more vibrant proclaimers of Gospel values. Further, to draw inactive Catholics and others into active participation in the Church.
To reach out to all the groups and organizations already in place: Diocesan Pastoral and Financial councils; Parish Pastoral and Financial Councils; Portuguese Pastoral Council; CCD; Youth Ministry; the St. Vincent de Paul Society; the MSA community. Current structures will be used as much as possible to implement the plan. Each year the Synod Assembly and the Lenten Mission will centre on one or more of the five objectives. The theme(s) for the year will be decided by the Bishop after consultation with the Diocesan Pastoral Council, the Diocesan Staff Council and the Portuguese Council.
To revitalize the parishes spiritually by emphasizing in turn over the next five years each of the priorities set out by Pope John Paul II in Novo Millennio Ineunte.
Holiness of life
Prayer and contemplation
Confession / Reconciliation
The Primacy of grace
Lection Divina / Scripture Study
Promotion of these concepts and practices will be the means to promote a deepening of the faith life of Church members.
To promote the concept and practice of stewardship at all levels: personal, parish and diocesan.
To promote family life in all its aspects, but especially in regard to spiritual practices.
To promote social justice.
To promote the formation of lay ecclesial ministries in the diocese: catechists, youth ministers, pastoral assistants.
I. Strategies for Spiritual Revitalization
One or two of the seven priorities listed by Pope John Paul II will be chosen for each year. These will be promoted through homilies and bulletin inserts.
There will be an annual Lenten Mission during which the theme(s) of the year will be highlighted.
The annual Synod Assembly may also centre on one or more of these themes.
II. Strategies for Stewardship
1. In 2005 / 2006 the parish and diocesan councils will be asked to study the document, Stewardship a Disciple's Response.
2. The diocese will take out membership in the International Stewardship Conference.
3. In autumn 2006 persons will be sent to the International Stewardship Conference.
4. Each Parish Pastoral Council or a Committee of the Council will promote stewardship in the parishes.
Promote family life as an expression of stewardship.
Recruit and train volunteers to assist in parish activities.
Introduce the use of envelopes for the Sunday offering as a practical reminder of the stewardship of treasure. This will then move to the introduction of having parishioners make a personal, private commitment concerning their annual giving.
Encourage stewardship among the children and youth.
5. In 2006 - 2007 begin a feasibility study for a Diocesan Stewardship Office. This would be done by the Diocesan Stewardship Committee.
6. The Annual Bishop's Appeal will be promoted from the perspective of stewardship.
III. Strategies for Family Life
Family Life will be promoted by a Family Life Committee of the Diocesan Pastoral Council which will be composed of the Diocesan Director of Religious Education, The Diocesan Director of Youth Ministry and the Sisters of Charity. They will help parishes introduce and promote programs which will draw families together socially and enrich their spiritual lives.
1. The Religious Education Office will promote family and whole community catechesis over the course of the next five years.
2. The Youth Office will:
Encourage the parents of our youth to participate in the program as mentors.
The Youth Office will see that a core of parents become trained in assisting youth ministry. This may involve local workshops led by Bermudians or foreigners, or sending adults away to workshops.
3.The Sisters of Charity will reach out to seniors, promote family prayer and spiritual activities, and organize retreats.
IV. Strategies for Social Justice
It is hoped that over the next five years the Catholic Church in Bermuda will become more involved in outreach to the poor and the homeless in Bermuda, prison ministry, seniors' advocacy, and the disabled.
A Diocesan Committee will be set up to study how the diocese can address local social justice issues and draw up a plan of action. The Committee will consist of DPC members and others. It will report to the DPC.
The Committee will submit its pastoral plan to the DPC by January, 2007.
V. Strategies for Formation of Lay Ecclesial Ministers
- The Bishop will form a committee of which he will be a member to study this objective.
- The committee will investigate and report on:
- The needs of the diocese.
- The resources of the diocese to train lay ecclesial ministers.
- How best to marry the resources of the diocese to its needs.
The committee will make a report to the DPC and the Diocesan Staff Council by October, 2006.
VI. Strategy for Portuguese Ministry
The Bishop, with the assistance of the Episcopal Vicar for Portuguese Ministry, will ensure that the members of the Portuguese Community are included in the further development and implementation of this Pastoral Plan.
Approved and Promulgated: January 1, 2006
+ Robert J. Kurtz, C.R.
Bishop of Hamilton in Bermuda