“We must be a church that goes from waiting for the door-bell to ring, to going out and ringing doorbells”
On Tuesday July 25th, the clergy of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa gathered at the Maturana House of Prayer to discuss the recent progress and developments on Pastoral Planning. They were joined by the members of Pastoral Planning Committee, chaired by Dr. Rita Sablan E.D. and accompanied by Mrs. Sonya Camacho, Mrs. Jackie Quitugua, and Sr. Nina Caccam. Mr. James Sablan is also a part of the group, but is currently away.
The forum started with morning prayer presided by Bishop Ryan. In his reflection, Bishop Ryan emphasized the words of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, “you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God”. He noted that Pastoral Planning aims at assisting all our brothers and sisters in the community, letting them know that they are indeed members of our church and loved by God. As a church, we all play a role in building up God’s kingdom. Bishop Ryan also exhorted priests to not be content with comfort or complacency. Borrowing an image from Pope Francis, he shared, “we must be a church that goes from waiting for the door-bell to ring to going out and ringing doorbells”.
After prayer, the different members of the Planning Committee shared recent progress made to the Design and Building phases of the pastoral plan. Dr. Sablan noted though, that the committee’s purpose was not only to inform, but to also dialogue with the clergy and listen to them. She understands that getting input and feedback from the priests is vital to forming the plan, since they are on the frontlines of pastoral ministry. The Vision Statement, which looks the future of the church and where the Diocese intends to be, currently has two drafts. They are “United to Love Christ, Live in Christ, Serve Christ” and “United in Word, Worship, and Witness”. The current draft of the Mission Statement is still a work in progress, but highlights the church exists to form joyful missionary disciples. There are 7 core values, which stress the guiding principles and behaviors that should embody our church. They are Stewardship, Prayer, Respect, Hospitality, Forgiveness, Teamwork, and Catholic Culture. Finally, the top Ministry Priorities, which came from the Analysis of Bishop Ryan’s parish visitations, include Liturgy, Evangelization and Faith Formation, Vocation and Youth, Marriage and Family Life, Social Justice, and Stewardship. The ministry priorities emphasize the goals the church must strive to accomplish and include the objectives for achieving them.
In concluding the forum, Bishop Ryan thanked the lay members of the committee for devoting much of their time to developing the Pastoral Plan. He noted that no person can do this alone and we all have an important part to play as members of God’s flock. From this session with the clergy, a bigger forum is scheduled for Saturday August 19th and more details will follow. For now though, the pastoral plans continues to move forward as collaboration of both clergy and lay people alike, since all belong to the household of God.