Pastoral Plan Writing Team
As a member of a pastoral plan writing team, it is your opportunity to have a profound effect upon the activity and mission of your parish or collaborative. You are given the task of working with the pastoral staff of your collaborative to form a plan that is true to the Vision set forth by your pastor in the ministry of the collaborative.
As staff members, parish council members, finance council members, school board members (if applicable), and parishioners from each parish in the collaborative you serve as representatives of larger groups, and can integrate your work into the larger work of the collaborative.
A Vision: Vocations is Everybody’s Business
As has been repeated time and again since Cardinal Sean O’Malley published his first Archdiocesan Letter, Vocations: Everybody’s Business, the promotion of a Culture of Vocations and the promotion of Vocations to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston has stood as an important initiative in our Archdiocese.
The Vision of Cardinal Sean O’Malley for the Archdiocese of Boston with regard to Vocations is that within the Disciples in Mission Initiative, each collaborative local Pastoral Plan include an intentional goal or priority of (1) Promoting specifically, Vocations to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston within and through (2) Promoting a Culture of Vocations in general in our parishes.
The Vision is twofold. First, it is to create an environment whereby each of the Faithful keeps at the forefront of their minds the question: “What is it that God desires me to do with the Life He has given me?” The second is that each parish and collaborative be focused on promoting in a very intentional the Vocation to the Archdiocesan Priesthood.
It is important to mention that to promote one vocation in an intentional way does not imply that any other vocation is less than the other or that some persons are not as important as others. On the contrary. In fact, as Saint Paul teaches us, all persons and vocations make up the one Body of Christ, each in its own way contributing to the holiness of the Church. The desire to be intentional about promoting, in a specific way, vocations to the Archdiocesan Priesthood is born from a realization that we are a Eucharistic People, and that the priests are the spiritual leaders of our parishes and that when we have enough priests to staff our parishes we will no longer have a need to close or unnecessarily connect multiple parishes with only one priest.
In making it a priority to promote a Culture of Vocations and to Promote Vocations to the Archdiocesan Priesthood, we will help all people to know clearly and follow what God desires of them in their life calling.
In writing your Vocations Goal, you are free to put it together in whatever way you know best in your own parish and collaborative. Here, you will see a sample goal that will be helpful as you design your own. Note that this goal uses the three-fold approach of breaking the Vocation Team activities and milestones down to the categories of Prayer, Invitation, and Awareness. This approach, of course, is not required, but has been used by many Plan Writing Teams in designing a plan for the parish or Collaborative Vocation Team.
Download Vocation Priority Template
Collaborative Vocation Team
If you are reviewing this, you have already perhaps agreed to serve as a member of a Parish or Collaborative Vocation Team. On behalf of all of those who will benefit from your hard work, thank you for saying “Yes!”
One of the most striking passages in the Bible is the one which presents the Annunciation. In it, we hear about how the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced to her that she would become the Mother of the Most High, and that in conceiving Jesus, it would be through her that the world would receive it’s Savior. What an amazing invitation that Mary received! What a high calling! It is because Mary said “Yes” to God through the Angel that everything changed. Perhaps you might not feel that everything in your life will (or has) changed because you have said “Yes” to the Lord by serving as a member of the parish or Collaborative Vocation Team, but I can guarantee that God will do some great things through you and your generosity.
Your Parish or Collaborative Vocation Team is charged with leading the collaborative in promoting a culture of vocations and promoting vocations to the Archdiocesan Priesthood, perhaps using the three part approach outlined in the resources available to you on this web site of prayer, invitation and awareness.
The team, led by the pastor, might include pastoral staff members, such as, for example, your pastor, parochial vicar, pastoral associate, DRE, RCIA coordinator, youth minister, liturgy and music coordinators, school principal and parishioners from a variety of aspects of parish life.
The team would have regular meetings, depending on the parish or collaborative, and would select a variety of activities to implement. The most important starting point for the teams that have been successful is to have an attitude of creativity and openness to promoting vocations to the Archdiocesan Priesthood and a culture of vocations throughout the entire life of the parish or collaborative.
There are some practical ways to get the team going. One of those ways is to contact the Vocation Office to schedule a time for one of the Vocation Directors to come visit your group to give encouragement and guidance on your work.