“ It is up to the bishop with the help of the priests, deacons, religious, and lay people to implement a coordinated pastoral plan which is systematic and participatory involving all members of the church and awakening in them a missionary consciousness.”
(Ecclesia in America, 36)
The work of the Office for Parish Service and Support is organized into three major areas:
1. the ongoing management of pastoral information
2. the development and support of planning processes
3. research to support areas 1 and 2
In practice, the Archdiocesan Office for Parish Service and Support is characterized by a holistic concern with the total mission of the Church within the Archdiocese. It is the purpose of the office to promote shared responsibility, and to implement the mobilization of human resources for fulfillment of the mission of the Church. This involves a faith centered approach stressing the role of prayer and spirituality in planning, and the development of shared goals and assumptions about the future.
Planning is a cyclical process. Information is gathered, plans are made and actions taken. The results of the actions are assessed, the information is updated, plans are revised and new actions are taken which, in turn, are assessed. This ongoing planning cycle is an indication of a vital healthy parish.