The goal of all pastoral planning is the renewal of individuals and parishes. Renewal is a life long process. It is the ongoing, daily conversion of the heart to the will of God. It is the movement of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the baptized to desire to know God more fully and to do His will more faithfully.
Pastoral planning is a way to create an environment within parishes that fosters the renewal of the individuals and helps them to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
In the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the Bishops speak of the mission of Christ, the nature of the Church and the role of the laity. Pope John Paul II, in preparing the faithful for the beginning of the Third Millennium of Christianity, wrote and spoke often about the Holy Spirit’s renewing presence in the Church.
Reflection on these might be beneficial for the members of the Parish Pastoral Council as a help to recall why they meet and plan and how their work strengthens the parish.
- “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20) Novo Millennio Ineunte, 29, Apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II (January 2001)
- Precisely because it signifies life, communion in the Church must constantly increase. Ecclesia in America , 36, Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II (January, 1999)
- The parish is a privileged place where the faithful concretely experience the Church. Ecclesia in America , 41, Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II (January, 1999)
- In our own day too, the Spirit is the principal agent of the new evangelization. Tertio Millennio Adveniente , 45-46, Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II (November 1994)
- The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful, as in a temple. Lumen Gentium, 4, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church promulgated by Pope Paul VI ( November 1964)
- The Church has received this solemn mandate of Christ to proclaim the saving truth from the apostles and must carry it out to the very ends of the earth. Lumen Gentium, 17, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church promulgated by Pope Paul VI (November 1964)