The Diocesan Pastoral Plan ‘Go, make Disciples’ has been launched after a considerable amount of time of listening and planning throughout the Diocese. The Plan will take us from 2019 into 2024.
You are invited to the following launch date near you……..each evening will begin at 7.30pm
Monday June 17th – Minella Hotel, Clonmel
Tuesday June 18th – Park Hotel, Dungarvan
Wednesday June 19th – St. John’s Pastoral Centre, Waterford.
Bishop Cullinan has given us the following foreward in the plan to outline it’s vision for the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore.
Faced with a changed world and a changed Church, we must ask: what is the vision for our diocese now? What is the Holy Spirit saying to us at this critical point in our history?
I put before you a vision for the future of the Church in this diocese which has arisen from the Listening Process which took place across the diocese last year. The core of this vision is summed up in the title of our new diocesan plan: ‘Go Make Disciples’ (Mt 28:19).
Jesus says in the Gospel of John: ‘By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples’ (15:8). What does the Lord mean by the phrase ‘bear fruit’? In his last recorded words on earth before the Ascension, Jesus says:
‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.’ (Mt 28:19-20)
Bearing fruit is essentially this: making disciples. you and I are called to reach out to everyone without exception, but with an emphasis on apostolate with young people. In his marvellous document on evangelisation today, Evangelii Gaudium (EG), Pope Francis urges us to be missionary disciples. This new Diocesan Pastoral Plan requires a change of mentality, moving ‘from maintenance to mission’ (see Fr James Mallon in his book, Divine Renovation). Father Mallon and his parish renewal programme, called ‘Divine
renovation’, has been a key inspiration for our new plan. We cannot do the same things we have always done and expect a different result. The culture around us is not neutral. It is now largely anti-Christian (see EG, 2). While we all acknowledge the many wonderful things that surround us each day, we also recognise the forces that operate against the truth about human life, marriage and the family – their origin, sanctity, and ultimate
end. Continuing as before is not an option. Going out to make disciples cannot happen unless there is a renewal within. Pope Francis invites ‘all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ’ (EG, 3). We always begin with Christ and we note the urgency in the Pope’s plea. No one will want to be part of a community that is spiritually dead. In order to better manage this evangelical approach we will need a greater emphasis on team ministry in new Pastoral units across the diocese, where small groups of parishes, their clergy and trained laity will work in teams to go out and ‘bear fruit’ along with the faithful. A greater emphasis on Adult Faith Formation is necessary and the Alpha Programme is being rolled out across the diocese to rekindle faith in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour who forms us into his missionary disciples. Further Adult Faith Formation programmes will build on this. May this plan map out the way forward for our diocese for the next five years, noting the specific goals to be reached aer the first two years.
I entrust this new Diocesan Pastoral Plan entirely to the care of Our Mother Mary, conscious that we are totally dependent on the Holy Spirit who goes before us, opening hearts and minds. God wants us to be missionary disciples, to work through us, to love him above all things and then to bring others closer to Christ through his Church.
It can be viewed by clicking here on Go Make Disciples