Entitled “Be Missionary Disciples,” this document sets forth the vision and themes that are expanded upon in A Light Brightly Visible and embodied in the Be Missionary Disciples planning process. The mission of evangelization requires each member of the Archdiocese to be a true missionary disciple.
Drawing upon the vision and teaching set forth by Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium, each member of the faithful is invited to grow stronger in discipleship in order to invite others to an encounter with the Risen Lord, especially those whose faith has been weakened or lost as well as those who do not know Jesus Christ. Such missionary discipleship transforms how we live out our respective vocations of marriage, priesthood, diaconate, consecrated life, and single life. Ongoing formation in evangelization is essential for all the faithful, especially within families as they are primary in the mission of evangelization.
The Catholic Church not only will maintain, but also seeks to enhance her missionary presence in the Archdiocese.
There is no question of whether we will be present, but rather a need thoughtfully to consider how we can best be present, recognizing that our presence takes many forms, including through our parishes, schools, charities, and health care institutions. These institutions themselves must undergo a missionary transformation so that everything they do is “channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for [their] self-preservation” (EG 27).
In light of this missionary impulse, we must configure our presence in a way that is pastorally and organizationally effective, sustainable, and responsive to the changing needs of God’s people. Our presence must seek to support the pastoral, spiritual, educational and service needs of our communities in ways that are a dynamic witness to the spirit of the Gospel.
Gratefully acknowledging that regional planning has long been underway and in many instances has borne much fruit, parishes, schools, charities and healthcare ministries will now be involved in a facilitated process that will determine the means by which the Church’s presence will be enhanced throughout the whole Archdiocese. The goal of this process is to envision our future and concretely plan how to make that vision a reality.