Stepping out in faith, responding to the needs of the diocese and heeding the call of Pope Francis to a “missionary aspiration of reaching everyone,” Bishop Edgar da Cunha shared his overall vision for our diocese via his March 2017 Pastoral Letter – Rebuilding in Faith and Hope. A year later in March 2018, he introduced his vision for Strategic and Pastoral Planning across our Diocese. Three major goals were put forth:
- Revitalizing our parishes
- Renewing the ministries of the Diocese
- Strengthening support for the clergy.
In the months following his letter to all the faithful, the Bishop led “listening sessions” throughout the diocese in English, Portuguese and Spanish plus a special listening session with youth. At the parish level, these led to “local” listening sessions and strategic plans. Across the diocese, two groups of nearly 100 people studied the listening session results and recommended key areas of strategic planning for diocesan wide ministries.
In February of 2019, nearly 400 people gathered with the Bishop and launched an intense six-month planning process focused on these initiatives:
- Youth and Young Adults
- Catholic Social Services
Recommendations were presented to Bishop da Cunha in September, 2019 and a newly formed Diocesan Pastoral Council, working with the Bishop, Diocesan Staff and parishes has taken on the task of analyzing, prioritizing, expanding and helping to implement the plan. Many of the recommended initiatives were already begun during the planning process, others are underway and still others, due to the complexity, will be implemented over the next several years.