“A Culture of Planning”

This week’s Catholic New York column is a (slightly shortened!) copy of the remarks I made at Saint Joseph’s Seminary last Thursday on the Making All Things New pastoral planning process.  I thought you might want to see it.

Here is an excerpt:

We’ve talked about pastoral planning so long and so often that I’m afraid there has set in a “planning fatigue,” and a skepticism about its seriousness. We’ve been through waves of “planning fever” over the past quarter-century, and, some observe, nothing much has changed.

So, what is pastoral planning? It’s really our assessment of the call of Jesus, and the needs of His Church, and His people right now, “how we are meeting them,” and how we best ought to shepherd our resources to further His Person, message, and invitation to salvation.

In a way, then, we have been doing pastoral planning since Pentecost, as His first disciples prayed and considered His imperative to “Go, teach all nations!”

You can read my whole column here.

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2 Responses to ““A Culture of Planning””

  1. Julie Ann Courville says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    This is a great time in history. The ” New Evangelization” is coming forth through the Power of the Holy Spirit. We need to stay firm and unwavering in the teaching of the one true faith. We must not water down our faith and try to “blend in” in the name of ecumenism We as a faith filled people must take the time for heartfelt prayer every single day. Many of us have the privilege/ability to attend daily Mass. Attendance of this highest form of prayer must be done with heartfelt joy , yearning, respect, and adoration. The Holy Rosary must be prayed and taught to the faithful with urgency, reverence and utmost importance. It is a grace given to all people for Holy intercession, guidance, protection, and love from Mary , Jesus’ Mother and our Holy Mother. The importance of the Holy rosary has been thrown out of our Catholic faith during these past 40 + years since Vatican II. Handfuls of faithful Catholic lay people and priests have kept this important prayer alive, yet it has not been given the importance it deserves in the “public” arena within our own Catholic faith. Read the “Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II to the Bishops, Clergy and Faithful on the Most Holy Rosary.” With the intercession of Our Mother many , many, many more young will hear the call of Christ to Holy orders as well as to the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony. People will leave the secular life of lies deceit, and selfishness. The Holy Spirit will enlighten the hearts , minds and souls of all people within our faith who live the true authentic faith in true love and devotion.We will then be living and following God’s plan for our churches. They WILL survive, thrive, and flourish. It is up to us to walk the walk of faith without fear, not talk the talk without heartfelt prayerful action. When God is for us , who can be against ?
    In His Love
    Julie C

  2. Irene says:

    I’ve lived through both parish and school closings. My experience with planning has been: 10 parishes are brought together and told,okay, 3 of you need to close, recommend to us who it should be. Sort of like saying, decide amongst yourselves who gets a seat in the lifeboat. Not surprisingly, I’ve seen pretty dirty politics among parish members and pastors as they fought for one of those lifeboat seats.

    I think parish members should definitely have a voice in the future of their parish, but having parishes fight among themselves for who gets to survive is unfair and unChristian.