MISSION STATEMENT OF THE DIOCESE OF CHEYENNE
1887 - 125th Anniversary Year - 2012
We the Catholic community in the State of Wyoming, proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, celebrate the sacraments of salvation, and invite people into a personal relationship with Christ, through prayer, worship, and service of God and neighbor.
It is with great hope in a faith-filled future, that I promulgate this Diocesan Strategic Pastoral Plan, which will guide our pastoral ministries into 2016. These priorities and corresponding goals are to aid us in renewing our life in Jesus Christ and thus compel us to proclaim Him joyfully to the world.
My desire and hope is that our parishes will give regular attention to these priorities over the next five years. The parish is where the life of the Church is lived, and where we seek to instill a renewed and vibrant faith life.
Beyond the parish, the faith is ultimately lived, one person and one family at a time. This Pastoral Plan is timely for the work of the New Evangelization. The Pastoral Plan states our diocesan priorities, but much of the implementation will require regular review at the parish level. There is room for creativity and flexibility, but the efforts will require engagement and, no doubt, hard work.
We will focus on the seven priorities during eighteen-month segments, except for Stewardship, which receives attention in the final six-month segment. Following are the priorities and their corresponding timelines:
|Liturgy & Sacraments / Catechesis:||January 2012 - June 2013|
|New Evangelization / Youth:||July 2013 - December 2014|
|Family Life & Vocations:||January 2015 - June 2016|
|Stewardship:||July - December 2016|
September Institutes topics will coincide with the priorities of focus for that time period. The topics of September Institutes are as follows:
|2014||Youth & Youth Leadership|
Our Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) has played a vital role in the development of this Pastoral Plan. The DPC will now take a lead role in the follow-up to help assure the timely and adequate implementation and evaluation of the Pastoral Plan.
I wish to thank all who attended any of the meetings or listening sessions or contributed in any way to the development of this plan. At the same time, I wish to invite all to be a part of its successful implementation!
I am also grateful for the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout this planning process. I invite all of our pastoral leaders and parishioners to keep these priorities and goals 'fresh' and to regularly review them in reference to the ongoing priorities of day-to-day parish life. Please pray that the Holy Spirit continue to guide and inspire us. Please pray that the LORD of the harvest now bless the fruits of our labors for His glory and the growth of His Kingdom.
Given in Cheyenne, Wyoming, this March 19, 2012, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Most Reverend Paul D. Etienne, DD, STL
Bishop of Cheyenne
Goal #1: To promote the full, conscious, and active participation of all God's people in the transforming and redeeming work of Christ in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church. The Diocese will:
Encourage parishes to review their practice of planning and celebrating vibrant, faith-filled liturgies.
Reestablish a Diocesan Office of Worship to provide resources for the education and training of parish liturgical ministers and worship committees.
Offer workshops in each deanery specifically to assist in the development and promotion of vibrant parish music ministry programs.
Offer workshops in each deanery for the spiritual formation and education of:
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Ministers of Hospitality
These workshops will be for parish coordinators of each ministry and any parish
ministers able to attend.
Provide training videos both as DVDs and via the Diocesan website for all liturgical ministers.
Suggest written materials to be used in ongoing formation programs at the parish level for liturgical ministers.
Goal #2: To engage and integrate the growing Latino population of our Diocese into the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church. The Office of Worship, along with the coordinator of Hispanic ministry, will:
Identify a parish in each deanery to be a resource hub with materials and to support parishes wishing to focus on Hispanic ministry.
Provide resources for parishes to identify the needs of their Hispanic communities and methods to invite and integrate Latino Catholics.
Research the successes and failures of Hispanic ministry programs in other dioceses and provide results and suggestions to parishes.
Promote traditional liturgical celebrations of Latino Catholics.
Encourage, wherever possible, the celebration of the sacraments in Spanish.
Goal #1: Nurture life-long faith formation experiences for all.
In an effort to nurture life-long faith formation experiences for all, we will dedicate the 2012 September Institute toward this topic. Nationally known speakers will be recruited and utilized for keynotes and workshops during the Institute.
Goal #2: Form and equip a body of well-trained catechists in each parish.
Forming and equipping a body of well-trained catechists in each parish will also help in maturing life-long faith formation experiences for all. Thus, a minimum of one workshop geared toward the formation of catechists will be offered by the Diocese in each parish during the 18-month time frame. These workshops will be tailored to the needs and wants of each particular parish (e.g., retreat format, interactive workshop, lecture style, etc.).
Goal #1: In John 1:39, we see the first step in evangelization, which is the invitation from Jesus: He said to them, "Come, and you will see." The goal is to promote the open invitation to all people in the Diocese of Cheyenne to "come and see," so we can strengthen our personal and our common relationship with Jesus Christ
In conjunction with the Catechesis efforts, we need to re-evangelize the Church by inviting all to come and see, and grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Focus the Fall, 2013 Institute on the New Evangelization and bring in a recognized teacher to speak on the New Evangelization.
Assist in parish retreats, parish missions, and greater participation in the sacramental life of the Church as essential components of strengthening our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Goal #2: In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gives us the great commission, telling us to "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing 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 behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." The goal is to send forth individuals to re-evangelize the Church and invite through their actions and words.
Encourage the parishes to focus on evangelization. It is important to remember that an important part of evangelization is a warm and welcoming, worshipping community.
Utilize the resources developed by the subcommittee during the pastoral planning process.
The real challenge of the New Evangelization is the individual members of the Body of Christ enthusiastically and joyfully living our faith in daily life. Encourage the growth of a dedicated body of Catholic Christians who live the faith in their daily lives who can draw others to the Church through personal invitation.
Parishes are encouraged to "reach out" to the inactive members.
Encourage "Catholics Returning Home" program.
Emphasize efforts for fallen away Hispanics.
Parishes are encouraged to strengthen parish RCIA programs; a proven means of inviting, welcoming, and catechizing new and lax members.
Following is a list of ideas that have been thus far discussed.
- Create a YouTube account asking people to submit personal testimonies.
- Have "Days of Invitation" where parishioners will go out and "INVITE" people in person to join us for a Welcome Back dinner and Question & Answer night.
- Days of Service and Witness, Social Justice — we as Catholics being a light to the community by serving our brothers & sisters, while inviting others to join us.
- Bring in organizations already established like "Catholics Come Home" or the work of the Paulist Fathers.
- Healing Services
- Workshops and training on how to be an evangelist.
- Parish pilgrimages to holy sites Prayer (group and individual) Retreats (face to face & "digital")
- Inter-parish collaboration
- Create content for local access cable or broadcast
- Create content for Internet radio and Youtube and advertise it
- Add personal testimonies/witness to the end of the TV Mass
- Expand the TV Mass broadcast (submit to different cable companies around the state)
- Update and modernize the TV Mass, WORD of God, how we hear it and then transmit to others
- Audio package of "how to" (i.e. how and why of Mass, how do you go to confession etc.) Radio & TV spots
- Interview — exit questions to parish members that have left the Church Neighborhood Watch
- Adopt a college student Do a "training" Mass Bulletin Apologetics Public Penance Community Social Gathering
- Support/expand ecumenical efforts and the movement of communities
- Office of small Catholic communities Use/implement programs already in existence i.e. Catholics Come Home
- Programs by the Paulist Fathers
- Community social gatherings — invite new people Christ Renews His Parish
- Take advantage of Christmas & Easter Masses Matthew Kelly book
- Observe people not receiving communion, Facilitate development of small groups, Christian Listeners USA
- Home visits to Catholics who have left by trained teams
- Mass of Reparations
- Lighthouse Catholic Media (small group studies) Teen peer training
- Priest presence in community
- Minister from Love
- Database of Evangelical Testimonies
- Create a local Internet discussion group (board) on evangelization. Tie it into the Diocese of Cheyenne website.
- Parishioners testimony on website or after Mass Personal invitation — bring a friend to Church
- Catholic Schools
- Invitation to movements within the Catholic Church
- Catholic Cowboy Ministry
- Make Catholic presence known at ecumenical events — Catholics hosting Ecumenical Events
- Advertise Catholic service projects and programs.
- "Bang our drum."
- Babysitting service — focus on young families
- Intentional services — Catholic service groups
Goal #1: Gather young adults from throughout the Diocese of Cheyenne together to reflect on the tasks of Young Adult Ministry in our Diocese as defined in the USCCB Document Sons and Daughters of the Light. The tasks include developing:
Personal Identity by finding a balance between who they are and how they belong to the culture at large.
Relationships by establishing more meaningful friendships, family and answering the call to their vocation.
Meaning of Work by meeting their practical needs and assisting them to nurture a vision, learning how to work in a truly personal and life-giving way while continuing to discern God's call.
Spiritual Life by rooting their lives in something that gives them hope, conveys meaning, and leads them to a personal relationship with Christ.
Goal #2: Create ministry opportunities for young adults in our Diocese that meet the four basic goals set forth by Sons and Daughters of the Light and reinforced by the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association. The goals include:
Connecting young adults to God through Jesus Christ through spiritual formation and direction, Religious Education and Formation and Vocation Discernment.
Connecting young adults with the Church through Evangelizing Outreach, forming the faith community by inviting, empowering and enabling young adults to participate in the community and liturgical life of the church and pastoral care.
Connecting young adults to the mission of the Church in the world by working with them to form a Christian conscience, educating them to work for justice and developing leaders for our church and communities for the present and the future.
Connecting young adults to a peer community to further support and nurture their faith through forming faith communities of their peers, developing peer leadership opportunities and creating a young adult task force for the Diocese of Cheyenne.
Goal #1: Assist all parishes in the development of youth ministry programs modeled after the Diocesan Youth Ministry Mission and Vision Statements (Strategic Pastoral Plan) and the USCCB document Renewing the Vision.
Goal #2: Insure that the mission, vision, and goals established for the youth of the Diocese are being met through increased communication and collaboration at the parish, deanery, and Diocesan levels.
The 2014 September Institute will be dedicated to Youth and Youth Leadership Development.
Stewardship is the final priority. While these goals will not be attended to for some time, parishes should continue to build on the stewardship programs they already have in place.
The psalmist asks: "How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me? Ps. 116:12. We simply cannot. God will not be outdone in His generosity! What we can do is to share that "great good" by taking this message to the People of God.
Goal #1: We will energize parishes about stewardship while creating a space for conversion, changing from a mentality of scarcity to one of abundance through focusing the September 2016 Institute on Stewardship.
Goal #2: Following the September 2016 Institute, we will share best ideas about stewardship and practical steps to implementation through deanery workshops. Presenters will be members of the Diocesan stewardship office and clergy who are especially successful in their stewardship efforts. The goal of these workshops is to open hearts and minds to the blessed joy of living a life of stewardship. As Sirach tells us: "With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy. Give to the Most High as He has given to you, generously, according to your means. Si. 35:11-12.
Goal #1: Building upon the advances made in the Pastoral Plan for Catechesis and Youth, the Diocese will act as a resource to assist parishes in building strong Catholic families.
The Diocesan Office of Pastoral Ministries will provide resources to help catechists and youth ministers promote stronger Catholic families through formation and support materials, and the 2015 September Institute will be dedicated to family life.
In order to help build strong marriages and families, the Diocese will review the status of the Marriage Preparation process and provide training to parishes and deaneries as needed.
The Diocese will continue to support programs such as Marriage Encounter to help couples strengthen the sacramental nature of their marriages.
All families are invited to reflect upon the ways that they are the "building blocks of society," marked by mutual affection and family prayer. Understanding their role as the "domestic church," they will actively participate in the liturgical life of the Church and offer hospitality, justice, and service to the poor and needy.
Goal #1: The Diocese of Cheyenne Vocation Office will provide materials to the parishes to promote prayer opportunities for parishes to gather and to pray for vocations.
The most important aspect of this will be the promotion that parishes establish a regular time to gather for a parish "Holy Hour for Vocations." The Vocation Office will provide a sample format for a prayer service that parishes may use to pray for holy families and that all people will know God's will and have the grace to embrace that will.
The Vocation Office will also make resources available to promote the prayer for vocations in other formats, including during simple Eucharistic Holy Hours, in the prayer of the Rosary, and prayer cards for Religious Education students.
The Vocation Office will provide prayers to be used in the Prayers of the Faithful at Sunday Mass during the 18 months of this pastoral objective. Sample prayers will also be provided to be used during the weekly celebration of Mass.
Encouragement will be provided to priests to get to know the youth of their parish, that they may encourage them to discern their vocation, and be a trusted guide in their discernment.
Families are encouraged to pray together, specifically the prayers found in the Bishop's letter and to continue to dedicate their families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Parents are encouraged to speak with their children about religious and priestly vocations, and to invite them to prayerfully consider their own vocations.