St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Parish Pastoral Plan 2015-2020
September 8th, 2015
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Every five years the leadership of our parish takes an extensive and honest look at the life, ministry and overall direction of our community and from it puts in place some key goals and strategies for the following five years. I am pleased to be able to share with you our new Parish Pastoral Plan. It is the result of much prayer and reflection as well as many months of hard work and diligent planning by our Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Pastoral Team.
As you will see this new plan is quite extensive, covering all areas of our broad and varied ministry and community life. It is built on the work achieved by previous plans and sets specific goals for each particular area of our ministry, highlighting the benefits and the steps to be undertaken. At its heart is the Gospel message and the call to share our faith in Christ with others. Having heard the Gospel and accepted its mission we are determined to form strong and committed Christian disciples and families, to celebrate God’s enduring presence through our sacramental life and to serve the greater community through outreach and sharing. In short, this plan is geared toward the New Evangelization; challenging us to new methods, expressions and a new ardor and enthusiasm as we fulfill the Gospel’s mandate and share its life-giving message. As you read the plan you will notice that its emphasis is both evangelical and relational. We are called as a community of faith to preach and witness to the Risen Christ as part of the universal Church and to build relationships with others that reflect this identity.
As a community of faith in Ann Arbor, the plan encourages the development of greater bonds of cooperation both within and outside of the parish. As you read through it you will notice an added emphasis on collaboration among our parish ministries and the building of new bridges of cooperation with neighboring parishes and institutions that will, we pray, strengthen the Catholic presence and influence in the Washtenaw region and beyond.
As I commend this new pastoral plan to your reflection and prayer, I also wish to share with you two other matters that in time will require our attention. For many years it has been obvious that we are in need of a new parish hall and extra facilities for events and functions. It is my hope that we can begin the planning of this new building in the next two years and I hope and pray that when the time comes you will join me in supporting this endeavor.
Secondly, we are truly blessed by the ethnic and cultural diversity of our parish family. Serving each group and allowing each culture to bring their spiritual treasures and experiences to our parish will strengthen our overall sense of community as well as enriching our common spiritual life. Chief among this diversity is the presence of our Latino brothers and sisters who bring so many gifts and talents to our communal life. As a growing part of our community our hope is to be able to serve them in a more proactive and intentional way and to put together an effective ministry that will continue to meet their spiritual needs.
Finally, as we begin this new phase in our community life let us first of all be a people of prayer and service, a people who are filled with a true Christ-like love for all. Since its founding in 1950 our parish has been committed to living the Gospel mandate “to love one another as I have loved you” and with the example of our patron, Francis of Assisi, we have striven to be a Christ-centered expression of God’s family, nourished by the Holy Spirit.
Let us pray that what the Lord has begun here will, with his grace and strength and our faith-filled commitment, come to fulfillment for the glory of his name. May St. Francis, our patron, continue to intercede for us and help us by the power of his example and prayer.
Rev. Fr. James Conlon
During his 2016 State of the Parish address, Fr. James invited you to read the Parish 2016 Annual Report, to read the Parish 5 Year Plan, and if you attend St Francis but haven’t registered, to register in the Parish.