Bishop Johnston and the Visioning Team is crafting a plan for our immediate future as a diocese. We need to do this not merely for ourselves as a Diocese, but also for those who need Christ and what only the Catholic Church can provide. Our task is to discern what God wants us to do, right here and now, and then act together.
A listening session, attended by Bishop Johnston and Team members,, is being held at St. James on Tuesday, July 31 at 7:00pm. Your input is vital towards shaping plans for our future: please attend this session to share your goals, hopes and dreams for our Church.
Message from Bishop Johnston
One of the most fulfilling things in life is to be a part of something great with others. As we read the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, we often notice the spirit of joy, confidence, and boldness with which the disciples lived and acted. They knew Jesus and they had received the Holy Spirit which filled them with Christ and his power.
I believe this is also what Christ wants to do in us now. God is pleased when we are “of one heart and mind” for that is a sign of the Holy Spirit’s action in the Church. When we are one as a family, we can do great things for God; or rather, he can do great things in us and through us.
It is for this reason that I believe the Holy Spirit is calling me to lead us in a process of crafting a vision for our immediate future as a diocese. We need to do this not merely for ourselves, but for those who need Christ and what only the Catholic Church can provide. In a sense, our task is to simply discern what God wants us to do, right here, right now, and then act together.
This process will unfold over the next six months or so. To begin, I will be attending ten listening sessions throughout the length and breadth of our diocese. I want to hear about your hopes and dreams for our Church. These sessions will occur in the latter half of July. The locations were chosen to provide an accessible session to as many parts of our diocese as possible to give everyone in the diocese a chance to participate in a vital way. It will also allow me to test my own insights and observations about my vision for the diocese and what our focus ought to be.
To assist me, I have assembled a “visioning team” primarily made up of lay people from across our diocese, but also including several members of our clergy. They will do added research and homework, and assist me in not only articulating a vision for the next 3-5 years, but also setting three priorities that express the vision with time-bound, measurable goals to achieve those priorities. I have also enlisted Catholic Leadership Institute to assist us as a consultant.
In my time as your bishop, I have been impressed with how many people are eager to be involved in doing something great for God. We have a great diocese, with great people, and a bright future. I am blessed to be a part of this community.
Please pray for the success of what we begin. Please jump in to the process and share your thoughts and opinions at one of the listening sessions. As we seek to live our Catholic Faith more fully, let us strive to do so as having one heart and mind.
+ Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr.