ARCHDIOCESAN PRIORITIES 2017-2020
Following a consultation and discernment process in the Spring and Summer of 2017 with lay leaders and staff, religious women, and archdiocesan clergy, I have heard, prayed on, and now offer the following priorities for the Archdiocese of Regina for the next 2 to 3 years. I look forward to working alongside Archdiocesan clergy, staff, parish leaders, the lay faithful, Catholic organizations and community partners in reflecting on and setting goals towards these priorities, which our loving God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit - has set upon our hearts.
Archbishop Donald Bolen
Since God has “shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6), we, in the Archdiocese of Regina, feel called to sustain and strengthen a church that is:
1. Building vital and viable parish faith communities
A healthy archdiocese and strong parishes are intrinsically bound together. Each of our parishes is unique: rural or urban, large or small, with its own vibrancy and challenges. And each, with its own dynamics, is called to be a genuine community of faith, where those who come feel that they belong, can grow in their Christian discipleship through the Church’s sacramental life and teaching, and are strengthened to live and love well in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Healthy parishes need effective spaces for ministry, with people prepared to serve and effectively live out God’s mercy within and beyond the parish, and with sustainable spiritual, financial, human, and capital resources.
2. Living evangelization and discipleship
Jesus, the Word made Flesh, longs to meet us and draw us into love. Our world needs to meet Jesus, and each of us needs to meet Him over and over again. This is the heart of a world transformed by God (cf. Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel, 1, 3, 8-11).
a) by facilitating encounters with Jesus
We need to go out to where people are, with strengthened ability to speak about Jesus, to introduce others to Him, to trust God to speak and act powerfully in our lives. Our personal and collective communication should always be an invitation to meet and follow Jesus as disciples.
b) by equipping disciples to live as authentic witnesses
The world needs witnesses to Jesus, to the changes the Lord makes in our lives, to the hope, peace, forgiveness, love, and true joy that comes with faith (cf. Gal 5:22-23). We need to support and seek out continual education, formation, and deep personal growth as the disciples of Jesus, for our own salvation and so that we can be signs of God’s constant loving work in the world.
c ) by forming and supporting strong lay leaders and clergy
We need to foster leadership and grow lay and ordained leaders on a parish and on a diocesan level who can develop new skills, practice effective approaches to discipleship, and build unity among God’s people.
3. Listening, engaging in dialogue, and seeking justice and reconciliation
Pope Francis has called us to be a church in dialogue, a reconciled and reconciling community, giving witness in a world that often questions faith’s relevance and credibility. We need to love one another and our neighbours with an openness and humility that invites relationship and engagement in many areas: seeking truth and reconciliation between peoples; working for justice and the common good, and to uphold the dignity of the human person; reaching out to those who have been hurt or alienated by the church; fostering relationships and cooperation with ecumenical partners and other faith communities; engaging the culture in dialogue; and learning to deal with personal and ecclesial conflicts and tensions in a Gospel-informed way.
4. Growing in faithful and responsible stewardship
To be able to share the gifts that we have been given (1 Pet. 4:10), we need to work together in planning transparently for our future, in the archdiocese and in our parishes. We need to build on and grow our working together towards generosity and accountability, financial stability and responsible stewardship, trusting always that God will provide what we need in His abundant generosity.