Diocesan Priority Plan and Spirituality Initiative two sides of the same coin

January 23, 2018
From the January West River Catholic

What is shared in this article is important because it is at the heart of who we are, that is, the Diocese of Rapid City. Yes, all of us who live in western South Dakota, and especially those of us who are Catholic, make up the diocese. This article helps us all understand the relationship of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan (DPP) and the Stewardship Initiative (SI). They really are the same thing. We started the Stewardship Initiative before the DPP was developed but they are a cohesive whole.

The DPP gives us our mission. It tells us what we are called to do as members of the diocese. We are called to attract and form intentional disciples who joyfully, boldly and lovingly live and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ …” This is not a project to be accomplished. We never stop attracting and forming disciples. We never stop living and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our mission. It is a way of life. It is why we exist!

The SI calls us to generous hospitality, lively faith and dedicated discipleship. We never stop being hospitable, fully living our faith or becoming disciples and move on to something else. Like our mission, stewardship is a way of life.

The DPP and the SI are two ways of expressing the same mission. First of all, both are grounded in a relationship with Jesus. A relationship with Jesus is what drives us and shapes the rest of our life. At the heart of being a disciple is meeting Jesus. Once that happens, everything in life flows from and leads to that relationship. We encounter Jesus in prayer, in the sacraments and in those who have already encountered him.

Those who have encountered Jesus want to share Jesus with others. We are called to attract others (DPP) into an encounter with Jesus, into discipleship. We do that through generous hospitality (SI). Making room in our lives for one another and especially for those who struggle to know Jesus, is the first step and the ongoing responsibility of the disciples of Jesus. It is a constant calling to others to come and see. It requires kindness, patience and generosity. It is meant to be attractive.

Those who are attracted are then formed into disciples (DPP). A relationship with Jesus leads to a desire for more. The more that we are invited to experience is what lively faith (SI) is all about. Living out our relationship with Jesus, our faith, is what stewardship as a whole is all about. Once I have been attracted by and encountered Jesus, I want to live my life with, in and for him. Everything I am becomes oriented toward deepening that relationship with Jesus and sharing it with others.

Encountering Jesus and deepening our relationship with Jesus naturally leads to our becoming, as Pope Francis says, “missionary disciples.” The good news of God’s love for us in Jesus is not meant to be reserved for the faithful few. We are called to dedicated discipleship (SI). We have to get out there and share the good news. The hope is that more and more people will joyfully, boldly and lovingly live and proclaim the gospel of Jesus (DPP).

So you see, generous hospitality is meant to attract disciples. Lively faith is all about forming intentional disciples. Dedicated discipleship leads us to proclaim and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of this together is the new evangelization. This is all about the new evangelization, the call of our recent popes to share the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ with not only those who have never heard about Jesus, but more importantly with those of us who have heard but have not really been formed. The Diocesan Pastoral Plan and the Stewardship Initiative are our plan for the new evangelization. They are about encountering Jesus anew and they are about us being formed and shaped anew in discipleship. They are about us becoming who we are destined to be. We are called to be intentional disciples who joyfully, boldly and lovingly (in a lively way) live and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I believe that this is the desire deep inside each one of us who make up the Diocese of Rapid City. We want to be dedicated disciples who proclaim the gospel. We want to do that in our families, in our work places and schools and in our community as a whole. We want lives that are joyful and loving. We want to be generous and bold in living our faith. Simply said, we really desire to know Jesus and share Jesus with one another.

Liturgy Commission Survey Results

In 2017 the Diocesan Liturgy Commission conducted a survey of parishioners in the diocese regarding their experience in the celebration of the Eucharist in their respective parishes. The results were collated and analyzed and this document contains those results. Additional reports on each Deanery’s responses and each parish responses who participated are also available by contacting Father Michel Mulloy at the chancery,  605-343-3541 or by contacting your pastor.

This questionnaire was part of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan. It was one of the goals under the foundational ministry of Sacraments and Worship. The Liturgy Commission of the Diocese will use this information to chart its work into the next two years.

Click here to see the results