The Diocesan Pastoral Council, an advisory council to Bishop Donald Kettler, met Sept. 1 at St. Francis de Sales Church in Belgrade.
At the last meeting held in April, council members were asked to gather feedback from their constituents regarding the greatest area of need for training in parishes and what would motivate people to attend regional meetings.
DPC representatives offered a mix of responses, including the need for more trained lay leaders, recruiting and managing volunteers, discerning gifts and faith formation for parents. Members also heard that in order to encourage attendance at regional ministry gatherings there would need to be engaging presenters, convenient dates, times and locations, practical tools and solid theology.
Bishop Kettler discussed the diocese’s plans to implement Regional Ministry Gatherings, a new form of ministry where diocesan staff travel to various areas of the diocese and present on topics that parishes in a particular region identify as priorities. The first regional gathering will be piloted this October in the western region of the diocese.
In light of October’s 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment” in Rome, Bishop Kettler asked DPC members to talk with their regions about the strengths of youth and young adults in their communities.
The next DPC meeting will be held Nov. 17 in Swanville.