Lay leadership, pastoral planning on docket for Diocesan Pastoral Council

Four times a year, the Diocesan Pastoral Council meets as an advisory council to Bishop Donald Kettler. The council met Jan. 27 at St. Anthony Church in St. Cloud.

At its November meeting, Bishop Kettler had asked council members to talk with their constituents about the need for lay leadership training and formation in the diocese.

He posed the questions: “Who in your parish or community would benefit from leadership formation?” And, “What impact might a formation program for lay leaders have on your parish or community?”

“For the most part, a lot of people felt that lay leadership training could re-energize our parishes,” council member Darrell Welle reported. “People getting involved will energize our parishes.

“We also need to be aware and participating in daily prayer for lay leaders, for our priests and for vocations,” he added. “Without daily prayer, we are just going to stumble and fall. We need to have something in place that we can really grasp and do now and not leave for others to figure out 10 years down the road.”

The questions stemmed from earlier discussions following the Convocation of Catholic Leaders held in July in Orlando, Florida, and from conversations surrounding the current diocesan pastoral planning process. The bishop hopes to announce a new pastoral plan for parishes this fall.

“The value of what happened with the Orlando gathering that started this whole conversation was determining that there is a need for lay leadership training. We need to do more of that,” Bishop Kettler said. “Because of these conversations, maybe we will do a little more than just talk about it — we will do something about it.”

The bishop explained that the diocese is planning to host a diocesan-wide Leadership Day later this year. More information will be available as details unfold.

Seeking input

In light of the pastoral planning process currently underway in parishes, Bishop Kettler proposed three questions for members to take back to their communities.

The questions are:

  • As a result of your deanery meeting, what has your parish identified as its main concern?
  • What are the possible solutions?
  • How would your proposed solution impact the whole church?

The Diocesan Pastoral Council will discuss the answers to these questions at the next DPC meeting planned for April 28 in Avon.

About Kristi Anderson

Kristi Anderson is a multimedia reporter for The Visitor newspaper.

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