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Regina develops new procedures for pastoral plan

By Frank Flegel

08/26/2015

REGINA — It took Regina archdiocese director of Pastoral Services Bob Kowalchuk just seven months after his appointment to develop a system to move the Pastoral Plan forward.

“It’s really a solid plan,” said Kowalchuk in a conversation with the PM. “It is a great idea but there was no way to actually carry the plan forward.”

Archbishop Daniel Bohan asked Kowalchuk to look into Pope Francis’ encyclical, the Joy of the Gospel, and see how it can be applied to the Pastoral Plan in the Regina archdiocese.

Kowalchuk said what the pope was really looking at was the mission side of the church that calls for mission and evangelization. Over several meetings with archdiocesan staff a seven-part action plan was developed, based for the most part on Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium:

- encourage the faithful to be rooted in prayer and family;

- rebuild and improve relationships with parishes, priests and diocesan partners;

- support parishes in growing their capacity in divine restoration and address sacramental preparation, catechesis and formation;

- encourage parishes to explore Re-imagine Generosity: Parish Stewardship;

- support catechesis and faith formation for every age and stage in life;

- offer support for aging, vulnerable and marginalized populations; and finally,

- implement equity in employment, which includes educating parishes and pastors on the compliance requirements in Saskatchewan’s employment legislation and regulations.

The entire plan was presented to a June 23 joint meeting of the archdiocesan pastoral council and the Council of Priests.

“The response from them was by and large very positive,” said Kowalchuk. What has to happen now, he said, is to build and re-build relationships. “It’s not that relationships were bad,” but “if you don’t focus on keeping relationships fresh, they tend to slide.”

Teams from the pastoral office will set up regional meetings with parishes to explain the changes and the supports available for them from the pastoral office.

Kowalchuk said the plan has a lot of pieces to it and its success will depend on the parishes, the people in the parishes and the pastors, who are key.

“We have a small staff, we don’t have a tremendous amount of money, and that’s why it’s critical that we have a good, solid relationship with people out there because, at the end of the day, we can supply support, we can provide direction, but it’s the parishes and the people in the parishes who are going to make this work.”

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