Sunday, January 11, 2015

Diocesan Plan for Evangelization

Today is the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus and the end of the Christmas Season. The Liturgical Year begins according to the Solar calendar but now we will be working with the Lunar Calendar. The first Sunday of Advent begins the liturgical new year at which time we try to convince ourselves of a need to change our minds and hearts to be more faithful to our call to discipleship. One diocese was written up in the Peace Weekly with their plans for evangelization for the new year. Evangelization is a work of the Church that is always on-going.

How do we  go about evangelizing? This is a question  pastoral workers and parishioners keep asking. The methods differ for the size of the parish, the number of Christians, and each parishes' environment. The diocese has made a manual with the consultation of the Christians to help the different parishes.

They divided the diocese into large, medium, and small, city parishes, and medium and small country parishes. They pointed out the problems in the large, medium and small parishes and what needs to change to better prepare to evangelize. The pastoral office in the diocese determined that the medium and small parishes whether in the city or country where similar.

 Large city parishes had a lack of team work: conflict and lack of unity. Dealing with the  strangers there is a stiffness in attitude and there is a lack of religion teachers and their quality needs to improve. To remedy the situation they recommended working to better the group activities, and the fellowship of the community.

 City and country middle size parishes had a lack of experience in evangelizing and a need for programs, material and tools. In the small parishes there was a problem with finances to invite speakers to instruct the community, and the age of the parishioners was a problem. This could be remedied with support from the diocese and the spread of information on evangelizing to these smaller parishes.

Despite the size of the parishes there is a lack of plans, workers, appropriate goals and the capability to deal with the parish situation. Hope is that each parish will have a mission committee and with the help of manuals give direction to the community. Starting in April they will have programs that will be prepared for the different environments of each parish. 70 percent will be the same the other 30 percent will fit the situation of the parishes. 

The diocese has the goal by 2019 to have 10 percent of the population Catholic which at present is only 7.4 percent, lower than the 10.4 percent in the country as a whole. Sunday Mass attendance is 27.7 percent which is higher than the average for the country which is at 21.2.