Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
KLS update: Hundreds of plans in need of thousands of hands empowered by the Holy Spirit
by Brian Kraut, for the Inland Register
(From the February 19, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)
Parishes throughout the diocese have been submitting pastoral plans, outlining how they will embrace the call set before them by the pastoral letter “Joy Made Complete” (IR 9/18/14) and the Know, Love & Serve (KLS) pastoral planning process. The parish plans also respond to Pope Francis’s invitation in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”): “Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others.” (39) The action of how to go forth is coming into focus. Parish plans are embracing ways to be the joy of the Gospel to the world.
In response to the KLS priority of Leadership Development, these plans include identifying and recruiting new leaders, then equipping them through training in discipleship. For instance, parishes are promoting vocations by providing support for VOCARE and Quo Vadis retreat experiences. Others commit to praying publicly and regularly for leadership and vocations. Other parishes are creating new committees, councils, and organizations to provide a stronger sense of leadership in their communities.
In conjunction with the goal of leadership development, parishes are renewing their efforts in faith formation, looking for ways to incorporate small groups, family offerings, parish missions and retreats, prayer experiences, sacramental offerings, study groups, “Theology on Tap,” resource libraries, and countless other ideas. The process of faith formation is truly a journey, and a multitude of vehicles aid our travel. St. Paul taught the church in Corinth, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6,7). May each of us continue to plant and water and, most of all, pray that God will bring forth new life.
Not only do we need to pray as if it all depends upon God, but we need to work as if it all depends upon us, for much has been entrusted to us. Jesus proclaimed, “I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:22-23). Thus, parish pastoral plans will be realized as each of us lends a hand. The thousands of hands working collectively will build up the kingdom of God in Eastern Washington.
What can be done? What can we offer?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover,” said H. Jackson Brown Jr., quoting his mother. If we continue to be led by the Holy Spirit to explore, dream, and discover, I know St. Paul’s words to the Philippians will be realized: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Be a helping hand in the plan.
(Kraut is the director of the diocese’s Office of Parish Support and Renewal Services.)
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