August 2020
Area Catholic Communities

Pastoral Plans
There are 15 plans up on the diocesan website as of July 13. Keep them coming in! If you are interested in seeing what others are doing, go take a look at the diocesan planning website. If your plan has very little revision, please send it in and we will put yours up as well. Having the plans online serves several purposes: accountability, sharing with others your goals, transparency, and communication.

Joint Bulletins
Here are examples of newly established joint bulletins from:
Five Star Catholic Community
Holy Saints Area Catholic Community
One in Christ Area Catholic Community

Q: In the March 4 response letter from Bishop Kettler it talks about a joint pastoral council. When do we have to have one in place? Is there a process for a joint pastoral council? Does that mean all of the parish pastoral councils disband? Does the ACC planning council take over as the joint pastoral council? Does that mean we need to change the current by-laws and constitution?

A: The deadline for creating a joint pastoral council has been delayed due to COVID-19, however, that still remains the goal. The Diocesan Planning Council will be meeting in early September and joint pastoral councils for our ACCs will be part of the agenda. If your ACC would like to move in that direction sooner than later please let Brenda know. We would like to have a few pilot areas to use as an example for others. We are going to be working on processes of transition, flow chart, terms, by-laws, etc.
Seeking Volunteers and Topics

One of the questions I have heard often is, "What are other ACCs doing?" In an effort share experiences and information we would like to begin a video conference series that highlights an ACC and/or their efforts. Please click here to take a quick survey about topics and volunteering.

Vatican document offers guidance on parish reforms, restructuring

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy issued a new instruction on pastoral care that specifies the role of lay men and women in the Church’s mission of evangelization and offers guidance in parish reforms and restructuring.

The 22-page document, titled “The pastoral conversion of the parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church,” was released by the Vatican July 20.

While it does not introduce new legislation on pastoral care, the Vatican press office said it was developed by the congregation as a guide related “to the various projects of reform of parish communities and diocesan restructuring, already underway or in the planning process.” It also clarifies the role of the deacons, consecrated men and women, as well as the laity, in dioceses where there is a shortage or lack of priests. Read the rest of the article.

There are are couple of quotes/paragraphs from the document I would like to highlight:

Paragraph #42
The pastoral conversion of the Parish community, in terms of mission, takes shape and finds expression in a gradual process of renewal of structures; consequently, different forms of shared pastoral care emerge, as well as forms of participation in it that involve the entire People of God.

Paragraph #54
...when circumstances require it, ...the Bishop, ...can decree a more stable and institutional grouping of various order to foster greater collaboration among them...

Paragraph #59
Once a grouping of Parishes has been established according to the norm of law...the Bishop will determine, as appropriate, whether each Parish should have its own Parish Pastoral Council, or whether it is better that this task be entrusted to a single Pastoral Council for all of them. In any case, the individual Parishes within the grouping, since they retain juridic personality and capacity, must maintain their own Finance Councils.

Mass Counts Due August 15
Twice a year, in July and October, the Diocese of Saint Cloud requests parish Mass counts from parishes in the Diocese. This year is no exception even with the unusual circumstances. 

Live Streaming Statistics
We currently have Mass count statistics in from 88 of our 131 parishes in our diocese. Of those 88 parishes 44 (50%) are live streaming Mass in some way. Here is the current break down (some use multiple ways):

  • 30 Youtube (68%)
  • 24 Facebook (55%)
  • 4 Local TV Channel (9%)
  • 3 Vimeo (7%)
  • 2 Parish Website (5%)
  • 2 Local Radio Station (5%)
  • 1 Parish App (2%)

Photo courtesy of Sacred Heart, Sauk Rapids and taken before churches were open to the public and masks were mandated.
As you know, Bishop Don Kettler turned 75 in November of 2019. He submitted his letter, to Pope Francis, to request retirement. Please help us pray for God's guidance as the pope discerns a new shepherd for the Diocese of Saint Cloud. Here is our prayer to receive a new bishop.
Brenda Kresky | Director of Pastoral Planning | 214 3rd Ave S. St. Cloud, MN 56301
320-529-4611 | |