Regina Archdiocese Develops New Procedures for Pastoral Plan

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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 referring to the Pastoral Plan in a conversation with the PM, “It is a great idea but there was no way to actually carry the plan forward.”  

Shortly after his appointment, 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, the Joy of the Gospel: Encourage the faithful to be rooted in prayer and family; re-building and improving relationships with parishes, priests and diocesan partners; supporting 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; 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 to what we are proposing.” What has to happen now, said Kowalchuk is to build and re-build relationships. “It’s not that relationships were bad,” he said, 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. One such meeting took place with Reverend Dennis Remot of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Montmartre with representatives from the five parishes for which he is Administrator. “It was an exciting day. It was a fun day and people walked out enthused of where they could go.”

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 that are going to make this work.”