by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Knowing where you’re going is important, according to one of America’s greatest philosophers:
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else,” said Yogi Berra, of the New York Yankees.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann wants the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas to know where it’s going.
On Jan. 26, Archbishop Naumann and an 11-member Envisioning Leadership Team began a conversation with Catholics all over the archdiocese to hammer out a 10-year pastoral vision.
“If it be God’s will, and if I remain healthy, I would be pleased to be able to serve this archdiocese for another 10 years,” wrote Archbishop Naumann in a Jan. 2 letter to focus group members. “Thus, I believe it is an opportune time to pause and reflect on what our efforts have produced and to prayerfully consider what the Lord is calling us to do in the foreseeable future.”
What followed were months of meetings, focus group sessions and listening sessions with Catholics representing various communities and constituencies.
Three questions were asked:
- What does the archdiocese do well?
- What would be two or three priorities for the archdiocese moving forward?
- If all goes well, what will the church in northeast Kansas look like in 10 years?
The goal was to get sufficient input to help Archbishop Naumann and his team produce a short document that articulated the archbishop’s vision for the next 10 years.
And today, Archbishop Naumann presents that vision to the Catholics of the archdiocese.
Much of what is in the newly promulgated plan will be familiar to Catholics. Even so, it is ever new, because it represents Jesus’ desire for us to “bear much fruit” and “remain in my love,” so that “my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete” (see Jn 15:8-11).
Study and implementation of the statement are already in the works. For example, the biennial religious education convocation in September, which draws hundreds of religious educators from around the archdiocese, will devote half of its time to the document.
But for the moment, because it is both brief and very accessible, The Leaven is making the entire statement available here to its readers.