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Bishop David Ricken outlines dreams for the Diocese of Green Bay

A press release on the Green Bay Diocese website:

GREEN BAY, Wis. (June 2, 2011) -- Bishop David L. Ricken today released his second pastoral letter since arriving at the Diocese of Green Bay in August 2008. It is entitled: "Parishes: Called to be Holy, Fully Engaged, Fully Alive" and focuses on the six pastoral areas that the diocese and its 157 parishes will focus on during the next five to seven years.

Six pastoral focus areas

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More on Bishop Ricken's pastoral letter
Bishop Ricken's Pastoral Letter PDF

Click here to read Bishop Ricken's column on the Pastoral Letter

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The six pastoral focus areas are:

•Evangelization
•Youth, Young Adult and Family
•Leadership
•Education
•Eucharist
•Dignity of Human Life

Focus on one or two
The bishop has called on each parish to focus on one or two of these areas each year as it develops its overall pastoral plan. He has also directed all diocesan departments to simultaneously develop a diocesan strategic pastoral plan that will assist the parishes in developing their own plans.

"It is my hope that the implementation of these six pastoral focus areas throughout the diocese will bring our parishes not just into more projects and programs, but truly into a deeper living relationship with the person of Jesus Christ and with his body, the church," said Bishop Ricken.

Visioning Process
The six focus areas were developed over the last year during a process called the Diocesan Visioning Process, in which several groups were consulted on "what is good and great in our parish communities." These "four voices" were:

•Focus Groups: Thirty focus groups of "typical" Catholics from throughout the diocese offered their input. The focus groups represented six specific age groups.
•Parish Discovery and Dreaming Report: Each diocesan parish was invited to solicit input from parishioners or parish leaders. Some parishes surveyed each member; some held parish meetings; some queried the pastoral, finance, and/or education councils.
•Diocesan Leaders: Twenty one leadership groups ranged from diocesan staff, deacons, priests, lay ministers, educators, campus ministry leaders, health care leaders, and other ministerial groups.
•Wisdom Committee: A group of theologians, pastors, and parish directors studied the history and mission of the diocese and then came up with a vision for parish life today based on the definition of "parish" found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

'Dare to dream'
Bishop Ricken said the process has allowed the diocese to "dare to dream about what could be if we become fully engaged, fully alive, as parish communities called to be holy." He also noted that the pastoral letter is not intended to be a "how-to" manual, rather a starting point for parishes to use in building on their own dreams for the future.

"As we build upon the good already being done in and through our parishes, may this great love and grace within our parishes be poured out to all of the communities in Northeastern Wisconsin," said Bishop Ricken.

Special insert
Bishop Ricken's pastoral letter is published as a special insert in The Compass, the official diocesan newspaper. In addition, copies will be made available to all parishes and can be viewed by clicking here


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Who we are
The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay works to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ by helping people in need and by providing academic, leadership and spiritual formation opportunities to parish and school leaders. Established in 1868, the Diocese is composed of 345,000 Catholics in 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago.

Contact
Deacon Ray DuBois
Director of Communications
Phone: 920-272-8213
E-mail: rdubois@gbdioc.org

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