Vatican Instruction July 2020
In July of 2020, as much of the world, including Catholic parishes, was locked down due to Covid-19, the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy issued a new Instruction aimed at “the pastoral conversion of the parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church.” Not only were we grappling with the pandemic in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in July 2020, we were also in the beginning stages of a new process of pastoral planning which became Beacons of Light.
The Instruction has helped to inform and inspire the vision and goals for Beacons as we strive toward renewed pastoral life through our Families of Parishes. Beacons is essentially about “pastoral conversion” – the change of mind, heart, and practice of our people and our parishes that will lead all of us to deeper relationships with Christ, living as disciples who enthusiastically share the love of God in word and deed in our daily lives.
Now it is time for parish leaders to study and reflect on the Instruction, its guidance and insight, to bring about the conversion needed in order to more effectively foster such living faith in our parishes and people. When we embrace pastoral conversion in our Families of Parishes, our parish will lead us to deeper conversion in Christ, the change of life – gradual and on-going – to which each of us is called as followers of Jesus. As people who are constantly growing closer to our Lord, our Families will grow as communities of people who live and share the Gospel.