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1.3 Eucharist – Vision Impact for Principle

A vision statement is a short aspirational statement of direction for your Family of Parishes — the where we are going, and why we do what we do to get there.   

Once a vision statement has been drafted, it is important to validate that the vision statement provides aspirational direction and inspiration to all components of a vital parish. The Beacons of Light principles and vision points concisely define parish vitality. Thus, comparing your draft vision statement with the principles provides a sounding board to confirm the appropriateness of the proposed vision statement. The Principle Vision Impact Form is used during the Family Visioning Process and allows teams of Family staff and lay leadership to confirm your draft vision statement and understand what changes will need to come about as your Family begins to live out the vision.  

You can find the Family Visioning Process and Principle Vision Impact form in the Leadership 1.2 Materials.

0.2 Eucharist – Reinforce from Phase 1

If your Family of Parishes does not yet have a director of worship serving on your Family Leadership Team, it is important to complete that step before moving ahead to Phase 2.

Also, if you have not assessed your Sunday Mass schedule in the past year, it is important for your worship staff, worship commission, and pastor to do so. Here is information to assist you. After the next October count is an opportune time to again revisit this exercise, so as to help your Family grow in conformity to Parameters 4, 5, and 6.

1.1 Eucharist – Visio Day

Visio Day provides an opportunity for your Family Leadership Team (FLT) to learn the importance of creating a vision for your Family of Parishes and how to best create, communicate and enact that vision within your Family. This one-day workshop will not create the final vision for your Family of Parishes but will jump-start that process and prepare you for the Family Visioning Process.  

Some Families of Parishes participated in Visio Day early in 2023. We encourage all other Families, not engaged in the Catholic Leadership Institute’s Next Generation Parish process, to attend one of the two sessions scheduled for fall 2023.  

Learn more.

1.2 Eucharist – Family Visioning

The Family Visioning Process follows Visio Day and is a comprehensive process to create a vision statement for your Family of Parishes. This process is designed to define your vision, build consensus around the vision with key leaders, and assess the impacts of that vision for each Beacons principle within your Family. 

Refer to Leadership 1.2 for details on the Family Visioning Process.

2.1 Organize Worship Team

Phase 1 of the Pastoral Planning Pathway for Eucharist called for hiring a director of worship.  Now that this leader is in place, it is time to assemble and organize the team that supports worship in your Family of Parishes, as called for in Parameter 13:

Eucharist Reversed

“Competent and qualified staff are necessary to serve the Family of Parishes, especially in the areas of worship, Evangelization (including Love in Action) and administration. As is possible, staff will be unified to serve the entire Family.”

Assembling a worship team is a Phase 2 milestone:

“Create a vision for a Eucharist-centered parish, form a Family Worship Commission and Family Worship department of staff.”

Your Worship Team will serve your Family of Parishes by supporting all the liturgical and sacramental aspects of Family life. Depending on the scope of the worship functions, this team may include staff responsible for sacramental preparation (distinct from religious education), unless this falls within the purview of evangelization.

To-do: Use the sample organization charts in the Materials tab to create a Worship Team organization chart that will best fit your Family of Parishes.

To-do: Use the sample job descriptions in the Materials tab to create job descriptions for your Worship Team staff that will best fit your Family of Parishes.

2.2 Form Family Worship Commission

Eucharist Reversed

“Every Family of Parishes will have a unified pastoral council, with other relevant and necessary consultative groups for specific areas of parish life.” (Parameter 11)

In Phase 1, each parish was encouraged to strengthen its own worship commission or, if one did not exist, to create one. While it’s tempting to think of everything at the Family level right away, it’s important for each parish in your Family of Parishes to have its own worship commission, at least while Sunday Mass is taking place at the parochial church.

There are many reasons for this:

  • Each parish’s worship commission can help to maintain procedures for worship in a particular church building.
  • The parish worship commission should be the keeper of traditions in its particular parish.
  • The parish worship commission should be among the first to identify common ground between parishes in your Family in order to move forward.

If there are parishes in your Family of Parishes where Sunday Mass takes place yet there is not currently a parish worship commission, these resources will help you start a worship commission.

In winter 2024, the Office for Divine Worship and Sacraments (ODWS) will be offering the annual workshop With Zeal and Patience: The Role of the Worship Commission, with specific information on how and when to begin bringing parish commissions together at the Family level. Make sure you are subscribed to Praenotanda (the news email of the ODWS)  to receive information about dates, times and locations.

While it doesn’t hurt to begin – even now – to bring members of your individual parish commissions together at the Family level to pray, do formation and socialize (perhaps once a quarter or every six months), each parish worship commission has its own role for the coming years in advising the pastor, director of worship and other worship staff about the celebrations in their own parochial church.