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Pastoral Planning Process

Pastoral Planning Is A Process, Not An Event


  • Parish planning must be approached with an open mind and singularity of purpose - to determine the will of God!
  • It is critical that we overcome our personal desires in order to approach planning in a prayerful and reflective manner.


  • A mission statement provides a guiding "frame-work" upon which a parish’s present and future reality should be based.
  • A clear mission serves to focus attention on what is important, motivates those in the parish, and increases the sense of shared responsibility.


  • Good parish planning requires a shared understanding of the current reality in which the parish finds itself.
  • A defined process is used to determine the current reality of a parish.
  • Collect many sources of data and feedback.
  • Ask, “Why does the data or feedback look like it does?”
  • Hypothesize (make educated guesses) root causes and contributing factors.
  • Collect evidence to prove or disprove selected hypotheses.
  • Identify a small number of high-impact causes to address in the Pastoral plan.


  • The pastoral plan is considered to be a “living document.”  It is subject to on-going revision and modification.
  • As the parish’s reality changes, so too do their priorities, strategies, structures and systems change.  The on-going modification of plans enables a parish to meet the new realities and more fully achieve its mission.