The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, led by the Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, has published the first-ever Diocesan Strategic Plan in support of the mission, vision and priorities of the Diocese of Orange.
Considered among the largest and most diverse Catholic dioceses in the U.S., the Diocese has as its mission Statement: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” -Matthew 28: 19-20
The Diocesan Strategic Plan, developed in collaboration with stakeholders across the Diocese, focuses on 6 key areas: Evangelization and faith formation, governance and leadership, clergy formation, stewardship and finance, Catholic schools and the Christ Cathedral Campus.
“In recent months, I have listened very carefully and weighed the thoughtful recommendations that have been developed,” Bishop Vann wrote in an introductory letter in the Strategic Plan, which was distributed on November 30. “This process has identified the priorities that will focus our efforts and our human and fiscal resources for the coming years.”
The Diocesan Strategic Plan aims to provide the Bishop the framework to establish and prioritize organizational systems, structures and resources while strengthening communication and collaboration between the pastors, parochial vicars, deacons, religious, laity, pastoral center staff, parishes, schools, the diocesan boards and committees, and the Orange Catholic Foundation. It is the first plan of its kind in the Diocese of Orange.
“Decisions will always be made collaboratively in the light of faith and the Lord,” Bishop Vann said. “Having been sent as the shepherd of our local Church I know that I do not make these decisions in isolation, but together with all of you as we travel the road to eternity together in our journeys of life and faith,” Bishop Vann added. “In order to live to the greatest extent at this providential time where the Lord has placed us together, I implore all of the Faithful of Christ, consecrated religious, priests, deacons and lay faithful, especially all of those involved in the apostolic movements in our local Church, to bring to new life, within our local faith communities, an ardent zeal as experienced at Pentecost, to grow in faith, knowledge and holiness, and a deep contagious love of God.”
The Strategic Plan is the result of a two-year collaborative effort rooted in prayer. A Task Force and additional workgroups were established, comprised of clergy, religious, lay leaders, board members, and staff. Hundreds of key stakeholders from across the Diocese were engaged in the collaborative process. The workgroups researched, prayed and discussed how to make the best recommendations to Bishop Vann for this plan.
The Diocesan Strategic Plan, with its near-term and long-term goals, signals a major milestone in a historic time of transformation for the Diocese of Orange – one of the largest and most-diverse faith communities in the U.S. Christ Cathedral, the spiritual home for Orange County’s Catholics, will be dedicated in July 2019.
“The plan is a proactive and trailblazing approach setting a clear, sustainable path forward for our Catholic community,” Auxiliary Bishop Tim Freyer said. “This plan will help all our parishioners to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, bring the Good News to all our brothers and sisters, as well as to focus on better assisting our ministries at our parishes and schools.”
Highlights of the diocese strategic plan include:
Bishop Vann will announce a “Year of Prayer” in 2020, emphasizing the essential roles of the parishes and schools of the Diocese in implementing the Mission of the local Church.
- Improving the Mass experience for parishioners and visitors
- The Diocese will assist parishes in funding and supporting programs to engage youth and young adults. This effort includes creating and implementing leadership training, team building and coaching for parishes to help promote evangelization, seeking to foster effective evangelization of young adults and to triple, annually, the number of young adults attending and participating in young adult and youth ministries.
- Provide assistance and resources for clergy training in evangelization and faith formation programs for parishes and schools.
- Ensure financial sustainability of parishes and Christ Cathedral Campus operations while invigorating stewardship giving throughout the Diocese.
- Implement new Catholic identity evangelization and faith formation initiatives in the schools, while providing training to schools leadership, educators and staff.
- Provide equal access for low-income students and equality of academic resources across schools.
- Develop approaches to strengthen collaboration and support among the principals and schools.
- Develop plans for the long-term sustainability of Christ Cathedral Campus.
- Enhance the Christ Cathedral Campus visitor experience by opening a gift shop, food and beverage services and overall hospitality services by the spring of 2019.
To read the Executive Summary of the Strategic Plan, visit tinyurl.com/yckmtqht.