By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – A hundred people gathered at St. Dominic Centre in Jackson on Sunday, March 19, to begin the process of implementing the new diocesan vision, mission and pastoral priorities. The participants came from parishes across the Deanery one area with some visitors from Deanery two. Bishop Joseph Kopacz had hoped to lead all of the implementation sessions, but the death of his brother meant that he had to miss the first two.
Father Kevin Slattery, vicar general, led off the session by going over the data gathered during last year’s listening sessions. He then introduced the new vision, mission and priorities.
Maureen Smith, director of communications, presented how the process will move forward. Each parish will convene a team to prayerfully consider the priorities. They will be expected to write a new set of goals for their parish community based on the new priorities. Each parish will be provided with a diocesan resource person who can guide them through the process of writing and executing SMART goals to help them support the new mission, vision and priorities.
SMART is an acronym which stands for goals which are specific and measurable, motivating, attainable, relevant and time-bound. The groups got instruction in how to narrow down big concepts into goals, tasks and time-lines. They also met the resource people who will be working with them.
Then, the crowd broke into parish groups who tried their hands at a sample SMART goal. The parish groups will meet during the next three to five years to continue to work on the priorities. During the next two weeks, a team from the chancery will travel to each deanery to host the same workshop. While these meetings are open to the public, they are especially designed for the people who will be working on the parish teams to write and execute SMART goals. The meetings are not specific to the area so anyone can attend any meeting. The schedule is below.