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The diocese will reorient its selection of artwork to emphasize the diversity of the cultures present in the diocese.
Clergy, pastoral ministers, teachers and catechists will receive training that incorporates the themes of unity in diversity, with multiculturalism featured as a prominent theme during the next Convocation in order to make welcoming an integral part of the action of the diocese.
The diocese will encourage its 500 Small Christian Communities formed during the RENEW process to include themes of welcoming the stranger, multiculturalism and diversity in their reflections and activities so members will be more welcoming of newcomers and people from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities.
Following their participation in the regional training program, the diocese of Columbus established an Action Plan Coordinating Committee. This Committee established three focus areas for itself in the next three years: 1) providing education and support to diocesan priests; 2) providing education, training and support to parish staff and parishioners; 3) establishing an adequate financial base. The committee met with the bishop, the priests senate, and diocesan directors to present what they learned from the Unity in Diversity Regional Training Program and to get their feedback on the initial action plan.
The Committee is working to set-up a Mobile Training Team as a key component of their plan. The Mobile Training Team will conduct trainings at the vicariate/ parish level as well as trainings for diocesan staff / agencies. They will also develop resource materials (e.g. social service guide, bibliographies, lending library, video tapes of training sessions, etc.). The Training Team will maintain on-going contact with participating parishes.
After participation in the regional training program, the Archdiocese of Detroit formed a multi-departmental diocesan Unity in Diversity Task Force. The focus of the Task Force will be four areas (nicknamed HASP): 1) hospitality, 2) advocacy, 3) services and 4) pastoral care. Members of the Task Force will form four Educational and Planning Teams (EP Team), that will educate vicariate leaders on the message of Unity in Diversity and to assist each vicariate in developing its own action plan.
Other members of the Unity in Diversity Task Force will form a Conference and Promotion Team (CP Team) that will focus on planning a diocesan-wide conference and distributing information about Welcoming the Stranger and Unity in Diversity.
The diocese will initiate a Circles of Wisdom initiative to train people to work specifically with Hispanic immigrants and migrant workers, a rapidly growing population in the diocese. The purposes of these circles are to provide advocacy, material assistance, and social services for those people. This is expected to demonstrate hospitality and to welcome immigrants and migrant workers into the life of the parish.
The diocese will produce two videos to promote the messages of National Migration Week and the bishops pastoral letter on racism. The videos will provide information about different cultures and the situation of migrants, immigrants, and refugees in the light of Catholic social teaching. This is hoped to enhance diocesan responses to the needs of diverse populations.
Parishes will be asked to form discussion groups to reflect on changes that can be made to address racism as a sin, which divides the human family and cries out to God for forgiveness. It is hoped this will foster a sense of responsibility and solidarity to carry out the changes suggested within group discussions. One concrete measure is whether or not committees, councils, and commissions reflect the diversity of the parish.
A week long conference will focus on themes of welcoming the stranger and racism and how our failures keep us from conversion, unity and solidarity. The conference will educate parishes and parish leaders, use national presenters to train parish pastoral councils to guide the process of overcoming identified failures, and begin an annual audit of how parishes welcome the strangers in their midst and how they are eliminating racism.
The diocese will recruit and train a minimum of 25 volunteers to participate in parish-based initiatives of welcoming newcomers and providing readjustment assistance to refugees.
The diocese will host clergy and pastoral leadership orientation to provide information about the demographic changes of the diocese and to make suggestions about possible opportunities to serve new populations. This is expected to provide each parish with information that it needs to be more proactive in its ministry of welcome, particularly through intentional targeting of immigrants and refugees.
A conference will be held as a follow-up to the leadership orientation. The conference will challenge parish leaders to collaborate in the development of approaches to serve their new populations. The planning committee for the conference will be expected to include representatives of the new populations both to build leadership within the new populations and also to express the best ways to help their own people respond to their new circumstances.
At the conference, each parish will commit to implementing at least one specific program developed at the conference as part of its parish action plan.
The diocese has established a committee to guide the planning and implementation of a process to welcome various newcomers to the diocese.
The diocese will design a self-study vehicle for diocesan agency in which each agency will be asked to present a brief summary of how they presently are serving the varied cultures in the diocese; where they are lacking; and what specific programs or plans they have to address these needs in the future.
The diocesan committee will design and offer a three-year cycle of workshops for diocesan and parish leaders (at no cost to attendees) which focus on the three principal parts of the Pastoral [Welcoming the Stranger]: Welcoming - Conversion - Communion and Solidarity.
The diocese "will change [hiring practices] to have more minorities, especially bilingual persons, in diocesan offices and agencies," provide ongoing Spanish language and cultural diversity training to priests and deacons, as well as those in formation, and it "will aim at having at least 10 more parishes offering specific ministry in Spanish."
The diocese of Lansing also formed a Unity in Diversity Task Force to develop a diocesan-wide action plan for implementing the pastoral statement. This Task Force began their efforts by soliciting feedback from pastors, and other diocesan and parish leaders concerning the dioceses efforts to develop an Action Plan. The Task Force will hire a part-time Coordinator to administer the action plan devised by the Task Force.
The Task Force will initiate the Action Plan with an Awareness Campaign that will educate clergy and diocesan/ parish leadership about the pastoral statement, the special needs of the growing refugee and immigrant communities as well as ethnic demographic trends in the diocese.
Following the Awareness Campaign, the Task Force will convene focus groups to glean information on the work already underway in parishes, seek members for the Unity in Diversity Task Force and receive input on parish needs and curriculum for topics at a pilot training program.
The plan culminates with a Training Program for diocesan, parish, and parish school leadership on working with refugees, immigrants and ethnic communities. The goal of the training program is to establish a cadre of Welcome Ambassadors at the parish and parish school level who will respond to the pastoral statement and educate others about it. Each parish or parish school that undergoes the training program will also be asked to devise an action plan for implementing the pastoral statement within their own community.
The diocese will address the needs of the Hispanic population, which has grown by more than 125%, by providing educational resources for those who interact with the Hispanic population on a regular basis.
With Hispanic youth representing 10% of the enrollment of Catholic schools and religious education programs, the educational leaders will be targeted for immediate assistance. Most Reverend John R. Manz, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago will lead an Educational Leaders Training Day for clergy and educational leaders, speaking on Welcoming the New Immigrants.
The diocese will work toward hiring bi-lingual personnel on all levels.
Diocesan multicultural ministries, Catholic Charities, Catholic Social Service, and Immigration and Refugee Services will be encouraged to continue their work, while more of the faithful are encouraged to develop parish action plans and to contribute their time, talents, and resources as volunteers.
The diocese will attempt to serve the strangers it is not welcoming by hiring a bilingual consultant to identify parishes with newcomers, assess needs, and coordinate multicultural events and provide multicultural/multilingual services and resources.
The diocese will encourage participation in civic and social service groups that work with migrant, immigrant, and refugee populations. A network will be created to provide translation services for those with low English proficiency. Advocacy will be conducted in conjunction with Diversity Councils, United Migrant Organization Services, and other civic groups and agencies.
The diocese will develop plans and work to create a diocesan office under the department of pastoral services for the support of parishes. The office will be responsible for training in pastoral care of migrant, immigrant, and refugee populations and develop mass mailing campaigns and outreach initiatives to inform all households in the diocese of Church services in support of those populations.
The Diocese of Youngstown plans to open an Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees (PCMR) as the corner-stone of their action plan. They will hire a coordinator to oversee the work of the new office.
The new PCMR office will coordinate the provision of sacramental, pastoral care, liturgical, catechetical and other social services and migrants throughout the Diocese of Youngstown, in collaboration with the Tri-Diocesan Mobile ministry team.
The PCMR coordinator will provide training to Church leadership for ministry to newcomers, migrants and refugees. The coordinator will also network with the clergy and pastoral leaders of the Diocese of Youngstown and the Tri-Diocesan Migrant Mobile Ministry Team to plan a calendar of events for liturgical and sacramental celebrations.
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