Journey with Christ: Faith – Worship - Witness.


Focus on Faith:

Beginning with the opening of the Year of Faith (October 2012 – November 2013) and continuing during the next few years, the USCCB committee plans focus on:

  • Assisting in the pastoral outreach of the Church to help Catholics deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and increase their knowledge of the teaching of the Church;
  • Strengthening the education and formation of priests, religious and lay ministers,increasing the invitation to young people to discern their vocation in life, and strengthening formation programs;
  • Implementing the Conference statement on preaching through training and education so that preaching is inspiring, motivating and catechetical;
  • Instilling in Catholics an understanding and appreciation for the Catholic teaching on the life and dignity of the human person, including issues of migration and pastoral care for refugees, respect for all life, concern for the poor and marginalized;
  • Being a Church that continues its efforts to educate and advocate for the religious liberty of all people both nationally and internationally;
  • Continuing to develop special outreach to married couples and families and advocate for the institution of marriage;
  • Strengthening the understanding of forgiveness and reconciliation as foundational to the new evangelization so that this leads to greater participation in the sacrament of penance.

Focus on Worship & Parish Life:

During the years 2014 - 2015 in particular the USCCB plans support initiatives that focus on:
    • Strengthening parish life and worship and create greater awareness of the need for communities of faith that are evangelizing;
  • Strengthening participation in sacramental practice, especially inviting people to rediscover the sacrament of penance and strengthen our participation in and understanding of the sacrament of the Eucharist;
  • Creating parishes as welcoming communities including specific outreach to youth and young adults, parents, and people on the move;
  • Strengthening the initial & ongoing formation of clergy to more effectively respond to the challenges of the New Evangelization. [PPF and National Directory revisions; establish annual themes for the ongoing formation of priests and deacons];
  • Strengthening marriage and family life, and increasing the number of people participating in the Sacrament of Marriage
  • Increasing understanding of the Mass and attendance at Mass

Focus on Witness:

  • Plans support the initiatives around efforts to increase Christian witness and the priority on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person:
  • Finalizing the research on effective communication messages to actively engage Catholics in the Church's promotion of the life and dignity of the human person;
  • Convening in 2016 a conference to engage and motivate a broad cross section of Catholics to become active in promoting and supporting the Life and dignity of the Human Person;
  • Strengthening and encouraging Catholic laity in their role as witnesses in the public square;
  • Forming and training laity to understand the Christian faith and become engaged as evangelizers and witnesses;
  • Continuing to foster and support married couples and families as Christian witnesses;
  • For consecrated life, seeking to strengthen the relationship of the religious with the local ordinary through an increase the number of bishops who meet annually with religious;
  • Increasing the encouragement youth and young adults receive from youth, campus and young adult ministers to consider a vocation to priesthood or religious life.

Suggested Best Practices that inform New Evangelization efforts

In addition to the four conference-wide priority initiatives, the Committees and offices of the USCCB are asked to integrate four planning strategies into the outcome objectives and projects.The four strategies:

  1. Engage culturally diverse and age diverse communities (Who);
  2. Call, form and develop leaders-especially clergy (Who);
  3. Create effective communications (How);
  4. Encourage collaboration and working together (How).
  1. To assist the church to engage culturally diverse communities the Committee on Cultural Diversity has developed and will engage staff and leaders in Intercultural Competency training in collaboration with Human Resources and the General Secretariat.The Committee on Migration continues its mission to these culturally diverse communities through its outreach to those who are new arrivals in our country.Divine Worship attends to this strategy through its continuing work on the Spanish Roman Missal and Lectionary.
  2. To guide committees and staff to be more effective communicators the Committee on Communications is focusing on developing best practices for effective communications and creating training opportunities to communicate more effectively.A number of Conference committees' and offices are already taking advantage of new media to increase the effectiveness and outreach of their work via webinars, e-newsletters, "push technology," video conferencing, members only websites, blogs, Facebook, etc.Ways to measure the effectiveness of these media tools will be an important best practice.
  3. For the strategy which focuses on calling and forming leaders, especially priests and those in consecrated life, there are major projects from Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, Child and Youth Protection, and from Catholic Education to name just three.
  4. For the lens that urges a continued strategy of developing collaborative relationships this strategy can literally be found in the work of each and every committee.In 2006, we moved to a more organic way of working together and the operational plans clearly demonstrate a strengthening and institutionalizing of this approach.

More on the STRATEGIC Plan

Suggested Parish/Diocesan Road Map
Strategic Plan Home