Bishops To Vote On Priorities For Next Four Years

November 7, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Bishops willvote on a strategic plan for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for2013-2016, during their annual November plenary in Baltimore, November 12-15.

Theplan has been developed by the U.S. bishops' Committee on Priorities and Plans.

Theproposed plan centers on the New Evangelization called for by Pope Benedict XVIwith emphasis on three areas of church life: Faith, Worship and Witness. Theplan maps out a direction for USCCB committees and offices to work together ona limited number of key issues which are generally national in scope. Many ofthese plans continue the bishops' focus from the last four years. The proposaloutlines efforts listed below.

2013-2014: Focus on Faith.Plans aim to aid bishops and dioceses inhelping Catholics deepen their relationship with Jesus, increase theirknowledge of Church teachings, strengthen the formation of ministers and, forall, gain a greater confidence in the Gospel lived in society through theparish community. Specific issues include increased education for priests,religious and lay ministers and promotion of vocations, emphasis on such issuesas cultural diversity, migration and pastoral care for refugees, respect forlife at all stages of development and concern for the poor and marginalized.

2014-2015:Focus on Worship and Parish Life.Planswork toward increasing sacramental practice and emphasizing the welcomingnature of parish communities. This includes special efforts to strengthenmarriage and family life and increase Mass attendance and use of the Sacramentof Reconciliation.

2015-2016: Focus on Witness. Planssupport continuing initiatives related to the life and dignity of the humanperson and promote projects to support diocesan efforts to strengthen andencourage the laity to witness in the public square and to understand theirrole as evangelizers and witnesses to their Christian faith. Specific issuesinclude a 2016 conference to facilitate Catholics promoting their faith in thepublic square and learning how to be evangelizers, efforts to increasecommunications between bishops and members of religious orders and promotion ofvocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Coverage of the bishops' meeting isopen to credentialed media. Sessions open to media will be Monday, November 12,and Tuesday, November 13. Media conferences will follow open sessions of themeeting.

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Keywords: New Evangelization, faith, witness, worship,marriage, penance, Mass, U.S. bishops, USCCB, U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops.

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