DRAPER — A plan setting the course for the Diocese of Salt Lake City for the next five years was released at the Sept. 15 diocesan Pastoral Congress.
Held at the Skaggs Catholic Center, the Congress drew more than 800 people from parishes throughout Utah.
The Pastoral Plan, titled “Charting Our Mission,” “will guide us and direct us in all our efforts in seeing to it that our mission of evangelization is carried out in every nook and corner of the diocese here in the State of Utah” for the next five years, said the Most Rev. Oscar A. Solis, Bishop of Salt Lake City. “The plan expresses our serious intent and commitment in carrying out the mandate of Christ to preach the Good News with new ardor, new methods and of course, according to Pope Francis, with a spirit of joy in our hearts.”
In this mission, “we are not alone. Jesus promised us that he would be with us always, until the end of time,” the bishop said.
Only a small percent of Catholics are priests or men and women religious, “so we rely on the gift of the laity to help us carry out the work of evangelization in our local Church in the entire state of Utah in the Diocese of Salt Lake City,” Bishop Solis said.
The Pastoral Plan “is the vision and mission of our local Church in the Diocese of Salt Lake City. … When God calls us to go and preach the Gospel to all nations, we ask ourselves ‘How are we going to do it?’” and the plan gives that direction, he said.
The mission of the Diocese of Salt Lake City “is to believe, celebrate and live the redeeming love of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Utah,” according to the Mission Statement published in the Pastoral Plan.
The five priorities are faith formation, vocations, stewardship, Eucharist and Catholic identity, and the dignity of the human person. For each of these priorities, goals, objectives and strategies are outlined in the Pastoral Plan.
In his introductory remarks at the Pastoral Congress, Bishop Solis urged those present to not feel frightened by their call to be missionary disciples.
“Don’t feel timid in carrying out our work and our mission as leaders,” he said. “We are not by ourselves. We have catechists. We have other parish ministers. We have deacons. We have women and men religious. … We have principals; we have teachers. We have everybody working in one mission – carrying out the mission of Christ. That should fill us with inspiration, with courage and determination that it’s quite a big challenge, but if everybody contributes in working out and seeing to it that the mission of Christ is carried out in our Church it is doable, it is possible, it is achievable. Do you know why it is possible, doable and achievable? Because we have not only ourselves, we have Christ with us. That is the secret. The secret of evangelization is that this is not our mission, this is not our work, it is the work of Christ entrusted to us. We are just co-workers, co-laborers in the vineyard of Christ.”
The Pastoral Plan was printed in English and Spanish; copies are available through pastors, at the Pastoral Center and electronically on the Diocese of Salt Lake City website, https://www.dioslc.org/.