Paying Attention to the Signs

“It shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires, for God is with you” 1 Samuel 10:7

On a recent vacation trip, my mother and I departed to join other family members for a week on the beach in Florida. Even though we embarked on the journey hours after the others, we were the first to arrive. Why? They missed a critical sign for a turn off the Interstate and we did not. Seeing signs is critical for travelers, on interstate highways and along the spiritual path of life.

In the coming weeks I will be traveling around our diocese to listen to you, the Catholic faithful, so that we can read the signs. These “listening sessions” are scheduled at parish settings around the diocese so that as many as possible can share with me what they think about our diocese and the possibilities ahead of us. These are not “gripe sessions,” but hope-filled opportunities for us to look ahead and envision what might be possible for us disciples of Jesus Christ.

We can often forget that we have a mission entrusted to us, and that the life of faith is a journey. Reaching the destination as well as how that mission gets shaped and defined can take a variety of forms, but to be effective, we must do the work of reading the signs. Concretely, this means looking thoughtfully, prayerfully, and respectfully at who we are, what our challenges and opportunities might be, and what bold outcomes we believe are possible.

Following these listening sessions, I will task a team of leaders drawn from our diocese, mostly from our parishes, and with the help of Catholic Leadership Institute, to help me articulate a vision for our Church over the next 3-5 years, along with priorities and goals for us to focus on and pursue together.

Planning and visioning are critical for any community, from families to parishes to dioceses. It reminds us of who we are, gives direction to where we are going, and gives life and energy to our efforts. I am excited about the possibilities that lie before our great diocese. I hope you will join me at one of the listening sessions, and tell me what you think.

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Monday
December 17, 2018
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph