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Parish Revitalization 


A revitalized parish is one in which the individual and corporate implications of the baptismal covenant of the people of God are being worked out. ..A revitalized parish is one in which the whole Faith is taught with diligence and acted on with courage. ..The revitalization of the parish means making the church a place of prayer and the people a praying people. ..It is the people of God engaged actively in their relationship with God, through Scripture, sacraments and prayer, and engaged in their work in family, neighborhood and workplace, in service to the poor and oppressed which is the sign of the coming of the kingdom.      Emmett Jarrett

The story of every parish should be a love story. ..One possible definition for a parish is that it is God's way of meeting the problems of the unloved. This meeting between God and the unloved, the unwanted, takes place in the preaching of the Word, in the Sacraments, in the social life of the parish made possible by the climate of acceptance which is engendered by those who have been baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith. One of the main tasks of the parish priest is to train the militant core of his parishioners in such a way that they understand as fully as possible the true nature of a Christian parish.        Kilmer Myers

So you think that because of her weaknesses Christ will forsake her? The worse his church and ours is marred by our failures, the steadier he will support her with his tender care. He could not deny his own body.         Helder Camara


Our hope is that the fruits of our companionship and learning will benefit our parish communities. Professed members are expected to receive training in parish development.

Parish development is establishing the structures, processes and climate:

  That will provide a full expression of worship, doctrine, action and oversight that is rooted in our tradition;

  That will nurture the Christian life of people at all phases of maturity, coach and equip those of apostolic faith and practice for their ministry, and encourage all in a movement toward a more prayerful, disciplined and compassionate Christian life;

  That will renew people in their baptismal identity and purpose and send them, in Christ, into families, work and communities.

The development of a parish is a process of entering more deeply into the life of Christ and the nature and mission of the Church. A parish is being renewed as it enters into and reflects the mind, heart and work of Christ. A parish is being renewed as it enters into and reflects the unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity of the Church. A parish is being renewed as it pursues the mission of holy unity. Parish development is our striving, as a community of Christian people, toward God. It is not primarily something we do, or create, or make happen. It is the way in which a parish, a local manifestation of the Holy Catholic Church, shares in the Divine Life. It is living the Christian life, not simply as individuals, but as a people.

The movement of a parish into a comprehensive and deep expression of the Christian Life is the result of years of striving, submitting and molding. It is the responsibility of clergy and lay leaders to monitor the life and ministry of the parish and to take initiative in increasing the faithfulness and effectiveness of that life and ministry.

From The Rule of the Order of the Ascension


Related Resource

"The Process of Change"