Parish Life Beyond the Pandemic

First Zoom Consultation: 20 November 2020 at 1:30PM Pacific Time*

*This first meeting is limited to Pastors and invited guests. As resources develop, future events will include those whom the pastor invites, and further down the line, the resources may be open to all.

There are some real challenges that pastors are facing as a result of the Covid19 pandemic, e.g.: the financial support of parishes, pastoral outreach to the community when Mass attendance must still be limited; care for families and individuals who have lost their jobs or are in financial difficulty; the role of the parish in the local neighborhood and community, to name a few.

The role of the Diocesan programs is to provide assistance to pastors that they would be unable to provide on their own. To be of effective assistance, the Diocesan office for Faith Formation of the Diocese of Sacramento seeks to consult with interested pastors in order to put into place resources for the sake of forming lay men and women to collaborate with their pastors in revitalizing parishes in the wake of Covid19.

Fr. Michael Sweeney, O.P. and Sean Bryan, who have collaborated with various dioceses in the formation of the laity through the Lay Mission Project, have offered to assist in this endeavor. The initiative will be offered without cost. Some examples of what might be offered are:

  • Formation for parish councils and parish leaders, to understand the significance of the parish community in the life and mission of the Church, and, therefore, how best to mobilize the parish community to collaborate with the pastor in his role of parish governance;
  • Strategies for pastoral outreach, especially to those most affected by the pandemic;
  • What is distinctive of the parish as a community, and what the parish can accomplish on behalf of parishioners and the general population that other organizations cannot;
  • How to use the Covid19 pandemic to evangelize.

Rough Plan (subject to updates based upon the collaborative process):

  1. November 2020: Initial Zoom Consultation(s) with pastors for the sake of surveying needs & sharing ideas.
  2. Continued dialogue to gather data regarding the interest and needs of the pastors with respect to leadership formation.
  3. Fr. Michael and Sean will use data from the consultations to develop tools and resources to assist in the formation of leaders and parishes, perhaps starting as early as February.
  4. The following 6-12 months, free, tailor-made, resources will be offered through various platforms: zoom conferencing, Lay Mission Project website, in-person events (should the pandemic permit eventually).
Empty Church
Michael Sweeney OP - Portrait - 2019_03_21-square-small
Sean Bryan Headshot - 2019_09_18