Catholic Diocese of Youngstown General Assembly
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 17:29

NEWS RELEASE, July 23, 2014

The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown will engage in a General Assembly from August through November of this year. The General Assembly will include priests, parish leadership groups, youth and young adult groups from our parishes, Catholic high schools and colleges in the area, and vowed religious. Our call to new evangelization and the continuing demands of reconfiguration are always before us. Hopefully, once this process is complete we will have a clearer vision for the diocese as far as the kind of church we wish to be in the future based on the teaching and example of Christ.  Once this process is complete, it is our hope that we will have a clearer vision for each deanery (county) in light of their local needs, and  once the process is complete we will have a clearer vision for each parish as they respond to the specific communities they serve. The purpose of the Assembly is:

      1.  To bring together the diverse peoples of the diocese for prayer and reflection;

      2.  To define the future direction of the diocese and the model of that can be most
           helpful in guiding our people to Christ;

      3.  To make collective efforts to encourage the necessary changes that will be
           required to reach the diocesan and parish goals;

      4.  To help deanery parishes better collaborate on issues of finances, staffing,
           scheduling of Masses and other parish services.

             A survey will be available on the diocesan website for anyone who wishes to participate. The survey evaluates seven areas of church life that have been most discussed during the past three years of reconfiguration and evangelization efforts throughout the six-county diocese. The areas of church life include: Worship & Prayer; Christian Service (Caring for the Poor); Catechesis/Faith Education (Religious Education and Catholic Schools); Evangelization; Finances; Administration, and Family Life and Formation. The survey will be available on-line during the month of September by logging on to www.doy.org. Copies of the survey can be obtained at your parish office or by contacting the Office of Evangelization (330-744-8451 ext. 237).  The results of the survey will be discussed and shared at deanery gatherings throughout the month of October.

            Each area of parish life poses challenges that can be difficult to respond to, but critical if the cause of the Gospel is to be promoted and parishes found to be vibrant and meaningful. While many parishes have vibrant and enthusiastic Sunday experiences of Worship and Prayer, many do not. Many Catholics are being drawn to deeper and expanded experiences of Christian Service and Caring for the Poor, especially hearing the challenge and witnessing the lived example of Pope Francis. New opportunities need to be developed. A number of Catholics say they hunger for more opportunities to expand their knowledge of faith and religion through Catechesis and Faith Formation. At the same time they do admit that they have not taken advantage of opportunities that are afforded by many parishes. As Catholics, we need to develop and reorganize ourselves to do a better job of Evangelizing those who seek Jesus Christ and hunger for a new or better relationship with the Church. The honesty of our parish and diocesan Financial condition needs to be better presented and understood by all. The Administration of parishes and the importance of committed lay persons in leadership need to be owned and expanded by our laity in the various roles in which they can participate. And finally, the Church has much to offer Families in the daily living of faith and commitment to Christ.

            Through a General Assembly it is our hope that a common direction can be indicated and thus help to prioritize the seven areas of church life. Subsequently, the diocese and parishes can review the results and discuss areas in which they are very strong and those areas that need attention. For further information regarding the General Assembly contact the Office of Evangelization at the diocese (330-744-8451…ext. 237).