Archdiocese unveils new strategic plan

The Archdiocese of Louisville announced a strategic plan outlining priorities from 2020 to 2023. It can be viewed at www.archlou.org/strategic-plan-2020. Booklets will be distributed to parishes in the next month. (Record Photo by Marnie McAllister)

The Archdiocese of Louisville has introduced a new strategic plan that aims to empower leaders, expand Hispanic ministry, enhance ministry to young adults and to foster mindful stewards of the resources given to us by God.

A strategic plan is used by organizations to set priorities, renew energy and focus resources toward a common goal. That common goal in the Archdiocese of Louisville is to “proclaim and live the Good News of Jesus Christ in our local church,” according to a letter from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz introducing the plan.

Tink Guthrie, vice chancellor of the archdiocese, said the plan is not “about us as the archdiocese” but rather “what we are doing strategically to support parishes, pastors, staff, volunteers and faith communities.”

“How are we being strategic about our resources to serve people and help their ministry be better?” he said in an interview last week.

As opposed to starting with a blank slate, archdiocesan officials began by reviewing the results from the parish discernment process, which took place in 2017. Each of the archdiocese’s 110 parishes was asked to discern their vision for the future. The strategic plan is rooted in those reflections, as well as input from archdiocesan offices.

It consists of six goals:

Goal 1: To awaken and affirm the vibrant Catholic faith, arising from the celebration of the Eucharist.
Goal 2: To create a more evangelizing church as we invite all people to become missionary disciples who live out the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Goal 3: To celebrate the new and growing breadth of diversity in our Church.
Goal 4: To seek out and empower leaders for ministry and evangelization.
Goal 5: To advance excellence in and accessibility to lifelong Catholic formation and education for all members of the Body of Christ, the Church.
Goal 6: To be responsible stewards of the human and material resources with which our archdiocese has been blessed.

Guthrie said plan’s six pillars serve as a catalyst for 94 action steps identified in the plan. They are slated to be implemented in the next three years.

One of the plan’s objectives renews focus on ministry to young Catholics.

“We are looking at new ways to begin meeting the realities in the lives of young people, in young Catholics. If we are going to continue to be impactful to them, we’ve got to evolve what we are doing,” Guthrie said.

Another area of special focus will be placed on Hispanic ministry. A new Office of Hispanic Ministry will formally open this summer to expand ministry to the more than 26,000 Hispanic and Latino Catholics in the area.

A more concerted effort to empower leaders will also emerge as a priority. More resources will be allocated to offer leadership development to clergy, pastors, deacons and lay ecclesial ministers in a number of different ways.

“Our ministry has to continue to develop. But we also have to make room for a new generation of leaders, too,” Guthrie said.

Most strategic plans have a duration of four to five years. This current plan extends until just 2023, the same year Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz turns 75 and must submit his retirement according to canon law.

In his letter, the archbishop said the archdiocesan officials who worked on the plan did so based on data collected from parishes and input from various ministries and agencies. Ultimately, he said, they were “led by the Holy Spirit” and “fueled by God’s grace.”

This is the seventh plan the archdiocese has implemented since it began the formal process of strategic planning in the late 1980s.

Those who wish to view the strategic plan may visit https://www.archlou.org/strategic-plan-2020. Booklets will be distributed to parishes and pastoral leaders in the next month. These hard copies may also be requested from comm@archlou.org or Archdiocesan Communications Office, Pastoral Center, 3940 Poplar Level Road, Louisville, Ky., 40213-1463.

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