First phase completed of strategic planning process for diocese
By Herald staff
17 listening sessions fruitful
Officials of the Diocese of Sacramento announced that the first phase of the two-year strategic planning process and feasibility study for the diocese has been completed.
Bishop Jaime Soto announced the process in April to help the local church better prepare for the future and to help him discern what pastoral priorities require additional human and financial resources.
The diocese has retained the services of a consulting firm, O’Meara, Ferguson, Whelan and Conway, to assist in the strategic planning process. The firm has worked with many dioceses across the country in pastoral planning.
During the first phase of the process, O’Meara, Ferguson, Whelan and Conway representatives facilitated 17 listening sessions throughout the diocese over a six-week period, according to Kathy Conner, chancellor of the diocese and a member of the Strategic Planning Leadership Team. Three of the listening sessions were in Spanish.
Some 600 people throughout the diocese attended these sessions. “The listening sessions were well-attended and elicited lively discussions with great feedback,” Conner said.
In addition, almost 100 personal interviews were conducted by O’Meara, Ferguson, Whelan and Conway. These one-on-one interviews were conducted with pastors, permanent deacons, men and women religious and other key lay leaders throughout the diocese, Conner said.
Phase two of the strategic planning process begins on June 26 with the start of the first leadership conference, where the results from the listening sessions and interviews will be presented to Bishop Soto and the 20-person leadership team. Two additional leadership conferences will be held in August and September.
Conner said the outcome of these conferences will be to finalize pastoral priorities. Task forces will be formed in conjunction with the leadership tem to develop practical strategies for each of the initiatives, she said. Phase two of the process will continue until November. At that time, phase three will begin, with implementation of the plan.