We Catholics are people of Mission. It is what drives us, directs us, and gives us a sense of meaning. According to the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church’s mission is to proclaim the Gospel and establish among all people the kingdom of Christ and of God (Lumen Gentium 5). Essentially, the mission of he Church is that of Christ’s. So, you see, the mission begins with our Lord and is extended through each of us. When we were baptized, we were called to live out this mission.
In each parish, the mission is expressed in different ways given their particular gifts, ethnicity, geography, size, and history. Such a mission statement is critical to pastoral planning of any organization. So in order to understand and review who we are as St. Anne’s, we need to regularly review and evaluate how we are living out our mission through our Pastoral Plan. So, it was decided that we needed to spend time reflecting, first, on our mission statement. Last Saturday, the Pastoral Council gathered to begin the first step and found our previous mission statement to be unknown to most and too long to quickly grasp. So, after reflecting in prayer, reading of Scripture, brainstorming our goals and hopes, the result was a new and concise mission statement:
“We are St. Anne Catholic Church. A welcoming community, inspired by the Holy Spirit, we seek to proclaim Christ’s loving mission.”
Our mission statement is intended to be very short and broad. It is something we can all remember and even quote. It states what we claim to be and strive to live out in the future. We do not live it out perfectly, but it is a wonderful goal for which to strive. It succinctly brings together an awareness of our previous mission statement as well as new ideas and goals which we hope will move us into the future. From this mission, we will continue to discern goals and objectives which are more specific. We will review the good work of the previous Pastoral Plan and renew and adjust it in light of our new situation.
Please read this mission carefully. Not only commit it to memory, but let it be a prayer on your lips when you come to Mass, walk on the campus, spend time in adoration, or are simply about your daily tasks during the week. I am very proud and excited about this new mission. How does it speak to your heart? Does it create questions? Does it challenge you? How might you strive to live it out? Let us all set this on our hearts so that we may all more actively live as Christians who proudly call themselves St. Anne Catholic Church.
Fr. William Holtzinger