Sat | Jun 12, 2021

2021 – THE YEAR OF TAKEOFF!

Published:Sunday | February 28, 2021 | 12:18 AM
Anton Thompson
Anton Thompson

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston, under the leadership of His Grace Archbishop Kenneth D. Richards, has prepared a Strategic Pastoral Plan for the Archdiocese of Kingston 2020-2030. As the title suggests, this is a 10-year plan and implementation will take place over that period.

The plan has its origins in an earlier document, which was not implemented in large part because the Archdiocese was going through a period of transition. With the appointment of Archbishop Richards, he asked a small team that had been assembled by his predecessor, Archbishop Charles Dufour, to advise on social issues in the Archdiocese, to take on the task of updating the original document and, after some years of work, a draft document was prepared.

The draft was then discussed with various stakeholders in the Archdiocese, including the youth, lay leadership, the clergy, the Pastoral Council and – most important – with the faithful through six consultations, one in each of the Archdiocesan deaneries. The document was then finalised, taking into account the comments and suggestions that came out of these consultations. It was planned to launch the implementation at the Archdiocesan Assembly at Pentecost last year, but the restrictions caused by COVID-19 made this impossible. However, it was decided that implementation of the plan should proceed without a formal launch.

The stakeholders in the visioning process are also the implementers. Guided by the Strategic Plan, every church community, institution and organisation in the Archdiocese needs to devise its own action plans so that the stakeholders’ vision for the Archdiocese in 2030 can be realised. This vision will not be actualised by accident. It requires strategising and painstaking work to turn vision into reality. During implementation, those guiding the process must be conscious of the ever-changing environment, and need to build relationships with the stakeholders/implementers whose zeal, commitment and ingenuity are critical if the vision is ever to be realised.

So, the plan starts with a vision – in our case, a vision of where we want to see the Archdiocese in 10 years’ time. In the case of this Strategic Plan, the vision that will guide us is:

Impelled by the Word of God and Nourished by the Eucharist, we Catholics are vibrant Christians, who by living and proclaiming Jesus Christ, build the Kingdom of God, which means realising the full Humanity of all Persons and Transforming Jamaica into a Society of Justice and Peace.

In addition to this Vision Statement, the plan has an associated Mission Statement, which outlines the pathways we expect to follow in realising this vision. The Mission Statement guiding us forward is:

As Christians of the Archdiocese of Kingston, we are committed to share in the mission of Jesus Christ by:

Growing in and living the Christian faith

Worshipping God in Word and sacrament

Proclaiming His message by word and action

Ministering to and advocating for the poor, marginalised and oppressed

Promoting right relationships between God and humanity, between human individuals, between individuals and society, and between humanity and the natural environment.

The plan is built around 12 Strategic Objectives which identify the key areas of engagement by the Church – clergy and faithful – with the wider community; these are:

1. Growing in the Christian Faith

2. A Vibrant Sacramental Life

3. Strong Local, Clerical and Lay Leadership

4. Effective Evangelisation

5. Direct Ministry to the Poor and Marginalised

6. The Promotion of Social Justice

7. Active Stewardship of the Natural Environment

8. Ongoing Ecumenical Dialogue and Action

9. Stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure

10. Ministry to Families

11. Ministry to Youth and Young Adults

12. A High Quality and Equitable Education System

In subsequent articles, we will expand on these objectives, outlining the goals and targets that have been set for each, and the indicators which will be used to determine that these goals and targets have been achieved. It is these goals and targets that we wish every church community, institution and organisation in the Archdiocese to strategise on in their situation.

In the scheme of things, 10 years is not a long time. If we do not get off to an early start, 2030 will arrive and the implementation of the plan may not be very far advanced. We call on all those who wish the Church well to not wait for others to make the first move. Please get together with others and plan to act now!

Many things will change over time, and among them will be the details of this plan, which will need to be adapted to the changing realities. In that regard, Catholics can expect that, periodically, there will be further consultations with stakeholder groups as was done before. So, do expect to hear from our Implementation Team, which has already begun its work.

The team would like to hear from you. Please feel free to drop us a note in care of the Chancery, 21 Hopefield Avenue, Kingston 6, or contact us by email at 2030plan@kingstonarchdiocese.org.

Let us all work together to make 2021 the Year of Takeoff!

Anton Thompson

Archdiocesan Strategic

Planning Implementation

Coordinator