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Listening sessions next major step in All Things New

More than 350 sessions will be held across the archdiocese to share proposed models for future structure of the local Church

Throughout October and November, the Archdiocese of St. Louis will host more than 350 listening sessions as part of All Things New, the archdiocesan strategic pastoral planning initiative.

The sessions — which include up to two for each of the 178 parishes in the archdiocese — will be the latest opportunity for Catholics to provide their feedback on the future of the Church in St. Louis.

Each session will feature a presentation narrated by Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski and Father Christopher Martin, vicar for strategic planning. The presentation will feature national, local and individual parish demographics, data trends and other information, including draft models of the future structure of the archdiocese. The presentation will be followed by a guided discussion led by a trained volunteer facilitator who will provide instructions for providing additional feedback through the end of 2022.

The draft models include two to five possible restructuring scenarios for the parishes in each planning area, or group of neighboring parishes. The territory of the archdiocese is divided into 15 planning areas. (Planning area maps are found at allthingsnew.archstl.org under the “Ways to Engage” menu.)

These models are the next step in discerning how best to ensure a vibrant future for the archdiocese where the Gospel message reaches people in every square mile, Archbishop Rozanski said.

“Input from all our faithful is critical to helping shape the future of our local Church, a renewed Church that brings the Good News of the Gospel to our communities, a vibrant Church for today and for future generations,” he said. “I encourage every Catholic to stay informed through the All Things New website, to attend a parish listening session and to provide thoughtful feedback to the archdiocese.”

Archbishop Rozanski will announce final pastoral plans on Pentecost, May 28, 2023. Implementation of these plans will take effect beginning in fall 2023 through 2026.

Since the beginning of the All Things New process, archdiocesan leaders have examined demographics, sacramental numbers, parish resources, clergy projections and other data. They also carefully considered the more than 70,000 responses to the Disciple Maker Index survey.

Input also was collected from the All Things New school survey, which received more than 18,000 responses regarding Catholic education in the archdiocese; and a young adult survey that specifically addressed young adults’ experiences and needs.

Listening session dates, times and locations, as well as an online registration form, are available at https://allthingsnew.archstl.org/Ways-to-Engage/Parish-Workbooks. Registration will be required to attend a listening session.

Parish and planning area data will be available for review several weeks before each parish’s listening session on the All Things New website. Diocesan data is already published on the site under Ways to Engage - Statistics and Trends.

Parish workbooks

Parish workbooks have been created for each of the archdiocese’s 178 parishes to help prepare Catholics for conversations about the future of the archdiocese, including at the listening sessions this fall.

The workbooks are meant to equip pastors and parishioners with data about the Archdiocese of St. Louis, their local planning area, and their specific parish. It also includes current strengths and opportunities for future growth in ministries and evangelization efforts.

Parishioners are encouraged to review their parish workbook prior to attending a listening sessions so they may familiarize themselves with important data that has led to the draft models which will be presented.

Parish workbooks are available at allthingsnew.archstl.org.

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