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‘The Way’ is a new process for parishes, ministries to boost evangelization efforts, create a path for discipleship

‘Disciples Make Disciples’ vision document will accompany process

“The Way: A Journey Toward Renewal and Vitality” is a new experience that will guide parishes and ministries in formulating a clear vision rooted in evangelization and will assist them in exploring diverse approaches to creating a path for discipleship.

The process accompanies “Disciples Make Disciples,” a new pastoral vision for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, which Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski released on Jan. 25, the feast of St. Paul’s conversion. The vision document is posted online at theway.archstl.org and is available in English and Spanish.

“We certainly have the Gospel message — the Good News of the Lord Jesus — and that brings us life,” Archbishop Rozanski said. “What we need to do is share that Good News of life that Jesus comes to give to us. Many of our people are living that each and every day. What ‘The Way’ will do is help them to articulate how Jesus has transformed their own lives so that they can go about and transform others’ lives with that Good News.”

“The Way” is a natural progression and the ultimate goal of the All Things New strategic pastoral planning process, the archbishop said. The process builds on feedback from the 70,000 people who took the Disciple Maker Index survey and changes to the structure of parishes in the archdiocese, the culmination of a nearly 16-month strategic pastoral planning effort.

Several parishes and ministries volunteered to be part of the first cohort to undergo the process. Leaders from those parishes and ministries are expected to begin meeting sometime later in 2024, with additional cohorts to be discerned and launched in the long term.

Archbishop Rozanski said that Jesus calls all of us to prayer, which should be the basis for everything that Catholics seek to accomplish in being His disciples.

“Taking that time to pray each day is a goal of ‘The Way,’” he said. “And in that prayer, there’s discernment: What are my gifts and talents that I can contribute to our community? There are so many good people of such diverse talents and a willingness to participate in parish life.” Discernment also is an important part of Pope Francis’ call to synodality, the archbishop added.

After discernment comes a commitment to discipleship. “How is the Lord calling me to serve in my community and even beyond my community?” Archbishop Rozanski asked. “We have many examples here in our Archdiocese of St. Louis, of people who serve locally and people who serve globally because they have responded to that call to discipleship.”

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