“Go Make Disciples” is the new, five-year vision statement of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Archbishop Paul Coakley announced this week in a pastoral letter.
The vision statement is the fruit of a 13-month process that included the formation of an archdiocesan envisioning team, eight listening sessions across the archdiocese and 12 six-hour discernment sessions facilitated by the Catholic Leadership Institute.
“This vision will guide our archdiocesan family over the course of the next five years,” the archbishop wrote. “It is where we are going. It is the vision against which we will evaluate and justify our initiatives, programs, ministries and expenditures. It reflects who we are and what we do.”
Simple and recognizable from Scripture, the three-word statement nevertheless has a meaning that can be probed endlessly – and the archbishop provides ample fodder for reflection in the pastoral letter.
“This is God’s word addressed to us as we conclude this Year of Faith,” he said. “It is our mandate. For all of us and for each of us, it is both an invitation and a challenge; a call and a mission.”
In other words, for individual Catholics, living out the vision entails both personal discipleship and evangelization.
“When we begin to recognize our high calling, we see how utterly unworthy of our dignity it is to settle for a life of moral or spiritual mediocrity and shallow religiosity,” the archbishop said. “The call to baptism is the call to heroic sanctity, the call to become a saint.”
In the letter, the archbishop also announced three archdiocesan priorities, each of which will be supported by two specific and measurable goals.
The first of these priorities is “the new evangelization.” With support from staff and others, the archbishop will create an Office of New Evangelization by Nov. 1, 2013. The director of that office, in turn, will initiate an archdiocesan new evangelization plan in 20 to 30 parishes and all diocesan offices by Nov. 1, 2014.
The second priority is “faith formation,” with goals to implement a year-long “Transforming Adolescent Catechesis” process in 12 to 16 parishes and Catholic high schools of the archdiocese by Nov. 30, 2014, and to increase participation in adult faith formation opportunities by 5 to 10 percent throughout the archdiocese by July 1, 2015.
The third priority is “Hispanic ministry,” with goals to begin implementation of a plan to alleviate the overcrowding of churches with significant Hispanic populations in the metropolitan Oklahoma City area by May 1, 2014, and to enroll the first class of a Spanish language basic adult faith formation program among Spanish-speaking Catholics in the archdiocese by June 1, 2014.
The archbishop’s full pastoral letter is available in both English and Spanish. To receive tailored updates on progress toward specific and measurable goals in your email inbox, visit www.flocknote.com/archokc, register and subscribe to “Sooner Catholic E-Newsletter.”