Director of Parish
and Charitable Services
573.635.9127, ext. 222
Director of Diocesan Communications
573.635.9127, ext. 232
Director of Parish Communications
573.635.9127, ext. 231
Alphonse J. Schwartze Catholic Center
2207 West Main St | PO Box 104900
Jefferson City, MO 65110-4900
Reaching Out to the Religiously Unaffiliated
This video of Bishop Robert Barron speaking at the USCCB Plenary Assembly is suggested as an additional resource in week one. Please find the video linked below to play or download for your convenience.
Simply click the link above, and click "Download" in the gray box beneath the video.
These documents are referenced in your "Better Together" study, and can be found in their entirety via the links below.
- Pope Francis: “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”)
- Second Vatican Council: “Apostolicam Actuositatem” (“Apostolate of the Laity”)
- Second Vatican Council: “Gaudium et Spes” (“Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World”)
- Second Vatican Council: “Lumen Gentium” (“Dogmatic Constitution on the Church”)
- US Conference of Catholic Bishops: Stewardship: “A Disciple’s Response, a Pastoral Letter on Stewardship, Tenth Anniversary Edition”
Better Together: A Pastoral Plan for our parishes and our diocese
Using the teachings of the Church, especially from the Second Vatican Council and Pope Francis, our diocese is embarking on a pastoral plan to help our communities deepen their ability to engage in charity and mercy, embrace a stewardship spirituality, and empower an understanding of the co-responsibility of laity and clergy in this effort. As Pope Francis wrote in Evangelii Gaudium, "The parish is not an outdated institution; precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different contours depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community. While certainly not the only institution which evangelizes, if the parish proves capable of self-renewal and constant adaptivity, it continues to be ‘the Church living in the midst of the homes of her sons and daughters.’”
Process and timeline
- Laity: Through May 31, Better Together sessions 1-4 are held and discernment reports for all four sessions are submitted.
- Pastor/parish leadership: From June 1-July 31 the pastor and parish pastoral council will discern two-four activities which address all three of the priority areas: stewardship, co-responsibility, parishes as centers of charity and mercy. One activity can pertain to more than one priority and all priorities must be addressed. This plan should cover three years, with the understanding the parish council and pastor will be reviewing progress on a regular basis.
- Chancery: On August 1, parish pastoral plans are submitted to the Chancery. Pastors will receive an invitation to file their parish's plan through a password-protected web form.
- Diocesan Pastoral Council: On August 22, the Diocesan Pastoral Council reviews parish pastoral plans to help determine overall themes for discussion regarding the diocesan pastoral plan.
- DPC and parish representatives: On Sept. 12, we will gather in several locations, using technology to connect virtually, to provide a response to a draft of the diocesan pastoral plan.
- Priests: At their Priests Institute the first week of October, our presbyterate will affirm the diocesan pastoral plan.
- Bishop: The Bishop will promulgate the Diocesan Pastoral Plan to become effective the First Week of Advent.
Being a ‘church living in the midst’ of her people
Bishop W. Shawn McKnight As my two-year anniversary as your bishop draws near, I find myself grateful every day for the opportunity to be the shepherd for God’s people here in central and northern Missouri. Your dedication to living as disciples of Christ has been edifying and consoling to me! At the same time, I…