On Mission for The Church Alive!
On Mission for The Church Alive!
invites us to spread the love of Jesus to every person we meet.
We are called to work together to help our parishes, schools and all faith communities be alive in faith.
August 20, 2017
ON MISSION: The Lord Provides Even when we strive to be close with God, we can wonder if He’s really listening to us or if He really cares for us with an unquenchable love. This is especially true in moments of trial or challenge. Yet, we know that when we focus our eyes and ears and hearts on the things of God, we can see His love at work for us in all things. In His letter to the Romans, Saint Paul reminds us that “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable,” that nothing can separate us from His love. Are you challenged by the changes that will soon take place in your parish and throughout the Diocese of Pittsburgh? Join Bishop David Zubik in prayer and worship at one of the On Mission for the Church Alive! Summer Sessions and be renewed in God’s love for His people. The changes may challenge us, but we trust in the work of the Holy Spirit to provide the gifts and resources for the Church to grow and thrive. The Summer Sessions will be held from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. on the following days: Tuesday, August 29 at St. Margaret Mary, Moon Township or Wednesday, August 30, at St. Kilian, Cranberry Township. Visit onmissionchurchalive.org to learn more and to stay informed.
August 13, 2017
ON MISSION: The Lord Is With Us The winds were blowing, the waves were crashing, the boat was being tossed about and the disciples were afraid. In today’s Gospel, Jesus comes to the aid of His followers and tells them not to be afraid. Even more, He reminds them that if they trust in Him, they cannot fail. Are you nervous or afraid about the big changes that will soon take place in the Diocese of Pittsburgh? Join Bishop David Zubik in prayer and worship at one of the On Mission for The Church Alive! Summer Sessions and continue to prepare your heart and grow in trust that God is with us and will not let us fail. The changes may challenge us, but we trust in the work of the Holy Spirit to provide the gifts and resources for the Church to grow and thrive. The Summer Sessions will be held from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. on the following days: Tuesday, August 29 at St. Margaret Mary, Moon Township or Wednesday, August 30, at St. Kilian, Cranberry Township.
July 2, 2017
ON MISSION FOR THE CHURCH ALIVE!
The On Mission for The Church Alive! initiative is entering a new phase as we continue planning and working for the future of the Church of Pittsburgh. The On Mission Commission, a group of over 80 clergy, religious and lay members from across the diocese, are studying the proposed parish groupings and considering the feedback gathered from recent parish surveys and town hall meetings. The Commission will offer recommendations that will eventually be shared with Bishop Zubik, who will make the ultimate determination. While final decisions have yet to be made, they are being discerned based upon the input you have provided. Visit onmissionchurchalive.org to learn more about your parish grouping and to stay informed.
June 4, 2017
ON MISSION: A NEW PENTECOST – Come, Holy Spirit and fill us with your gift of Wonder and Awe in God’s Presence. May we never forget that our lives are made for what is eternal (heaven}, not what will pass away (earth}. May we always stand in amazement before God and the wonderful ways He is at work in our lives, the world and the Church. May we be free from sin to maintain our union with God and may we reflect His love as we are united with our brothers and sisters. As we journey On Mission for The Church Alive!, inspire us to be open and trusting to the changes that await us and strengthen us to live our baptismal call of building up the Kingdom of God on earth. Visit onmissionchurchalive.org to stay informed.
May 21, 2017
ON MISSION: A NEW PENTECOST – Come, Holy Spirit and ﬁll us with your gifts of Right Judgment and Courage. Give us right judgment so that we may know what is the good for ourselves and for the Church and always choose what is right. Give us courage that we might step outside of our comfort zone, take risks and think outside of the box in order to renew the Church and the world. As we journey OnMission for The Church Alive!, inspire us to be open and trusting to the changes that await us and strengthen us to live our baptismal call of building up the Kingdom of God on earth. Visit onmissionchurchalive.org to stay informed.
Parish Consultation Survey Results
Three key concerns and three primary hopes surfaced during the Parish Consultation Sessions held between October 10 and December 1.
The more than 27,000 parishioners who attended the meetings were most concerned about three topics:
- The 40 percent decline in participation in the sacraments diocesan-wide from 2000-15
- The aging population in our parishes
- Increasing demands on clergy and lay staff
Attendees’ primary hopes:
- Evangelizing and engaging young people in the faith
- Reaching out to inactive Catholics
- Caring for the elderly
Substantive suggestions for model revisions and potential new models are being reviewed.
Detailed feedback from each parish’s consultation sessions is being shared with your pastor and On Mission Parish Team for the Cluster Meetings, which are now underway.
Click here to learn more about the survey results. Thank you for your input!
Back to the Font
You are invited to learn the true meaning and impact of your Baptism, at a Lenten Morning of Reflection being held across our diocese on Sat. March 4.
The “Back to the Font” program will include prayer, presentation and discussion at 15 parishes and at St. Paul Seminary, exploring how Jesus calls everyone to discipleship, to share his or her unique gifts with the Church, and to lead others in faith.
Click here for the list of locations and how to register.
Next for On Mission
- Parish Cluster meetings are underway for Pastors, administrators and parish teams, and conclude in mid-March 2017.
- District consultation meetings will begin in late April and conclude in mid-May.
The On Mission Commission will submit recommendations for new parish models to Bishop Zubik by the end of 2017. He is expected to announce his decisions by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
Thank you so much for your engagement in On Mission for the Church Alive!, and your desire to continue staying updated about the process. We will be holding a Lenten Morning of Reflection, “Back to the Font”, at multiple locations around the diocese on March 4, 2017, from 9:00 AM – Noon. More information is available in the attached flyer. It is our hope that “Back to the Font” can foster prayer and reflection on our baptismal calling, what it means to be a disciple, and the responsibility we share for the mission of the Church. This is what it means to be On Mission!. We hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you there. Please also help us get the word out, so as many people as possible know about the opportunity and feel welcome to join us. As indicated on the flyer, there is no fee for this event; registration (online link and phone number provided on the flyer) is encouraged, but walk-ins are also welcome.
Thank you again for your continued support and participation throughout the On Mission for the Church Alive! process.
Linda Lee Ritzer, D.Min
Linda Lee Ritzer, D.Min
Secretariat for Parish Services
Diocese of Pittsburgh, St. Paul Seminary
2900 Noblestown Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us as we begin a New Year. Protect and guide us as we journey ON MISSION FOR THE CHURCH ALIVE! Help us respond to the call to be the body of Christ and share our gifts in service to the Church. May we continue to learn more about the plans to rejuvenate our parishes, schools and ministries, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. Visit OnMissionChurchAlive.org for prayer resources and sign up for e-mail updates.
Feedback from the parish meetings is being compiled and will be shared with parishes in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, here are some of the results:
Primary concerns: participation in the sacraments, aging population, and helping younger Catholics become more engaged in practicing their faith
Responses to the draft models: the distance between parish campuses and the future size of parishes are important factors to consider
Top emotion before attending the sessions: “Interested”. After the sessions: “Hopeful”.
To read the Top 20 Questions and Answers
from the sessions, click here: http://onmissionchurchalive.org/frequently-asked-questions/
What happens next?
Pastors, administrators and parish teams begin consultations at the cluster level in late January through mid-March 2017.
A second round of district consultations will be conducted in late April through mid-May.
The On Mission Commission will study all the feedback and submit recommendations to Bishop Zubik by the end of 2017.
For more information, visit http://onmissionchurchalive.org/
“Legos” building blocks are all the rage. They appeal to everybody – kids and adults – because at heart, all of us are builders. A key understanding of “On Mission to The Church Alive!” is our responsibility in building the Kingdom of God. That sounds like a scary proposition, much too big for us. But it’s simple. St. Therese of Lisieux explained: “A word, a kindly smile, will often suffice to gladden a wounded and sorrowful heart.” That’s how we can build up the kingdom of God – one small act of kindness at a time! To read more, check out “On Mission for The Church Alive!” in the Pittsburgh Catholic and visit www.OnMissionChurchAlive.org.
Prayer for On Mission for The Church Alive!
Father of Mercy,
we ask you for your guidance
as we journey On Mission for The Church Alive!
Endow us with your gifts of courage, collaboration, and compassion
so that we can continue to fulfill the mission of Christ and his Church
through vibrant parishes, dynamic schools,
religious education programs, and effective ministries.
Raise up selfless, energetic leaders
– lay, religious, deacons and priests,
to serve the Church in fidelity and with care.
May we the Church of Pittsburgh in
Allegheny, Beaver, Butler,
Greene, Lawrence and Washington Counties
all be sustained and strengthened by your grace.
Help us to learn Jesus, love Jesus and live Jesus.
Hear this prayer and grant it through Jesus Christ our Lord,
with the help of our Blessed Mother,
who protects us under the mantle of her love.