Forming Missionary Disciples
Building Missionary Parishes
In October 2017 Bishop John launched our Diocesan pastoral renewal programme, Hope in the Future. Hope in the Future is an invitation to every parish in the Diocese to recognise and develop their missionary identity and their call to evangelise.
First and foremost this process needs to be rooted in prayer and sustained by prayer which is why we are encouraged to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There is a particular novena as a resource to help us do this.
Hope in the Future, builds on Faith in the Future. The theme of Hope which is key to the catechesis of Pope Francis.
“I ask for your active participation in both prayer and action. If we were all to undertake just one task in our parishes we would transform the witness we give and make a difference to the lives of so many people.”
Bishop John Arnold
It is a five stage journey, for more on these stages click here
By the end of this journey it is hoped that we will have a programme that has resources for parishes wherever they are at this time. Some parishes will be leading the way, others may not be able to follow at this time but will be able to start this process in the future.
Hopefully all parishes will be aware that they are called to be missionary and to evangelise. A working definition of what is meant by a missionary parish is being sent out to all parishes. People are encouraged to discuss this in as many different ways as possible to help us become aware of the vocabulary and what is meant by it.
The programme was formally launched on the 4th of October 2017 at the cathedral where all parishes were presented with a San Damiano cross for each church to remember Jesus’ call of St Francis to ‘Rebuild my Church’. Read the transcript of the Homily from Bishop John here.
Parishes were also given an initial resources pack. The pack can be found here.
Have a listen to the ‘Hope in the Future Anthem’ which was written by Debbie Prince at the launch of Hope in the Future in our schools. The hymn is a gift from the schools to the parish. More information including sheet music and backing tracks can be found here.