Set Ablaze is a two-year comprehensive structural and pastoral planning process that will enable the Diocese of Sioux Falls to move from a position of slow decline to a position of growth—growth through missionary discipleship. Our goal is to discern how to best align the gifts of our priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful, along with our resources (human, physical and financial), so that we might see a resurgence of vibrant parishes, reenergized priests and leaders, and Catholics Set Ablaze with the love of God.
WHY DO WE NEED TO MAKE CHANGES TO OUR PARISH AND PASTORATE STRUCTURES?
We are a diocese with a rich history of faithful and resilient Catholic people committed to the Church, their faith, their families and the local parish.
We have strong financial positions in most of our parishes with a culture of good stewardship and a need for facility maintenance.
As a diocese, we have all been invited to enter a life of missionary discipleship where we are healthy, happy, holy and hard-working faithful Catholics developing “fires”—pockets of missionary discipleship being practiced by the clergy and faithful.
A clear need to invigorate the spiritual, pastoral and sacramental life of parishes and parishioners across the diocese and to disrupt a decade of downward trends in Mass attendance, reception of sacraments, and Catholic school enrollment.
A need for parishes to welcome, integrate, and evangelize all peoples and cultures.
There is a decline in active participation from laity in the local ministry of the church and a need to develop local parish culture and identity independent of the priest or pastor serving.
Data was gathered from parishes, schools and other institutions to be used to create a Current Reality Report to help inform decisions made throughout the process.
Various leadership groups of priests and lay people from across the diocese were consulted to help discern all that the Current Reality Report was telling us (why changes are needed) and to begin forming a best path forward (what we might do to interrupt trends).
Set Ablaze: Unleash the Fire of the Holy Spirit is announced and launched diocese wide, beginning with a data-based description of our diocese as shown in the Current Reality Report. This forms the "why" planning needs to happen.
The lay faithful are invited to provide feedback and input on the "why" and, later, the "what" a plan might look like.
Feedback provided on the plan will be incorporated into a final recommendation for a new structure for parishes and priestly resources. The new structure aims to provide stability as we look out over a 10-year horizon.
Missionary discipleship as a vision for what we might become is provided.
A structure, known as pastorates, will be announced by Bishop DeGrood. This decision will be made after he has received a final recommendation on a plan. The recommendation will have been developed after extensive consultation among all clergy, consecrated, and lay faithful. Parameters for implementing the new structure will be developed with the help of ongoing consultations.
Priest assignment changes will be announced and the implementation of the structural plan will begin. We will also announce the parameters and resourcing to be provided for the pastoral planning process that will take place within the new pastorates after they take effect.
After implementation of the pastorates, a pastoral planning process to be held within each of the pastorates will begin.
Still have questions?