Parish Faith Development Objectives


Parish Objective 1:

Each parish will place the faith development of all its members at the centre of its stated mission and goals, promoting the parish’s Faith Development Plan at every opportunity.

Some Indicators of Achievement

  • The parish will have a graduated Faith Development Plan to be realised step by step over a set period of time. The Parish Priest will ensure that personal and community catechesis is kept to the fore in the parish and in the minds of parishioners.
  • Prayerful reflection on the Gospel will form the basis upon which the parish engages in catechetical and other forms of faith development planning.
  • The Parish Priest will see that a professionally qualified and experienced person is appointed as Faith Development Coordinator for the parish, possibly in conjunction with neighbouring parishes.
  • Suitably trained volunteer parishioners, working as part of various parish teams, chosen according to the particular needs of the parish, will fulfil, as catechists, a mentoring role with adults and young parishioners who are growing in their faith.
  • The Parish Priest will identify faith development goals specific to the particular requirements and resources of parish members.
  • The parish will collaborate with other parishes, the deanery and diocese in initiating and overseeing local catechetical and other faith development projects.
  • The parish will strive to meet the faith development needs of everybody within its remit, particularly those who might not have a strong voice.

Parish Objective 2:

The priest in the parish will demonstrate a clear commitment to the evangelising and catechetical nature of his ministry, and strive, with the support of parishioners, to give the various levels of faith development due priority.

Some Indicators of Achievement

  • The Parish Priest and those who collaborate with him will demonstrate a commitment to support and encourage one another and those volunteers who have been given particular faith development roles in the parish.
  • The parish will encourage the priest in the particular role he plays in its evangelisation. It will provide practical support, especially in his celebration of the sacraments, his delivery of homilies and his other catechetical inputs in the parish.
  • The priest as presider at the celebration of the liturgy will ensure that catechetical opportunities intrinsic to the liturgy are used appropriately.
  • The parish as a community will seek to nourish and support the priest, personally and spiritually, helping him to grow with them in faith.

Parish Objective 3:

Adult faith development will be at the centre of parish life, helping the community to grow vigorous in its conversion to Jesus Christ.

Some Indicators of Achievement

  • The Parish Priest and those who assist him will demonstrate a clear commitment to lifelong education in Christian faith, highlighting continuing adult education in the parish’s Faith Development Plan and in their day-to-day work.
  • Where there are adults preparing for initiation into the family of the Church, priority will be given in the parish to the RCIA process. All those who minister in the parish will be educated in the principles underlying, and implications of, the RCIA.
  • The Faith Development Coordinator, involved personally in ongoing faith education, will assume responsibility for overseeing a ministry of adult faith development in the parish.
  • Opportunities for members of the parish to participate in theological reflection will be encouraged. Ongoing conversation will be entered into with local third-level colleges offering theology, philosophy and pastoral ministry modules, with a view to encouraging participation by interested adults from the parish.
  • The parish will strive to proclaim the Gospel to adults who are alienated or who have drifted into religious indifference.
  • At regular intervals, the parish will initiate adult programmes to accommodate specific groups, such as young adults, parents/guardians, those who are single, the elderly and people on the margins of the community, inviting them to partake in an adult conversation about faith in their lives.
  • Marriage education, including preparation for marriage and ongoing marriage enrichment, will be given particular support by the parish community.
  • Regular in-service will be provided for priests, deacons, religious and those who collaborate with the Parish Priest, seeking to support them spiritually, affectively and intellectually in their own faith commitment, and encourage them to develop further their pastoral skills.

Parish Objective 4:

The catechetical and religious education needs of young people will be given high priority in the life of the parish.

Some Indicators of Achievement

  • The parish will have an established support system for family catechesis, helping parents/guardians, grandparents and young people to speak and pray together in the light of their everyday experience.
  • A Family Mass ministry in the parish will encourage families to participate in parish liturgy and community-building, as well as in reaching out to those in need.
  • The parish, facilitated by the Faith Development Coordinator, will provide parish preparation for the sacraments of initiation, in conjunction with parents and with the local schools. Parish volunteers will receive training to become members of parish Baptismal, Confirmation and First Communion Teams.
  • A designated priest of the parish and the Faith Development Coordinator will visit the parish primary schools, working in co-operation with the school Principal, Religious Education Co-ordinator, and teachers of students preparing for the sacraments.
  • The parish will develop a youth initiative to support, in a variety of ways, the faith development needs of adolescents. Priests and Faith Development Coordinators will be in touch with local post-primary schools. The parish will facilitate the commitment to service in Church award scheme for the senior cycle age-group, mentioned in Chapter 5 above.

Parish Objective 5:

The parish Faith Development Plan will be inclusive, giving significant attention to those who have specific needs in relation to faith development.

Some Indicators of Achievement

  • Those who are experiencing family, financial or other difficulties will find support in their faith community.
  • There will be easy access to the parish church, parish centre and school buildings, such that those with special physical needs feel welcome.
  • Those with special learning needs will be integrated into the parish, including its liturgical rituals and community events.
  • Migrants and other newcomers, as well as Travellers, when present as part of the local worshipping community, will experience the hospitality of the faith community, and contribute to its growth.
  • Ecumenical, intercultural and inter-religious outreach will be considered an essential part of parish life.
  • Those who are living with illness will receive special attention from the parish. Their contribution to the parish’s sense of care, community and prayer life will be cherished.

These objectives are taken from Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland §131-135.