Our Vision

After collaborating from July to December of 2018, Bishop Johnston and the Visioning Team crafted a plan for the Diocese’s immediate future. The information gathered from the faithful through the 10 Listening Sessions, online submissions and listening sessions with clergy was studied in great depth. Your input was vital in shaping plans for our future as a Diocese through concrete hopes, dreams and goals for our Church.

Following much study, consideration, and prayer Bishop Johnston and the Visioning Team has discerned that God is calling us to be…

The Diocesan Vision includes 3 Priorities and 7 Goals which follow an implementation timeline that runs through the end of 2022.

Priority: Healing Our Family

Tending wounds and accompanying hearts to freedom in Christ

  • Goal: As a response to both the abuse scandal in the Church and other sufferings that people bear, we will establish “Journey to Bethany”, a healing center within the diocese to address a variety of wounds and broaden awareness of healing resources by March 2020.
  • Goal: Implement The Light Is On For You throughout the diocese in Lent 2019.

Priority: Using Resources Wisely

Aligning God’s gift for the Church’s life and mission

  • Goal: Implement gift and charism programs throughout the diocese to activate Catholics for service and mission by Pentecost 2020.
  • Goal: Create a comprehensive resource strategy by October 2021.
  • Goal: Establish a retreat center/camp facility within the diocese by May 2022.

Priority: Growing God’s Family

Activating our baptismal call to holiness and being disciple-makers

  • Goal: Implement “Clear Path for Discipleship” and hold a diocesan conference by October 2020 to equip all parishes to create a culture of discipleship.
  • Goal: Craft a comprehensive Youth to Young Adult Initiative (including an earlier age for the reception of Confirmation by November 2022.

Implementation Update | MAY 2022

The Deaneries I, II & XI Pastoral Plan steering committee shared its recommendations for renewed evangelization efforts, ministries and collaboration among the parishes on May 19 at St. Mark parish and via livestream. [video recording here]

The plan is a continuing step toward a commitment to complete a comprehensive resources strategy for the diocese. Read the final plan, approved by Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr.: Pastoral Plan-Deaneries I, II & XI (PDF)

Implementation Update | JULY 2021

Jennifer Prusa is hired to direct Journey to Bethany, a healing resource/community for victims of clergy sexual abuse. Learn more about her in this Catholic Key article, and see what Journey to Bethany offers at journeytobethany.org.

Implementation Update | DECEMBER 2020

  1. Results from surveys taken to inform the formation of Journey to Bethany were synthesized into an article along with an update from the working group; read the article on CatholicKey.org. A website for Journey to Bethany is launched: journeytobethany.org
  2. A website to host the gifts and charisms program is now launched. For more on charisms of the Holy Spirit or to take an online quiz to discover what gifts you may have been given, visit ActivateYourBaptism.com.
  3. The diocesan newspaper, Catholic Key, is relaunched as a quarterly (now bimonthly) magazine: CatholicKey.org

Implementation Update | SEPTEMBER 2020

The Blue Ridge Area Pastoral Plan steering committee shared its recommendations for renewed evangelization efforts, ministries and collaboration among the parishes on Sept. 30 at St. John Francis Regis parish and via livestream [video recording here].

The plan is the first step toward a commitment to complete a comprehensive resources strategy for the diocese by October 2021. Read the final plan, approved by Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr.: Pastoral Plan-Blue Ridge Area (PDF)

Implementation Update | AUGUST 2020

The Coronavirus Pandemic has slowed down the implementation of some of the goals.  However, we are still seeing progress from the working groups and their research and planning efforts.

Goal Updates

  1. The “Journey to Bethany,” a healing center for abuse victims, had an implementation goal of March 2020. The pandemic slowed down some of the final planning which followed a series of surveys that took place in late 2019 and early 2020.  The input from these surveys provided guidance to the working group and they plan to unveil their plans this Fall for the new “virtual location” healing center.
  2. The Light is On For You initiative was completed on time in Lent of 2019. One result was increased access to the sacrament of Confession along with the lasting benefit of an increased communication of available Confession times throughout our diocese.  You may learn more here: kcsjcatholic.org/confession
  3. The development of the website that will host the gift and charism program was delayed and is currently being tested and finalized for release this Fall. The original release goal was Pentecost 2020.  More details coming soon.
  4. The development of the comprehensive resource strategy continues with four subcommittees assisting the main working group for this goal to be completed by October 2021.
    • The subcommittee on communication produced a communications plan that led to the hiring of a new Communications Director as well as the ongoing reconfiguration of our Communications Office. This progress is ongoing.
    • The other three subcommittees, which cover people, property, and finances, have continued to make progress throughout the pandemic by meeting virtually.  The property subcommittee has gathered important demographic information from across the diocese that will help formulate a strategic approach to more focused studies of specific regions that merit attention and possibly parochial reorganization.  Closely related to the property subcommittee’s work has been a study of Deanery V, that is, parishes in the Blue Ridge Corridor, facilitated by Meitler Consultants.  This focused study seeks how to respond to the changing demographics of this region and provide the faithful there with the best support they need for missionary discipleship and growth.  The plan for the future of Deanery V will be announced this Fall.
  5. The work to establish a retreat center/camp facility within the diocese by May 2022 has continued. The pandemic has brought new questions and new opportunities as the working group continues to research the best business situation and survey needs for a future retreat center and camp facility.
  6. Implementation of the “Clear Path for Discipleship” was well on the way to completion when the pandemic hit. Much of this effort requires in person contact and has been postponed until such a time as this is possible.  The diocesan participation in the Amazing Parish conference was put on hold with the conference being postponed until June 2021.
  7. The Working Group to craft a comprehensive Youth to Young Adult Initiative (including exploration of an earlier age for the reception of Confirmation) will begin meeting this Fall using videoconferencing. The goal is that of developing the plans for implementing the initiative and the possible earlier age for regular reception of the sacrament of Confirmation by November 2022.

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