Aligning to mission

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Bishop Ricken

In last week’s column, I shared an update on Disciples on the Way and the progress we have made over the past four years in growing as missionary disciples. As part of that process, we created a new vision and mission statement, which you will see below.

Whenever a new mission statement is written and owned by any organization, everything and everyone must realign in order to bring that mission to life. Since our new vision and mission statements have been in place, we have been preparing the Curia staff to realign our organization and structure to serve our new mission. In this column, I want to provide an update on this realignment.

Beginning in July of this year, we have moved from a departmental structure to a missionary team model, from 16 departments to six mission teams. The mission teams have several areas of responsibility and offices which serve that mission in different ways.

Through this realignment, we hope to help our staff work together cross-functionally in order to respond more helpfully and with greater agility to the needs of our parishes, institutes, organizations and communities. We strive intentionally to fulfill the mission of living out the Gospel as missionary disciples, who are friends and followers of Jesus and brothers and sisters of one another in Christ.

The six mission teams include: Catholic Charities and Living Justice, led by Fr. John Girotti; Chancery, led by Fr. Dan Felton; Discipleship and Leadership Development, led by Julianne Stanz and Fr. Luke Ferris; Families and Schools of Discipleship, led by Peter Murphy; Parish Life, led by Barry Metzentine; and Resource and Support Services, led by Tammy Basten. A fully updated directory with mission teams and offices can be found on the diocesan website, www.gbdioc.org.

The seven mission team leaders and I form the Roundtable Leadership Team. Our charge is to advance the mission of the diocese to be more “on purpose” in living out the mission of Jesus to spread the joy of the Gospel. We meet frequently to coordinate our work and are leading this reform which will connect us more easily to the parishes to help them lead all people to the kingdom of God.

In coordination with this realignment, each of the mission teams is working hard to embrace the culture and values that will allow us to live out our mission. I am learning so much through this process and, though challenging at times, I am confident that the Holy Spirit is leading us where we need to be to serve the people of this diocese.

While we are working hard to draw people closer to Jesus, we know that we cannot do this on our own. We humbly ask for your prayers and engagement in your families, parishes and organizations. I believe God is calling us all to become missionary disciples who can make a difference in a broken world that is crying for help and meaning. To do this, we must be men and women, boys and girls, of integrity ourselves, so that the message of Christ can be believed and followed. Placing our trust in Jesus, who will make up for anything that is lacking in us, may we generously respond to God’s call to follow and serve him.

Vision statement

“We are missionary disciples striving to lead all people to the Kingdom of God.”

Mission statement

“As friends and followers of Jesus, we are devoted to fostering households and communities of discipleship through the mission and ministry of the Catholic Church.”