On Behalf of the Pastoral Planning Task Force:

It was over two years ago when Father Than Vu approached me on behalf of Bishop Muench and asked me to lead what has come to be known as our Pastoral Planning Task Force. It has been a challenging effort, to be sure, but more than anything, it has been a privilege. I am grateful, first, to our bishop for having the vision necessary to initiate this process. I am also very thankful to the members of our Task Force: Lyle Hitzman, Reginald Brown, Jay Jackson, Pamela Folse, Sister Renne Daigle MSC, Brother Ray Hebert SC, Robert Sibille, Father Jamin David, Father Tom Ranzino, Father John Carville and Deacon Dan Borné. Also, our efforts throughout this entire process have been aided greatly by SSA Consultants of Baton Rouge. As I mentioned to Bishop Muench in one of our meetings, their assistance has been true stewardship for our church. Last summer when we made visits to all 67 parishes of our diocese, we enlisted the help of more than 20 volunteer facilitators. I am grateful to them for their time and support, as well as the other eight volunteers who helped to summarize the many responses received during our open discussions.

On behalf of our Task Force I recently met with Bishop Muench and presented to him our recommendations in the form of a written report. He has in turn asked us to move ahead with publication of the document and implementation of the recommendations contained therein. There will be an initial presentation of the report to all priests and deacons of our diocese in mid June, followed by presentations in each deanery of our diocese (six in all) in early fall to all who might wish to attend. While some of the recommendations speak to immediate needs, many speak to ongoing ones as well. Therefore, the efforts of pastoral planning in our diocese will be continually evolving.

The results of the surveys and the conversations facilitated in our parishes during the summer of 2015, as well as smaller focus group conversations throughout the diocese, yielded more helpful and creative ideas than we could have ever hoped for. To the more than 1,200 of you who participated, thank you! We are very proud of the work that has been done and confident that the efforts of our Task Force and all of us now will help us to move into a future filled with bright hope and possibility.

Father Trey Nelson

Chair, Pastoral Planning Task Force