Unleash the Gospel study resources coming to a parish near you

Chancery sessions a pilot for parish-based reflection guides

Unleash the Gospel in The Michigan Catholic

Starting next issue, The Michigan Catholic will publish a regular feature devoted to understanding how Archbishop Vigneron’s pastoral letter, “Unleash the Gospel,” will shape the future of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Pick up a copy of the Aug. 25 issue for more.

DetroitUnleash the Gospel is here; now what?

Since Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron released his pastoral letter during Pentecost, people from across the archdiocese — and the nation — have been reading and reflecting on the letter.

At the Chancery, home to archdiocesan Central Services, people are studying the letter in small groups.

“One of the things we thought was important is making sure the people here at Central Services and the curia have a good understanding of the letter and what it means when the archbishop talks about changing the culture to a culture of evangelization,” said Krista Bajoka, a member of a small committee tasked with coordinating the study groups.

The small group meetings are held weekly, usually among people in the same department. The meetings offer people who work full-time in ministry a chance to pause and reflect on what the archbishop is calling up on them to do, both professionally and personally.

“Archbishop Vigneron is calling for a culture change, a need to reshape our value system,” said Anita Houghton of the Office of Catechesis and a study group planning committee member. “We’re discovering what is at the heart of the pastoral letter. Sometimes, that’s best done through discussion in a group.”

Michael King, an evangelization coordinator with the archdiocese, said the study groups are a chance for people who work in the Chancery to reflect on how their own lives can change.

“The concept behind everyone being involved in a study group is, how do you get this in the minds of everyone in the archdiocese, to really consider the letter?” King said. “Everyone is going to have a different take, a different approach, a different style. But to be part of a cultural change, we’re hoping people will share their ideas with us; we’re looking for feedback.”

The study groups have begun already at the Chancery, but plans are already under way to arrange resources for parishes to use as well.

“We’re going to be sending templates to parishes for the same kind of discussions that could help them in studying the letter,” Bajoka said. “Then parishes will be able to tweak it and make it their own. Maybe they can spend a full day with their leadership team, or maybe 45 minutes once a week.”

The hope is for both those within Central Services and the parishes to truly digest the letter and ask themselves what they can do to build God’s kingdom.

“The groups are a way of building a community, together at Central Services and at the parishes,” Bajoka said. “The archbishop is directing us to move forward together. If we’re able to reflect and share as a team, we’ll be moving together on the same path.”