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Announcing the Next Phase

Jun 08, 2019

Pentecost Letter: Sent on Mission

I would like to announce the next phase of our movement to Unleash the Gospel: the renewal of our parishes. For the Gospel to truly be unleashed, we must re-found our parishes so that everything we do — how we pray, how we minister, how we serve — leads us to be more effective witnesses to the Gospel.

Español

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Praise be to Jesus Christ, now and forever! At the first Pentecost, Christ came to his apostles and breathed onto them the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. He breathes on us today, his faithful in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

We find ourselves very much like the apostles who were gathered in a room. Like them, our hearts rejoice when we encounter Jesus. Like them, he sends us on a mission and gives us his Holy Spirit so that we may go out and Unleash the Gospel.

God is pouring out his Spirit so we can continue the work of the apostles. The Spirit enables us to proclaim the Good News to those in our families, workplaces and communities. The Holy Spirit, our Advocate, gives us the courage to continue our missionary journey.

And on this day, I would like to announce the next phase of our movement to Unleash the Gospel: the renewal of our parishes. For the Gospel to truly be unleashed, we must re-found our parishes so that everything we do — how we pray, how we minister, how we serve — leads us to be more effective witnesses to the Gospel.

This next phase of our missionary journey will require prayer, innovation, and hard work so that our parish communities become what God made them to be: places where individuals and families encounter Jesus anew, grow as his disciples, and are equipped to be witnesses of the Risen Christ.

To spark this transformation, each parish in the Archdiocese will create a plan to realign all its activity and ministry to our shared mission to Unleash the Gospel. These missionary strategic plans will provide the direction and focus for each parish’s missionary transformation.

Today, nine parishes in the Archdiocese will begin the process of creating these plans. I am grateful for the apostolic courage of these first pastors and their parishes. Other parishes will follow early next year and more will continue after.

This is nothing short of a complete overhaul of our Church in Detroit — a task too great to do on our own. But we are not alone. Christ is with us. We cannot fail, because we are in communion with the risen Jesus and we act in the power of his Spirit.

So, I ask you to join me in prayer. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to come and transform our hearts and our parishes. Let us pray for boldness in our plans and efforts. Let us pray that each one of our parishes may discern how it is called to Unleash the Gospel with its unique set of gifts and circumstances.

As a parish and individually at home, from now and until the feast of Christ the King, let us join in this Prayer for the Next Phase of Unleash the Gospel:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the abundant graces of Synod 16:

for awakening in us the vision and resolve

to become again your Church on mission,

eagerly working together to “make disciples of all nations,”

according to our commission from the Lord Jesus.

Pour out upon us your Holy Spirit, as a new Pentecost,

to guide us in our next phase in our movement to Unleash the Gospel.

By his power at work in us, transform our parishes

into bands of joyful missionary disciples.

Come Holy Spirit:

Set our hearts on fire to share the Good News of Jesus with all those

who stumble in darkness, who hunger for hope, who thirst for eternal life.

Above all, grant us the boldness and courage of the apostles

to put the mission above all else,

so that our community becomes the spark

to ignite the fire of divine love that transforms this time and this place

into the Kingdom of Heaven.

We pray through the intercession of Our Lady, Star of the New Evangelization,

and her mother, our Patron, St. Anne;

and in the spirit of Blessed Solanus we thank you ahead of time

for “accomplishing in us far more than all we ask or imagine.”

We ask all of this in the all-powerful name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

who lives and reigns forever.

Amen.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron

Apr 25, 2019

Letter to the Faithful: Next Phase of Unleash the Gospel

I would like to announce the next phase of our movement to Unleash the Gospel: the renewal of our parishes. For the Gospel to truly be unleashed, we must re-found our parishes so that everything we do — how we pray, how we minister, how we serve — leads us to be more effective witnesses to the Gospel.

Español

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Jesus is risen! Praise to him now and forever! Easter blessings to all of you, Christ’s faithful in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

With great joy we celebrate these 50 days of Easter, and in these days, we are renewed and ready for mission. It is the same mission as that of the apostles, and the other men and women who were the first witnesses of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. We too are sent into the world to witness Christ’s victory over sin and death. This is the message that we are called to proclaim, the Gospel we are called to unleash: Christ is truly risen!

On Easter, we renewed our baptismal promises. By Holy Baptism we were given a new birth, and by water and the Holy Spirit, we have been forgiven of our sins. Through our Baptism, we have been consecrated as witnesses to the Gospel, so that every talent we have, every ability God has given us of heart and mind, must be used to spread the Good News. Unleash the Gospel is about this commitment, to do everything we can to help people encounter the Risen Christ.

And in this spirit, I would like to announce the next phase of our movement to Unleash the Gospel: the renewal of our parishes. For the Gospel to truly be unleashed, we must re-found our parishes so that everything we do — how we pray, how we minister, how we serve — leads us to be more effective witnesses to the Gospel.

This next phase of our missionary journey will require prayer, innovation, and hard work so that our parish communities become what God made them to be: places where individuals and families encounter Jesus anew, grow as his disciples, and are equipped to be witnesses of the Risen Christ.

This is about realizing the fruit of Synod 16, the work that began in 2014 when we were united with Mary and the Twelve and prayed for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We heard God calling us to move from maintenance to mission and to go out and unleash the Gospel.

Each parish in the Archdiocese will create a plan to realign all its activity and ministry to our shared mission to Unleash the Gospel. These missionary strategic plans will provide the direction and focus for each parish’s missionary transformation.

Starting this summer, a small group of parishes will begin the process of creating these plans. Other parishes will follow early next year and more will continue after.

This is nothing short of a complete overhaul of our Church in Detroit. A task too great to do on our own. But we are not alone. Christ is risen. We cannot fail, because we are in communion with the risen Jesus and act in the power of his Spirit.

So, I ask you to join me in prayer. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to come and transform our parishes. Let us pray for boldness in our plans and efforts. Let us pray that each one of our parishes may discern how it is called to unleash the Gospel with its unique set of gifts and circumstances.

With our eyes fixed on Jesus, through prayer and work, together, we will become who God wants us to become, a band of joyful missionary disciples in southeast Michigan. In the spirit of Blessed Fr. Solanus, and through the intercession of Our Lady, Star of the New Evangelization, I am thanking God ahead of time for our missionary transformation.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron

Archbishop of Detroit