We are happy to share this update on our “Road to Renewal” initiative to keep everyone informed on the steps that are being taken to reinvigorate the Catholic faith in our Diocese. While we are certainly living in very challenging times, this is an opportunity, needed now more than ever, to strengthen our faith and to promote a culture of co-responsibility among clergy and laity in carrying out the work of evangelization, education and service.
Road to Renewal Update for November 27, 2020:
- The Diocesan Renewal Task Force (DRTF) continues to meet on a weekly basis.
- A report reflecting the data collected from the Consultation/Listening Sessions, Surveys and Letters was compiled to be presented to Bishop Scharfenberger and the Vicars Forane in early December.
- As most of you know, Bishop Scharfenberger issued a Pastoral Letter to coincide with the First Sunday of Advent. The letter is addressed to all of the Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Buffalo. The purpose of the Pastoral Letter is to provide the spiritual foundation for our Diocesan Road to Renewal initiative. The Pastoral Letter was mailed to every registered household in the diocese as well as to all clergy and religious. Everyone is encouraged to read the Pastoral Letter and to spend time reflecting and sharing with one another the significance of this call to renewal throughout the eight counties of Western New York.
- In addition to the Pastoral Letter, a Sub-Task Force has been established of clergy and lay leaders to provide an overarching Spiritual Foundation for the Renewal effort. Some of the spiritual resources will include prayers of intercession, communal prayers, and supplemental pastoral documents /articles to help everyone in our diocese to renew and strengthen our faith as we seek greater collaboration among clergy and laity throughout all of the parishes of our diocese.
- Priests and Deacons who are preaching the First and Second Weekends of Advent are also encouraged to speak about the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter. Homiletic ideas based on the Scripture Readings for the First and Second Sundays of Advent were sent to all the priests and deacons of our diocese.
Renewal Update from November 1, 2020:
- We are presently still in the data gathering and consultation stage.
- To date we have conducted 3 meetings with the Vicars Forane and Presbyteral Council, and 6 meetings of the Priests and Deacons of our diocese.
- We hosted 18 Vicariate Zoom sessions with over 800 parishioners from across the 8 counties of WNY.
- The Task Force also hosted 8 additional zoom sessions with diverse groups throughout the Diocese including the Cultural Diversity Commissions, Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR); School Principals and Parish DRE’s; Young Adults; Lay Ecclesial Ministers and others from throughout our diocese.
- We have received over 1300 Surveys and dozens of emails and letters, and are currently culling all of that data.
- All of the data and responses are being documented for planning purposes. We are most grateful for the input that we have received, and the continued prayers for this initiative.
Thank you for your participation in the Renewal Consultation Zoom Sessions
The goal of these sessions was to gather information about your experience of the mission and ministry of the Church in your region of the Diocese. Addressing various challenges, strengths, assets and outreach that your region focuses on. Please come back at a later date as the website will be continuously updated throughout the month.