Bishop explains diocese’s future plans

By Bishop Stephen J. Berg

As I write this, we just received the first real snow of the winter here in Pueblo, where we are presenting the annual Youth Fest for middle school and high school students over the weekend. I have recently returned from visiting many of you all over the diocese, as several of the Catholic Pastoral Center (CPC) staff and I traveled throughout the diocese for our annual DMF tour.

However, this year’s tour was radically different, for the focus of our presentation was to share details of the new diocesan strategic plan and the restructuring of the CPC now in progress, bringing the new strategic plan into effect. This is an important development, as we are taking concrete steps to move our diocese forward into the future as intentional disciples of Jesus Christ!

Last year we began this preparation with the Study Days conference given by Sherry Weddell on Forming Intentional Disciples in May, 2017. We will now move to build on that foundation through the 4 Levels of Happiness program. Encouraged and guided by Deacon Dan Leetch, this program of unifying spiritual formation will reach into the parish level and begin to build a more intentionally enlightened approach to one another in light of our goals. Those who have been initiated into the 4 Levels have expressed a resounding, “Yes! This works!” I am personally excited that it has changed my outlook and response to the mission. The 4 Levels will positively bring a unifying tool into basing the mission in solid Catholic theology and Christian vocabulary.

There is more excitement to come! In Father Matt Wertin’s tour preview of The Amazing Parish we see the framework for the upcoming Diocesan Convocation which will be held in Pueblo this May 7 to 9. We will begin to develop and change our minds around forming intentional leadership at the parish level, in light of our vision and common heritage. This process of The Amazing Parish is now in place at the CPC.

Please review the robust information included in this edition of the newspaper and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). This will give you some understanding of our future leadership direction as intentional disciples of Christ in our diocese of Southern Colorado.

In my travels I have been blessed to spend time with students in our schools during Catholic Schools Week, and this weekend with our youth in Pueblo. Our youth are the future of our Church, and spending time in their world is a joy that gives me great hope. The diocese has now made the commitment to assign Father Carl Wertin as fulltime vocation director, which brings him into fuller contact with our youth, to encourage them in their discernment of their life vocations. He is now available to visit your parishes to preach about vocations. The new strategic focus on youth and family will bring more gifted, committed people together in this most important direction as our plans continue to unfold. This is dramatically coming to fruition in the preparation for the regional V Encuentro, where our delegation and I will meet at the regional conference in Phoenix in the next step of formation of a national plan for Hispanic ministry for the USCCB.

As this arrives to you today, we are well into the joyful season of Lent in anticipation of the coming season of Easter. This is the season for us to clear our minds and hearts to the distractions and clutter of day-to-day life, and focus on what is really important. That is the vision of what God has in mind for us, the reason he sent Jesus to proclaim the joy of the Gospel through his passion, death and resurrection. It is the Easter miracle! Let us quietly raise up, sacrifice and offer our desires and hopes to him. Let us embrace and renew our baptismal commitment and confidence in the promise of our faith and our future!

Please know always of my prayers for you, your families and your concerns. May you know joy and blessings through this Lent and this coming Easter season!