St. John Neumann Parish
Growing an Engaged Church
Pastoral Plan 2017-2020


“Be who you are and be that perfectly well.”
~ St. Francis de Sales

These words of St. Francis de Sales apply to St. John Neumann parish, as well as to each of us individually.  Who are we as a parish? We are, first of all, a community of those who believe in and follow Jesus Christ in the Catholic tradition. We treasure the heritage of Salesian Spirituality that has characterized the parish from its beginning. As a faith community, we come together to worship and give praise to God in the Eucharist and other sacraments. As individuals, we are formed and educated within our parish community so that we grow in the faith. Our parish sends us out into the world to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed through acts of service. And as members of our parish, we each accept the responsibility of sharing our time and energy, as well as our financial resources, so that St. John Neumann may continue to be faithful to our mission of celebrating and giving witness to the presence of God in our midst by living the Gospel to its fullest.

While we believe we are doing all of this well, we know that we can do better. If we are to be the faith community God calls us to be, we need to look forward, we need to discern those areas where we should grow, and we need to commit ourselves to that growth. This pastoral plan charts our way forward. It will challenge us, but as a parish, we can meet that challenge. St. Francis de Sales wrote, “Rely wholly on God’s providence through which alone you must look for success. Nevertheless, strive quietly on your part to cooperate with its designs.” If we do that, if we work to accomplish the objectives identified in this plan, then in truth we will be who we are perfectly well.

Mission Statement

We, the faithful of St. John Neumann Catholic Community, commit ourselves to celebrating and giving witness to the presence of God in our midst by living the Gospel to its fullest. May we do all things in the spirit of St. Francis de Sales with compassion, humility, and gentleness.


For the past six months, parish staff and leadership have engaged in extended discussions about the five core areas of parish vitality, with the goal of identifying critical strategic directions for parish pastoral planning. In order to move toward these strategic directions, parish leadership has identified specific pastoral objectives for 2017–2020. These objectives will enable parish leadership to track progress and accountability and regularly report to the parish community. This plan will be reviewed regularly and revised as appropriate, depending on any changing circumstances, parish needs, and/or new challenges.

The five core areas of parish vitality are outlined below, with the strategic direction, three years of pastoral objectives, and lead agents for implementation provided for each of them.


Building community begins with hospitality and welcome, making all parishioners feel at home and opening wide the doors of the parish to welcome inactive Catholics and all who seek a relationship with the Lord. St. John Neumann aims to encounter intercultural, intergenerational, and diverse groups as we foster the engagement of all people in the community. We will do this through:
• Family-centered programs and services
• Services and programs for our cultural communities
• Outreach programs geared towards welcoming inactive Catholics back home
• Services and programs geared toward the needs of specific and unique groups within the parish community

Strategic Direction: St. John Neumann parish will continue moving toward creating a community
where EVERYONE feels welcome, engaged, and spiritually fed.

2017-2018 Pastoral Objectives:
To have a formal new-parishioner welcome process that includes:
• An introduction to Salesian spirituality
• Frequent opportunities for facility tours
• A letter of welcome from the pastor
• A social gathering for new people
• A process for connecting new people with current parishioners
• Intentionally reaching out to our Hispanic community

2018-2019 Pastoral Objectives:
• To identify other larger parishes that have intentionally engaged their parishioners in the life of the parish and learn from their successful strategies
• In collaboration with Faith Formation, to encourage and expand our small faith-sharing groups as a means to foster our community’s spiritual journey

2019-2020 Pastoral Objectives:
• To extend the welcome process to integrate all of our parishioners more fully into the life, mission, and services of the parish
• To increase our social media communications (e.g., Facebook and the “my parish” app)
• To provide training for group/ministry lead volunteers

Lead agents: Jo-Ann Duggan, Fr. Joe Brennan, and the St. John Neumann Parish Pastoral Council


The heart of parish life is the celebration of the Eucharist, from which flows all our worship, sacraments, and prayer. St. John Neumann encourages the full, active, and conscious participation of all parishioners in the sacramental life of the Church. This includes;
• Prayerful Sunday liturgy
• Worship experiences celebrating the liturgical seasons
• Sacramental preparation, including the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
• Invitation and formation for liturgical ministers

Strategic Direction: St. John Neumann will engage all parishioners in participating
fully in worship.

2017- 2018 Pastoral Objectives:
• To encourage more young people to become involved with their parents in the regularly scheduled Family Mass
• To explore ways to be more welcoming to all people in our Sunday and other liturgical services
• To encourage carrying Sunday worship forward into the world by the way we live out the Gospel

2018 – 2019 Pastoral Objectives:
• To catechize parishioners’ knowledge of the ritual elements and their purpose in the worship experience through written articles, in-person presentations, and oral explanations provided
by the presider
• To increase a cross-generation of liturgical ministers, including the choirs

2019 – 2020 Pastoral Objectives:
• To foster liturgical education through written explanations and worship guides for the parish and/or small groups within the parish
• To offer workshops on liturgical ministry and encourage parishioners to join these ministries

Lead Agents: Patty Bartnick, CJ Capen, and the St. John Neumann Parish Liturgy Committee


St. John Neumann aims to foster and empower each person’s call to be a disciple of Christ through effective faith formation and spirituality. Preparing our parishioners for mission requires a variety of educational and faith formation programs for all ages, including:
• Children’s faith formation
• Youth ministry
• Young adult ministry
• Adult faith formation
• Spiritual formation, missions, and retreats

Strategic Direction: St. John Neumann will foster lifelong engagement and formation that flows reciprocally from womb to tomb.

2017 – 2018 Pastoral Objective:
• To assess our formation programs, identify gaps at all levels of transition in formation, and develop strategies to meet these needs;
• To identify and develop a parish-wide “Small Faith Communities” program that will include a Salesian component.

2018 – 2019 Pastoral Objective:
• To implement a “Small Faith Communities” program;
• In collaboration with Stewardship, to invite and utilize the gifts of the community in response to the “Called and Gifted Workshop”.

2019 – 2020 Pastoral Objectives:
• To grow and expand the “Small Faith Communities” program.

Lead Agent: Mickie Abatemarco (


St. John Neumann commits to be a people of mercy and justice through compassionate service to others, opening our facilities to community groups and reaching out to institutions within our parish boundaries. This dimension of parish life addresses the way the parish calls all people to serve those in need, bringing the Gospel to bear on the issues of the day and to the
challenges of our community. We will engage in the following:
• Local, national, and international service opportunities
• Opportunities to explore Catholic Social Teachings (CST)
• Participation in peace and justice activities and advocacy

Strategic Direction: St. John Neumann will incorporate Catholic Social Teaching
as a living part of our faith and service.

2017 – 2018 Pastoral Objectives:
• To educate parishioners about CST and highlight how it is already incorporated into the life of the parish
• To provide opportunities for education on CST:
– In our Friday night Lenten Soup Supper speaker series
– On Sunday mornings, by inviting parishioners to take their coffee/donuts into a room for a CST presentation
– By including CST in our Faith Formation programs for children, youth, and adults
– By integrating CST into Liturgy through the homilies and Prayers of the Faithful
– By using social media to educate parishioners about CST and providing links to opportunities to put CST into action (e.g., bulletin, website, Apps, Facebook, etc.)

2018 – 2019 Pastoral Objectives:
• To increase engagement in activities through which parishioners live out our Catholic Social Teachings
• To identify potential new leadership, especially among younger parishioners
• To highlight and offer educational opportunities in the areas of social justice and social service (e.g., Just Faith) to include how we can advocate on issues we are supporting

2019 – 2020 Pastoral Objectives:
• To identify areas of need where we are not currently involved—locally, nationally, and internationally
• To use Year-1 strategies to inform parishioners about these newly identified areas of need and ways to advocate

Lead Agents: Jo-Ann Duggan and the St. John Neumann Social Justice Committee


St. John Neumann commits to being a good steward of the parish facilities, finances, and human resources that enable the community to pray, grow, and serve. Stewardship also involves empowering parishioners to use their gifts and competencies on behalf of the faith community, providing the necessary pastoral formation and support. This includes:
• Parish administration and coordination
• Facilities management
• Financial processes, procedures, and reporting
• Identification of the gifts present in the community
• Genuine and intentional invitation to parishioners to serve in leadership roles

Strategic Direction: St. John Neumann will continue to engage parishioners in our commitment to effective and comprehensive stewardship.

2017-2018 Pastoral Objectives:
• To engage parishioners in all aspects of parish life by:
– Defining all ministries/groups in the parish, including contact information for ministry/group leaders and meeting days/times
– Promoting all our ministries and groups on the SJN website, in new parishioner materials, in the weekly parish bulletin, and in all parish communications
– Encouraging exploration of the charisms and gifts defined through the “Called and Gifted Workshop” sponsored by the Catherine of Siena Institute

2018 – 2019 Pastoral Objectives:
• To promote facility operational awareness by:
– Designing facility awareness materials and publicizing through our website, bulletin, etc.
– Engaging ministry meeting leaders in carrying out good stewardship of our facilities
– To create stewardship opportunities based on gifts and talents

2019-2020 Pastoral Objectives:
• To educate parishioners on all aspects of Biblical Stewardship:
– Communicating clearly where all of our charitable donations are sent
– Inserting articles about our spending in the bulletin (e.g., the cost of electric/gas over last year)

Lead agents: Mark Gosselin, Patty Kwapniewski, and the Parish Finance Committee