NEW YORK — Ministry profiles, finances, vocations, mission plans, evangelization and collaboration with partners-in-ministry were among the themes discussed last week as part of a review of the HNP Strategic Plan by the chairs of Holy Name Province’s various standing directorates and committees.
On Dec. 1, under the moderation of Francis Gunn, OFM, the Province’s coordinator for strategic planning, participants came together to review the status of the many goals of the 2008-2013 HNP Strategic Plan (SP). Each directorate summarized initiatives completed during the first year of the plan’s life and what steps it was taking to carry the plan forward to the next stage.
After an opening prayer, Francis described the purpose of the meeting:
· To assess the present status and progress implementing the Strategic Plan
· To generate ideas for further carrying forward the goals of the SP
· To identify issues that need attention by the 2011 HNP Chapter
· To discuss recommendations for the agenda of the Province’s spring fraternal days
· To develop methods of coordinating efforts among the various directorates
At the meeting, held just two weeks after another group of friar leaders — the guardians — reviewed the HNP Strategic Plan, the dozen participants examined how their activities were carrying forward the seven strategies of the HNP Strategic Plan:
· Friars Skills and Leadership
· Franciscan Identity
Bringing Plan to Life
“We’re making a lot of progress,” Francis said, during the four-hour meeting in San Damiano Hall. “The assortment of events and resources being worked on by the directorates and committees has been bringing the plan to life.”
Some examples of programs that are accomplishing the goals of the strategic plan include:
• Webinars and pilgrimages address the needs to expand programs for friars and ministries around the Franciscan peacemaking initiative and to develop peacemaking efforts through dialogue among Christians, Jews and Muslims.
• The visits by HNP’s director of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Russell Testa to HNP sites address the Province’s goal for enhancing how local fraternities reach out to the alienated, the immigrant and the poor.
• The well-attended Encuentro Franciscano on Oct. 24 worked toward strengthening the quality of the friars’ collaboration with the friars’ Latino lay partners.
• A committee to discuss the possibility of collaborating with other U.S. provinces on a common novitiate.
• The recently-distributed friar inventory questionnaire that aims to gather relevant personal information to help inform the Province’s decision-making about ministerial commitments and individual assignments and leadership training.
Energizing and Informing
Attendees recognized the need to inform friars about the SP’s progress and spoke of the importance of making a clear connection between various activities and the realization of the Strategic Plan.
“We need to almost have a running narrative describing how projects of the Province are carrying out the Provincial goals,” said Steven Patti, OFM, of the HNP Ministerial Development Directorate.
“Getting a sense of the pulse of the friars is important,” an attendee said. Others expressed the importance of cultivating for the friars a sense of belonging to the Province, not only their local communities. Another attendee articulated the need for enthusiasm and communication in this way: “we need to convey our brand — what friars do, and who we are — for vocation purposes.”
In the coming months, the Provincial Administration will focus on two important initiatives:
· Friar Inventories: assembling information and reviewing the findings
· Ministry Profiles: distributing and compiling information
Other directorates and committees will concentrate on:
· Conducting a survey of young adult ministries
· Distributing an update from Strategic Planning Committee
· Compiling protocols for ministry engagement/disengagement
To continue the momentum of this discussion, the Province’s Strategic Planning Committee will compile a visual timeline that displays the status of work done toward the Strategic Plan.
— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for the Province and chair of the HNP Communications Advisory Committee.