beONE - Frequently Asked Questions
- What is beONE?
- Isn't beONE just another program?
- Who should put beONE in place in a parish or curial office?
- If it is up to each parish to decide how to best integrate beONE into their parish life, why was a number of goals in each of the focus areas?
- How does beONE fit or apply in this Year of Mercy?
- How do we Foster Missionary Discipleship?
- How do we Promote Human Dignity and Social Responsibility?
- How do we Embrace a Culture of Leadership?
- How do we Secure the Future of Catholic Education?
- What if we have other ideas?
- Final Comments
A: beONE is a call to the revitalization of our local Church. It is a call to renew our baptismal promises to be the Church, to live out the Gospel and help one another be more Catholic and get to Heaven. Each parish must take a good look at where they are and develop their own strategies and goals for achieving these objectives. Completing the Parish Viability Study was a good first step in the process. Each parish will be able to use that report to identify several initial goals they will work on as a community to improve the health and vitality of the parish.
A: beONE is not a program. beONE is a way to think about what we do (and don’t do). The fact is, we need to stop functioning as 180+ separate parishes, and start working together. beONE aims to provide a common way of thinking, talking and prioritizing, with the ultimate hope of fostering collaboration between parishes. It is a framework for creativity and collaboration.
A: It is up to each parish or curial office to decide how they will begin and continue to roll out the priorities that beONE envisions. Some parishes may decide to turn this over to a group of lay people (perhaps those in the Lay Formation Program or those who attended the Pastoral Assembly) who give updates to the parish staff. Others may decide work with a select part of the parish council or other advisory group. In some parishes, the pastor may decide to take the lead personally.
Q: If it is up to each parish to decide how to best integrate beONE into their parish life, why was a number of goals in each of the focus areas?
A: Specific goals help us better understand ideas and make them concrete. These goals were meant to jump-start creativity, not limit it.
A: (All quotes taken from Archbishop Carlson’s address during the Stewardship Evening on January 26, 2016) “The beONE initiative is how we hope to unite people from across the archdiocese in fostering missionary discipleship, in promoting human dignity and responsibility, in embracing a culture of leadership, and in securing the future of Catholic education... The process of encountering Jesus IS the process of encountering mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and love.”
A: Parishes that foster Missionary Discipleship are leading others in the ongoing journey of encountering Jesus, strengthening their relationship and knowledge of Jesus, and having the courage to share their own personal witness with others. This starts first with your own experience of Jesus’s mercy, so that you yourself can be formed.
From Archbishop Carlson: “Parishes that Foster Missionary Discipleship are leading others in the ongoing journey of encountering Jesus, strengthening their relationship and knowledge of Jesus, and having the courage to share their own personal witness with others. This starts first with your own experience of Jesus’s mercy, so that you yourself can be formed.”
All parishes and curial offices are asked to work with the various ministries and simply decide how that ministry will support our call to become missionary disciples, put that plan down on paper, and by the use of benchmarks, evaluate themselves on growing in this area.
For a parish counsel this might include discussing evangelization during the meetings, setting a goal for the counsel, and reaching out the various organizations in the parish to encourage them to build becoming missionary discipleship into their programs.
For an adult education program this might include providing the participants with information that they can apologetically apply when discussing their faith as they meet and talk with their own social groups.
For a parish school or PSR program this might include apologetics as part of their curriculum, and planned experiences where the students can demonstrate their faith through participation in various social justice programs.
For a Marian Council this might include evaluating how their various programs foster our faith and are more than just things to do to keep members busy.
For a curial office this might include a discussion of missionary discipleship and living this reality out during staff meetings. Writing articles for department newsletters specifically challenging reads to explore this aspect of their faith.
A: From Archbishop Carlson: “A person in an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ will not focus on themselves, which is narcissism, but will recognize the shared duty to practice mercy, forgiveness, and compassion…first we must seek to change our own hearts. When I practice mercy, forgiveness, and compassion, I open my heart to understand the other person’s point of view. We have to seek to understand the other person for their own sake, not in order that they might understand us. That is real love. That is real mercy.
But our support for others cannot be limited to financial support. I would suggest that you consider forming a ‘sister’ relationship with another parish. I’m not talking about clustering with parishes in your neighborhood, but I am talking about partnering with a parish that does not look anything like yours.
And this partnering should be more than just financial. For the sister parish relationship to really bear the most fruit it can, we need to share cultures, visit each other’s parish, attend each other’s Masses.”
All parishes and curial offices are asked to work with the various ministries and simply decide how that ministry will support our call to promote human dignity and social responsibility, put that plan down on paper, and use benchmarks to evaluate themselves on growing in this area.
For a parishioner visiting a parishioner at home this might include incorporating prayer into the visit, talking about hard issues that they and the community might be facing. And by providing factual information to counter the stories they are hearing from their friends.
For a parish Ladies Society this might include visiting and perhaps spending time with a similar group at a parish that has a more diverse cultural background.
For a parish sports program this might include discussions on sportsmanship and including a talk about sportsmanship and how that flows into our daily lives post game.
For a curial office this might include scheduling days where the office staff becomes involved in cross cultural programs and activities.
A: From Archbishop Carlson: “Every parishioner has to embrace their own role in the leadership of their parish. We need to encourage other parishioners to accept their leadership role. To do this, we have to first help people to understand their gifts and talents.”
C.S. Lewis said ‘Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.’ Thinking of yourself less…That is true humility. That is truly following Christ.
We also have to help train people on how to use these gifts. Jane Guenther in the Catholic Renewal Center provides a Spiritual Gifts Inventory workshop that helps people determine how their gifts can best help the Church. Everyone has talents they have been given to share. The archdiocese has started a Lay Formation Program to help train parishioners on how to use their gifts.
But even as we encourage people to use their gifts, we have to make certain we are using them in the right ways. We need to make sure that all of our parish ministries are aligned with our parish mission, and engaged in evangelization and service.”
All parishes and curial offices are asked to work with the various ministries and decide how that ministry will support our call to embrace a culture of leadership, put that plan down on paper, and use benchmarks evaluate themselves on growing in this area.
For a parish this might include relooking the adult formation program, how it is delivered and how technology might be embraced to educate more and more parishioners.
For a curial office this might include encouraging staff members to become involved in Catholic social service programs outside of work time.
For a parish finance board this might include the establishment of sub committees to review contracts with vendors to seek out those who embrace the Catholic mission.
A: From Archbishop Carlson: “We have a responsibility to make quality Catholic education accessible to as many families of school-aged children as possible. Through Beyond Sunday, we will keep more kids in our classrooms, and we will find new and innovative ways to educate our children and promote our schools.
We should strive to make our parishes the religious, educational, and social centers of our neighborhoods. We have to remember that the schools and many of the Church programs and buildings that we enjoy today are gifts to us from past generations. We need to be just as generous in giving to future generations, and we need to make sure that everyone is welcome.”
All parishes and curial offices are asked to work with the various ministries and decide how that ministry will support our call to secure the future of Catholic education, put that plan down on paper, and use benchmarks to evaluate themselves on growing in this area.
For a parish this might include the establishment of an office to assist parents to navigate the complexity of scholarship applications, or a parish group to become personally involved in promoting the Beyond Sunday Program.
A: Great! Share them. This is a framework for creativity and collaboration, not a to-do list.
From Archbishop Carlson: “Many people are leaving our Catholic faith. Most often, they never really learned the faith in the first place. They are not leaving the Catholic Church…they are leaving some version of it that they received when they were children. As people leave, we need to do more than shake our head and then go about our business. We need to wonder why they left, and we need to take action.
This is one of the greatest acts of mercy that we can do, to invite people back to the Church. This is the stewardship of our faith. Every act of mercy is an act of stewardship, because it is always a grateful response to the mercy that God has shown us.
In fact, taking action on each of the four pillars of beONE is, at its heart, an act of stewardship and mercy. We gratefully receive the talents that have been given to us, we cultivate them responsibly by our formation, and we share them generously by taking action. When we recognize the many gifts we have received, our natural response will be gratitude and generosity.
And together, we will build the Church, build it to be one, as Jesus himself prayed for during his great priestly prayer at the Last Supper, when he said, ‘I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, so that they all may be one, as you, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they may also be in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me’.”