In the midst of a rapidly changing world filled with both challenges and opportunities, it becomes imperative for us to embark on a journey of deep listening, contemplation, and communal discernment. The Spirit of God beckons us to see the signs of the times and collaborate in God’s divine plan. Such a transformative approach to pastoral planning is what Rev Fr Arturo Sosa SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, emphasizes in the foreword of this remarkable book.
A Communal Discernment Approach
The book elucidates that pastoral planning is not just a mere task to be completed but rather an integral part of the journey toward becoming a more open, united, and discerning community. It underscores the significance of a communal discernment approach, emphasizing that we are in mission not as individuals but as a collective. This approach fosters synodality, mutual listening, and the building of communion amidst diversity. In this way, the book strives to assist individuals and organizations in the Catholic faith tradition and beyond to engage in transformative and spiritually grounded planning.
Rooted in Ignatian Tradition
In this compelling work, the author, Christina Kheng, seamlessly integrates pastoral planning with the Ignatian tradition, drawing from its rich spiritual heritage. The Ignatian worldview serves as a guiding light, ensuring that the planning process aligns with a holistic vision of humanity, creation, and human endeavor. The book advocates for planning that resonates with the loving will of God and emphasizes the importance of incarnating this divine plan through concrete actions and decisions.
A Universal Guide for Diverse Audiences
One of the unique aspects of this book is its accessibility to a broad-based audience. Recognizing that pastoral planning often involves a wide range of participants with diverse backgrounds and beliefs, the book employs terms and concepts that are both familiar to Catholics and universally applicable. This inclusivity extends to participants from various faith and spiritual traditions, or those with no religious affiliation. It demonstrates the potential for collaborative planning that transcends boundaries and is open to all who seek meaningful renewal.
A Valuable Resource for Renewal
In conclusion, “A Journey of Communal Discernment and Renewal” provides a comprehensive guide for organizations and communities seeking to navigate the complexities of pastoral planning. It offers a theological foundation for planning, outlines a suggested process, and provides practical templates and exercises. Additionally, this book transcends its primary purpose and can be a valuable resource for various communal activities beyond planning, such as orientation programs, reviews, gatherings, and ongoing formation sessions. Through the integration of Ignatian spirituality and the universal appeal of its concepts, this book paves the way for communities and organizations to experience a revitalized sense of identity, charism, and vocation. May it inspire many on their journey toward renewal and discernment in service of the greater good.