In response to God’s call to love, we are a faith community that strives to live the gospel life in prayer, formation, evangelization, outreach and stewardship in the Franciscan tradition.
This parish mission is in alignment with the vision for Old Mission Santa Barbara (parish, friary, archives, Mission). All four entities share in:
In the humble spirit of St. Francis, we foster reverence, care and joy for all creation (people, creatures, environment) through ministry, service and study by offering a gathering place where pilgrims, visitors, scholars, and communities can grow and thrive in God’s goodness.
To that end, this document announces a parish pastoral plan, guided by the Holy Spirit, to further educate, inspire and engage all – especially parishioners – to a deeper relationship with God and each other in these areas: Liturgy, Faith Formation, Community Building, Stewardship and Communication.
What does it mean to be Franciscan?
St. Francis shows us a way to imitate Christ and honor our Catholic faith in our modern lives by:
When Pope Francis was elected in 2013, he took the name Francis to refocus the church more toward love, mercy, and services to “the poorest, weakest, and least important.” Why? To lead the global church to follow Christ more closely.
Purpose of the Plan
This strategic planning document charts the future of St. Barbara Parish, building more intentionally on our response to the gospel as an engaged faith community, on our Franciscan heritage, and on our welcoming role as a church that attracts visitors from around the world. In a word, our primary goal is to foster “discipleship.”
Our regional bishop, Robert Barron, notes:
“Our own journeys might be characterized at times by questions and uncertainty, by fits and starts, by mysteries. I wonder what God’s role is in my spiritual life … and what is my role? How can I know how to discern the ways of God’s grace in my life? … What signs should I follow? How do I know when to move, when to stand still, when to speak, when to be silent? … Francis shares a hint, one hint, at least.
It’s this: Francis does not sit around. He doesn’t wait for a perfect moment to be confirmed in his spiritual intuitions. His life is so deeply prayerful, but see this: anchored by the still place where he meets Christ, Francis moves. Francis knew that to follow Christ means, first of all, to follow him. To let Christ in, we simply have to let him in, and since Christ is love, we let him in by loving in his name, loving the difficult, loving the unlovable, loving when we are exhausted. We let him in by touching when we would rather draw back, smiling when misery tempts us to turn away and giving when we think we have nothing left — or when we would really like to just hold on to what we have. But we can do this because it is God, inexhaustible in love, who is at work in us.”
This document also serves as an outline for an operational plan that details the plan’s steps, resources, people responsible, timelines, and indicators of success to actually implement the plan’s goals. As part of the discernment process, a review will be done each Lent by the pastoral leadership to see how the pastoral plan is unfolding and what should be the plan for the following year.
St. Barbara Parish
Like many parishes around the country, there are considerable resource challenges amid the secular pressures of increasingly busy family schedules, digital distractions, and declining young adult attendance.
To address these challenges, our plan places a strong emphasis on expanding and deepening liturgy, faith formation, community building, stewardship and communication. We aim to further educate, inspire and engage all – especially parishioners – to a deeper relationship with God and each other. How this plays out in individual lives will differ, but we are all united in God’s love for us, our love for God, and our Catholic faith.
This plan builds on the many blessings of St. Barbara parish. We are attached to a large and active Franciscan Mission and Friary with a newly located Novitiate on the Mission grounds. Our Franciscan heritage shows us a way to live a Christian life and honor our Catholic faith. As a national and state historical landmark, the Mission and church receives thousands of visitors each year. The Mission has been under the continuous guidance of the Franciscans since it was established in 1786. We also have superb traditional liturgical music with the oldest continuous tradition of choral singing among any California mission.
Our biggest blessing, however, is the parishioners, which was readily apparent during a year of severe environmental challenges: the Thomas fire and a once-in-a-century flood and debris flow that killed 23 residents and injured many others. We responded by reaching out to the larger Santa Barbara community with special liturgical healing services, welcoming a parish whose church was inaccessible, opening our homes to needy neighbors, and holding a half-day seminar with community leaders called “How We Heal.” This illustrates the foundation and fabric on which this plan was created.
Fr. Dan Lackie, OFM became pastor of Saint Barbara Parish in October 2017 with a clear vision to create a Franciscan Center of Evangelization. Since then, an energized planning process has been underway involving many parishioners.
The plan, guided by the Holy Spirit, was developed with input from Fr. Dan and Fr. Larry Gosselin, OFM, Associate Pastor; the nine-member Pastoral Council, ex-officio Finance Council chair, five task forces led by Pastoral Council members, approximately 45 parishioners engaged in various ministries, and the results of a parish survey on faith formation. With guidance from the Pastoral Council, Fr. Dan had final approval.
Our planning process coincided with the strategic planning process of Old Mission Santa Barbara for the same period, 2018-2021. Thanks to a collaborative process with Fr. Dan Lackie OFM, Fr. John Hardin OFM, Guardian of the Friars; and Monica Orozco, Executive Director of the Mission, a single unifying vision was developed for all of us as the “Greater Santa Barbara Mission.” This collaboration will result in better coordination and stewardship with the Mission, Franciscan Friary and Archives-Library. That said, this plan focuses solely on the parish.
Fr. Dan Lackie OFM, Pastor
Ed Heron, Chair of the Pastoral Council
Fr. Larry Gosselin OFM, Associate Pastor
Jim Pattison, ex-officio, Finance Council chair
Operational Plan to Implement the Pastoral Plan
The following details will serve as a roadmap to implement the Pastoral Plan and will allow us to track if we are on plan and on budget. If not, “course corrections” will be made to the plan.
FOR YEARS 2 & 3 OF PASTORAL PLAN
Supporting the joyful celebration of the Liturgy and providing pastoral care that serves our parish family, visitors and the greater community.
|Objectives:||Date to be completed|
|1.||Family focused Mass:
Review and evaluate the existing family focused Mass with the expressed goal of increasing family participation in the parish.
Review music selections and resource liturgical ministry needs and make recommendations accordingly.
|Report on evaluation and detailed recommendations to be submitted to Pastoral Council and staff by 9.1.19.|
Institute a program to identify, invite and orient leaders for each liturgical ministry.
Develop program and procedures for ongoing formation for liturgical ministers.
|Leaders to be invited and selected by 8.1.19.
Formation and training program to be implemented by 12.31.19
|3.||Develop and implement a bereavement ministry.||Report outlining ministry and plan to institute due by 1.1.20 with implementation to be completed by 1.1.21|
FAITH FORMATION: Presenting multiple opportunities to embrace and grow in the Catholic faith by committing to personal spiritual growth, deepening the understanding of the Franciscan tradition, and learning about the church’s teaching on social issues
|Objectives:||Date to be completed|
|1.||Establish Faith Formation Leadership group composed of parents and catechists. Define roles and responsibilities of the group, in collaboration with the Pastor and the Faith Formation Director, relative to the ongoing formation of children and youth in the parish.||Leadership group to be established by 9.1.19.
Report on the purpose, roles, and responsibilities of the group to be completed by 9.1.19.
|2.||Establish program to create, support and guide Small Faith Groups. Outline and resource the operational support needed to support groups.
|Introduction of the Small Group ministry (and necessary operational support) to be introduced to parish by 2.1.20.|
|3.||Develop and implement an evaluation process to gauge the effectiveness and impact of parish Adult Formation programs. Include information on participation, survey results and desired learning outcomes, with an emphasis on the transmission of our Franciscan tradition and spirituality.
Submit report on findings and recommendations for ongoing programs,
|Evaluation process to be documented and implemented no later than 2.1.20.
Recommendations for ongoing programs to be submitted to Pastor by April 1, 2020.
|4.||Review and implement a program (local access preferred) to certify catechists for faith formation programs for children and youth – in accordance with Diocese guidelines||Program and enrolled participants to be in place by 1.1.20.|
|5.||Monitor and report on enrollment/participation in parish Religious Education programs for children and youth.
Provide summary of curriculum and evaluation of learning outcomes.
|Reporting process and format to be implemented by 12.1.19 with first report to be submitted by 1.1.20.|
COMMUNITY BUILDING: Offering occasions to develop meaningful relationships with fellow parishioners. Evangelization begins with building a strong parish community.
|Objectives||Date to be completed|
|1.||Evaluate and review additional opportunities for social gatherings encompassing all Parishioners, supporting all Ministries and engaging the Santa Barbara Community||
Report of findings and recommendations due by 1.1.20 with proposals for 2020-21 year to be submitted by 4.1.20
|2.||Have a master plan for regular parish social events and include finding ways to engage families and Westmont students
|Recommendations and report on proposed master plan due by 12.31.19|
STEWARDSHIP: Developing God-given talents and putting them to work for others
|Objectives:||Date to be completed|
|1.||Review and refine the volunteer recruitment, discernment and appreciation process to determine and implement the most efficient and efficacious ways to recruit, train, retain, support, and appreciate parish volunteers.
Develop and submit a report and recommendations to establish, implement and resource a comprehensive volunteer program – a critical need for the parish.
|Report and recommendations on volunteer programs and their ongoing support to be completed by 10.1.19|
|1. (a)||Communicate impact of parish volunteers through “Spotlight for Service” program.||Ongoing.|
|1. (b)||Designate Ministry Heads for all parish ministries/groups. Secure agreement from those asked to serve and provide information that will help all leaders with communication, volunteer training, recruitment and appreciation.
Prepare summary job descriptions for each leadership role.
|To be completed no later than 10.31.19|
|2.||Ongoing review and recommendation on the financial planning for the sustainability of the parish and its ministries.||Finance Council to advise Pastor and provide plan and recommendations as part of the annual planning and budgeting process.|
|3.||Participate in and support Old Mission Santa Barbara in creating and implementing a sound financial plan for operating reserves, capital needs and the creation of any endowment plan.||Recommendations due by 3.1.20|
|4.||Investigate and (if advisable) recommend holding a financial advisory workshop for parishioners.||Recommendation due by 3.1.20.|
|5.||Plan a Book drive for detention ministry – and provide information about the needs of those served and opportunities for volunteers.||Report and plan due by 1.1.20|
|6.||Evaluate and implement opportunities to be supportive of the Virgil Cordano Resource Center||Ongoing review of current program with formal report and recommendations for 2020-2021 due by April 2020.|
|7.||Develop a communication and information campaign to encourage On-line Giving and/or use of envelopes||Plan due by 9.1.19|
|8.||Explore how to make St. Barbara Parish a Laudato Si’parish.||Report due 6.1.20|
COMMUNICATION: Furnishing timely and complete parish information.
|Objectives:||Date to be completed|
|1.||Implement a Parish Census and continue surveys regarding new directions for the parish as it lives its mission,
|Develop and submit report and project plans for parish census. Plan to include details on parishioner communication and follow-up. Plan to also include procedures to monitor and manage parish database updates. Report and plans due by April 1, 2020|
|2.||Investigate and utilize Google Analytic Opportunities to gather usage statistic of website||
Recommendations and suggested implementation process due 1.1.20.
Develop formal policies and procedures for management of parish database and processes for securing parishioner updates.
Review and recommend additional modules for increased database functionality to support parish activities and communications.
|Policies and procedures to be documented and instituted by 10.1.19.
Recommendations on purchasing new modules – with plan to implement – due by 4.1.20
|4.||Creating channels of direct communication between pastoral leadership and the parish (email system, surveys)||Plan to implement due by 12.1.19|
|5.||Leverage social media platforms in conjunction with The Old Mission||Report 3rd quarter 2019|
|6.||Support Mission objectives and plans for security, safety and incident response programs. Incorporate security guidelines into procedures for ministries and parish community events||TBD|
|7.||Implement the archdiocese’s safe environment programs, policies and procedures for background checks and training||Fingerprinting 3.31.2020-Training by 6.30.2021 with update report by 1.1.21|