MARION — Officials from the Diocese of Charleston visited the Church of the Infant Jesus on June 12 to hear about accomplishments and any needs that might be met with diocesan assistance. Members of the parish used the diocesan pastoral plan as a guide to create a written assessment of the parish, said parish council member JoAnne Hickey.
The parish also arranged a public forum so parishioners could present their concerns to the delegates.
Council members worked on the written presentation for several meetings, Hickey said in a press release. They created a form that was distributed to parishioners, to help them provide input.
The results were presented to the diocesan officials, who said they were greeted by the largest group of parishioners ever, of any visit anywhere in the state, according to Hickey.
“One suggestion they said was almost certain to be implemented, and could not happen without diocesan assistance, was for the smaller churches in the Pee Dee to ally with the bigger churches to create a combined youth group and arrange trips, programs and events that might not be possible for a small group from a single church,” Hickey said.
The four diocesan representatives who visited the parish were Msgr. Joseph R. Roth, vicar general; Father Karl Roesch, OSB, dean of the Pee Dee Deanery; Lisa Rawlins, director of planning; and Matthew Dwyer, director of stewardship and development.
“I was so pleased to see that this parish had made a tremendous amount of effort to review the diocesan pastoral plan,” Rawlins told The Miscellany. “This is an excellent example of how parishes can utilize the plan to build up their faith community.”
Every year the diocesan team tries to visit 12 or more parishes, with the goal of visiting all of the parishes on behalf the diocese.