FOCUS FOR OUR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
From all the information gathered at the parish summits held in May 2014, the following areas of study were identified. They are based and build on our six charisms. Each statement looks to the future.
THE EUCHARIST: CELEBRATING THE CORE OF OUR FAITH AND COMMUNITY
- We place the Eucharist at the center of our relationship with God and with each other—our “everything” at Loyola: our faith, spirituality, spirit of community and social action.
- Through the Eucharist, we are an inclusive, sensitive community alive in the Holy Spirit.
- Through music, liturgical dance or other rituals our Mass celebrations reflect the various ages and cultural and ethnic backgrounds of our community members.
- Our most Sacred Space (church building) is:
- Structured to adequately accommodate individuals, families of all sizes and ages, and those with special needs;
- Maintained to promote an atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and joyful celebration; and,
- Preserved with elements that enrich the beauty of the church.
- The cultural and ethnic diversity of our parish community is represented by adult and youth Eucharistic ministers, lectors, altar servers, greeters and ushers of all orientations.
- The contribution of our time, talents and treasure is fundamental to our celebration of community at Mass.
- All who seek God and fellowship are respectfully welcomed to our Eucharistic celebration. We embrace visitors and populations most in need.
INCLUSIVENESS: ALL ARE WELCOME WITH RESPECT AND A SMILE
- With energetic excitement, we foster, value and practice inclusiveness and diversity in all of its manifestations, specifically intergenerational, gender, ethnic, cultural, economic and social.
- Being an inclusive parish community requires ongoing care and attentiveness, which we practice.
- Diversity and inclusiveness are evident in all levels of parish ministries, outreach programs and in volunteer positions of leadership.
- The parish benefits from the Sudanese community’s ministry that reflects its experience of Christ and Mary, the Mother of God.
- We expand our relationships beyond the boundaries of our parish, reaching out to and collaborating with diverse cultural and ethnic groups, faith traditions, socio/economic groups, and gender-based populations, in addressing issues of social justice.
- We humbly search for God together as a community rich in diversity, humility and joy.
- We celebrate with respect and joy the cultural and ethnic traditions of our parishioners in our liturgies and parish social events, including cross-cultural celebrations.
- We welcome and respect people as they are, not as “organized religion” would have them be.
- We recognize the changing face of diversity by offering ministries that are inclusive of our parishioners’ backgrounds and experiences.
- Culturally knowledgeable adult and youth members of our congregation are in parish leadership positions.
- Loyola is recognized as a beacon of diversity and inclusiveness in City Park and surrounding neighborhoods.
COMMUNITY: OUR GIFT TO EACH OTHER
- We experience a powerful relationship with God through the relationships we build with each other.
- Over time and through our heartfelt connections, our trust in each other grows.
- We build our community, praying and learning from each other, by listening to Scripture, worshiping, and reaching out into our world together.
- We maintain and develop our facilities to host events that adequately and comfortably provide our members with fellowship, educational, and recreational opportunities designed to nourish and strengthen our community.
- We continue to grow as a friendly, inclusive, prayerful community.
- We are a vibrant Catholic parish that remains relevant in meeting the challenges of contemporary society.
- Building on the legacy of our elders, we sustain intergenerational programs that honor their contributions to our community and meet their unique spiritual, physical and social needs.
- Our communication initiatives are multimedia, function with the latest technology, and are regularly evaluated to assure that all parishioners are kept abreast of key events and issues relevant to our community’s life.
- We engage self-organizing teams to identify, experiment with and engage in new, creative initiatives aligned with our vision.
- We host various social events throughout the year to uplift our community.
- Small Church communities are organized for those seeking a more intensive experience of sharing in a faith community.
- We hold “Holy Conversations” through Parish Summits at least once each year.
- We share our time, talent and treasure to assure that our parish has the necessary resources and personnel to move toward our goals and provide the needed leadership and support.
FAITH IN ACTION: CATHOLIC SOCIAL DOCTRINE THRIVING IN OUR PARISH NEIGHBORHOOD AND GREATER COMMUNITY
- We support and help our community’s families meet, at least, their basic, human needs.
- We nourish the spiritual needs of the individual and of the community, with special care for homebound, ill and disabled individuals.
- We develop and grow comprehensive ministries appropriate to each generation within our parish that incorporate Ignatian spirituality and service opportunities.
- We structure our outreach efforts to respond to cultural and ethnic diversity, as well as gender and age differences.
- We extend our social action into our surrounding neighborhood and, when applicable and feasible, the community at-large.
- We coordinate our outreach activities with other churches and organizations.
- We educate individuals and our community about our outreach activities as a means of recruiting individuals to work with us.
- We boldly and effectively use personal invitations for service in building our cadre of outreach volunteers.
- We partner with national Ignatian service organizations as a means of incorporating Ignatian spirituality into our outreach efforts.
- We invite the homeless (and others in need) to be active members of our parish life, to pray with us, and celebrate the Eucharist with us.
- We weave our interpersonal relationships, worship, study, fellowship events, and social action to develop creative ministries.
WISDOM: LEARNING ABOUT OUR FAITH AND AWARENESS OF GOD IN OUR LIFE AND WORLD
- Loyola fosters both formal adult religious education and spirituality programs. The Ignatian Spirituality Program is a primary source for these initiatives. These programs are designed to help us acquire greater knowledge and understanding of our faith and grow in spiritual life through Ignatian-based retreats, days of recollection, and days of prayer.
- Ignatian discernment is integral to:
- The decision-making process of our parish’s mandated councils, committees, teams and small communities;
- Our ongoing development as a parish community; and,
- Service to our greater community through our social outreach efforts.
- We model Christian life to and for each other by sharing the stories of our faith journeys and experiences of God active in our lives.
- We are active members of our parish rather than spectators, serving God and each other through our ministries, social action and prayer.
- We experience spiritual growth through the development of deep, committed, intergenerational and enriching relationships.
- We connect with other Denver-area Jesuit ministries (e.g. Sacred Heart Retreat House and Regis University) as resources for our parish in our movement towards wisdom.
CELEBRATION AND ENGAGEMENT OF YOUTH: CREATING A SENSE OF BELONGING AND PURPOSE
- We honor, respect and listen to our youth as they are involved and active in all facets of our parish life.
- Loyola maintains a formal, engaging Youth Program that is adequately staffed and financed. It includes access to and training for the parish’s ministries and outreach efforts. The Program also provides social events to create fellowship and camaraderie.
- Membership in our Youth Program is diverse and inclusive, reflective of Loyola’s composition.
- Our youth:
- Support and bond with each other by directing their faith and energy into religious and social activities;
- Have access to a formal religious education program at Loyola;
- Are aware of and respect the legacy of our elders, resulting in a partnership that is mutually beneficial to both generations;
- Are prepared to utilize their gifts of time, talent and treasure;
- Are trained in leadership and active as leaders in various parish ministries and activities; and,
- Express their love of God through membership in ministries associated with our Eucharistic celebrations, including choir.
- Adult members of our parish model Christian life for our youth and serve as mentors in a variety of functions and settings.
- The Ignatian Spirituality Program offers age-appropriate events for our youth.
- Young adults are actively involved with the Youth Program and serve as mentors.
- Young adults away at college are kept abreast of our Youth Program and are active participants during their academic breaks.