TRUMBULL, Conn. – Bishop Frank J. Caggiano issued a call for “co-responsibility” as the Diocese of Bridgeport moves forward to implement initiatives approved in its recently completed synod.
Speaking to nearly 200 delegates in the first post-synod session recently at St. Catherine of Siena Family Center in Trumbull, the bishop said: “We are all in this together, and we’re not going to do it alone. There are lots of potential leaders in our parishes. It’s time to challenge them to give more of their time and talents to help the church evangelize.”
The Diocese of Bridgeport serves all of Fairfield County, with more than 410,000 Roman Catholics in 82 parishes.
Caggiano said each parish will be encouraged to host a Discernment Day in the fall to engage parishioners and ask them to use talents in service of the church.
“God has blessed them as individuals with many talents, and we will ask them to give one back for the good of the church,” he said.
While Caggiano believes synod initiatives will work to renew the diocese, they all depend on the “one-on-one” person evangelization efforts of Catholics throughout Fairfield County."
"No program in and of itself will reverse these trends," he said. "The only way is if we raise an army of individuals who will evangelize one person at a time -- that’s the vision of Pope Francis and my vision as well.
“When we start knocking on doors, listening to broken hearts and inviting them in compassion to find what they’re looking for, these trends will be reversed."
Patrick Turner, director of strategic and pastoral planning for the diocese, gave an overview of the strategic planning process now underway throughout the diocese.
He said each parish will be given a statistical “snapshot” by the diocese based on data they have submitted. Each parish will be free to respond to synod challenges in their own way, and the process will lead to 82 individual plans that will come to the bishop for approval.