Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Praise be to Jesus Christ, now and forever! At the first Pentecost, Christ came to his apostles and breathed onto them the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. He breathes on us today, his faithful in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
We find ourselves very much like the apostles who were gathered in a room. Like them, our hearts rejoice when we encounter Jesus. Like them, he sends us on a mission and gives us his Holy Spirit so that we may go out and Unleash the Gospel.
God is pouring out his Spirit so we can continue the work of the apostles. The Spirit enables us to proclaim the Good News to those in our families, workplaces and communities. The Holy Spirit, our Advocate, gives us the courage to continue our missionary journey.
And on this day, I would like to announce the next phase of our movement to Unleash the Gospel: the renewal of our parishes. For the Gospel to truly be unleashed, we must re-found our parishes so that everything we do — how we pray, how we minister, how we serve — leads us to be more effective witnesses to the Gospel.
This next phase of our missionary journey will require prayer, innovation, and hard work so that our parish communities become what God made them to be: places where individuals and families encounter Jesus anew, grow as his disciples, and are equipped to be witnesses of the Risen Christ.
To spark this transformation, each parish in the Archdiocese will create a plan to realign all its activity and ministry to our shared mission to Unleash the Gospel. These missionary strategic plans will provide the direction and focus for each parish’s missionary transformation.
Today, ten parishes in the Archdiocese will begin the process of creating these plans. I am grateful for the apostolic courage of these first pastors and their parishes. Other parishes will follow early next year and more will continue after.
This is nothing short of a complete overhaul of our Church in Detroit — a task too great to do on our own. But we are not alone. Christ is with us. We cannot fail, because we are in communion with the risen Jesus and we act in the power of his Spirit.
So, I ask you to join me in prayer. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to come and transform our hearts and our parishes. Let us pray for boldness in our plans and efforts. Let us pray that each one of our parishes may discern how it is called to Unleash the Gospel with its unique set of gifts and circumstances.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit