Samples Compiled by Mark F. Fischer
1. Definitions of a Mission Statement
A. A mission statement is “a broad statement of the overall direction and purpose of the parish.” William Rademacher and Marliss Rogers, The New Practical Guide for Parish Councils (Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 1988), p. 163.
- Clear enough so that its intent is obvious, yet not so detailed that it becomes burdensome.
- Flexible enough enough to allow for interpretation; it does not try to cover every conceivable situation.
- Short, clear, and understandable.
B. A mission statement (according to Robert G. Howes, Parish Planning: A Practical Guide to Shared Responsibility (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1994), p. 56), can be described as:
- The group’s reason for existence, its purpose and philosophy.
- Its fundamental commitments and the way they are managed.
- The direction and meaning of its activities.
- Its overall purpose and the purpose of its parts.
C. Characteristics of the statement (Howes, p. 57):
- It must inspire as well as inform.
- It must be local and homegrown, not copied from another parish.
- It must be spiritual.
- It must be concise.
- It must emerge from a process in which all parishioners are invited to belong.
2. Basic Elements of a Parish Mission Statement
A. Dimensions of the mission of the universal Church (Rademacher and Rogers, p. 163).
- To proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
- To build up a community of love.
- To celebrate the liturgies of praise and thanksgiving.
- To serve others in the name of Jesus Christ.
- To enable all to grow in their relationship to Jesus Christ.
B. The statement should also articulate the situation of the local parish.
- It should state particular issues that distinguish the parish from other parishes.
- It should refer to the parish’s locale and time in history.
- It should speak of the gifts that enable the parish to undertake its mission.
The Mission of St. John’s Church
St. John’s Parish is established to bring us together as a Catholic Faith Community. We will provide support for all our members through liturgy/worship/education, especially religious education/service/social events and the simple enjoyment of each other.
We will be witnesses to the Christ Who has touched our lives. We will proclaim His Gospel and be His Church. We also recognize and support a responsibility to the large community of the Ventura County area, the Diocese and the World. So the pursuit of justice is an important concerns.
Our parish life will center on the Eucharist during which we will celebrate the presence of the Risen Lord among us. As a baptized faith community, we the people of St. John’s Parish will be filled with the Spirit of Jesus Who brings new life to us all.
– Robert G. Howes, Parish Planning: A Practical Guide to Shared Responsibility (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1994), p. 57.
The Mission of Our Lady of the Rosary Church
As a parish , which is united with the Catholic Church throughout the world, we the people of Our Lady of the Rosary Church proclaim our belief in the message and mission of Jesus Christ.
As a parish, we seek to live out that belief as a community of worship, of shared faith and of service where each member shares with others the gifts and talents received from God.
– Arthur X. Deegan, II, “Strategic/Pastoral Planning,” in Arthur X. Deegan, II, Editor, Developing a Vibrant Parish Pastoral Council (New York and Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1995), p. 138.
The Mission of Holy Spirit Parish
As members of Holy Spirit Parish in State City, Nebraska, we believe that we share in the mission of Jesus through our baptism and commitment to the values expressed in the gospel.
The dedication of our parish to the Holy Spirit calls us to be particularly attentive to the inspiration and guidance of the Spirit as we:
- gather as a community that worships together and supports one another in spiritual growth;
- witness to our belief through sharing our faith with others and providing for education in faith to our members;
- respond with compassion to both the spiritual and corporal needs of those around us;
- care for the many gifts we have been given and seek to use them wisely.
We do all of this as members of a larger community of believers within the Omaha Archdiocese and the universal Church.
– Pastoral Development Office, Archdiocese of Omaha, Parish Pastoral Council Handbook (Omaha: Archdiocese of Omaha, 1994), B. 5.