Pastoral Planning

Pastoral Planning seeks to enliven and foster the mission of the church in the Archdiocese of Omaha through collaboration and dialogue. The pastoral planning process invites the people of the Archdiocese to imagine anew in our current time. Guided by the Holy Spirit, clergy, religious and laity alike are asked to enter a time of discernment around the mission of the Church and together with the Archbishop create a dynamic, life-giving vision for our future.

Pastoral planning is built on consultation and dialogue that leads to action. All Catholics are invited to be a part of the conversation that creates our future as well as lending their gifts and living out our mission together.

The Office of Pastoral Planning exists to support and facilitate this essential conversation within the parishes and clusters of the Archdiocese and encourage action on behalf of mission. We hope that the information and conversation provided here will assist parish communities in developing a shared vision which leads to a vibrant future.


Our Mission

The Pastoral Planning Office assists the Archbishop in fulfilling his obligation to the People of God in the Archdiocese of Omaha. Our mission flows from the eternal mission of the Church “to go forth and make disciples of all nations”.
The Pastoral Planning Office accomplishes this by:

  • Providing tools to engage in prayerful discernment of the parishes’ mission and the implementation of that mission.
  • Facilitating consultation and collaboration within and among parishes to provide and sustain an ongoing process of dialogue and decision-making regarding the future of the Church.
  • Developing and supporting training and formation in processes of pastoral planning and the essential mission of the Church.

Fostering unity through diversity; strengthening the communion among the parishes of the Archdiocese.


What is Pastoral Planning?

Pastoral planning is a faith community-based process that seeks to direct all activities of the Archdiocese of Omaha toward the fulfillment of the basic mission of the Church in light of the current circumstances within our local area.

Pastoral planning seeks to create opportunities for pastoral leaders and all members of the parishes to share their hopes and dreams for the future of the local Church through the lens of mission.

Pastoral planning seeks to organize the efforts of each parish and cluster while calling forth new leaders to implement shared goals.

Pastoral Planning also facilitates a conversation regarding the resources available to the Church to fulfill the mission entrusted to us. Pastoral Planning seeks to order the gifts and resources of the Church to enable the Gospel to be proclaimed throughout our Archdiocese with ever-increasing vibrancy and enthusiasm.

Pastoral Planning occurs on three levels beginning with the parish:

  • Parish Pastoral Planning
  • Merger/Cluster Planning
  • Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning


Parish Pastoral Planning

Pastoral Planning begins on the parish level with each pastor forming a Parish Council, a group of lay leaders who, with the pastoral staff, gather the consultation of the wider community and create a plan of action based on the essential mission of the Church. Parish Pastoral Planning involves consultation of all parishioners and a deep reflection on the core values of the parish community. Through Parish Pastoral Planning, parishes throughout the Archdiocese are invited to:

  • Look at the parish in light of the Gospel Mission.
  • Evaluate their parish using the Criteria for Parish Vitality.
  • Facilitate a broad consultation process with all members of the parish community.
  • Assess the strengths and resources of the parish.
  • Assess the limitations and needs of the parish.
  • Examine the local neighborhood in which the parish exists.
  • Articulate a mission statement for the parish.
  • Create priorities and goals for the next 3-5 years.


Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning

Throughout the pastoral planning process, Archdiocesan offices and departments will reflect on the goals which the parishes and clusters articulate. The hope of pastoral planning is that the Offices of the Archdiocese will interface with the parishes and clusters in relation to the pastoral plans to respond to the needs of the local communities as they are articulated.


Orientation & Training

Ongoing formation is a necessary part of any Parish Pastoral Council to develop as a community of leaders, individual disciples, as consulters to the pastor and servants to the People of God.
The staff is available to Parishes for orientation and on-going formation.



These resources are used in the parish merger process. All resources are to be used by transition teams that were formed by the pastors to develop a merger plan.