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 | By Bishop Oscar Cantú

The Journey to 2031 Has Begun

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

As we journey towards 2031, the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of San José, the road map that will guide our local church is the Pastoral Plan, inspired by the Diocesan Synod in January 2023. Two years ago, we celebrated our diocese’s 40th anniversary. While the pandemic necessitated adjusting and moderating our jubilee celebrations, we nonetheless recalled the past, appreciated and celebrated the present, and looked forward to the future. Part of looking to the future was an initial look forward to our 50th anniversary. And thus, we journey toward 2031.

As you have read in previous issues, we had a successful first-ever Diocesan Synod last January 27-29, 2023. Since then, we have chosen to extend our time to formulate the process for implementing our pastoral plan. Per my request, its promulgation date will move from Pentecost 2023 to Advent 2023. This added time will allow us to plan more carefully and thoughtfully. I firmly believe it is far more important to take our time to do this right than to do it quickly.

Post Synod Discernment

Following the January synod, I have been able to reflect on the prioritized proposals. I determined that 48 proposals were too many to focus on. Therefore, in consultation with others, I have decided to concentrate our pastoral plan on five strategic priorities, under which many of the top proposals can be accomplished. The five strategic priorities that will anchor our pastoral plan are Worship; Formation; Retreats; Youth, Young adults, and Families; and Outreach. Additionally, reflecting on the feedback from the synod process, it became clear that our diocese must undergo a structural renewal to lay a foundation so that the other priorities can be developed sustainably.

Pastoral Planning Commission

A pastoral planning commission comprising 22 lay and clergy from various backgrounds, experiences, and talents has completed a draft of the Pastoral Plan based on the five strategic priorities and synod input. A team from the Reid Group has been facilitating this planning process with the support of a coordinating team (seven diocesan leaders who provide me with ongoing consultation and guidance in the pastoral planning process). Various stakeholders in the diocese have recently vetted the plan's first draft. We expect to produce two more drafts before final promulgation so that our stakeholders, such as clergy, lay leaders, school leaders, parish leaders, and Catholic organizations, can have continued input in the planning process. Throughout this process, we are mindful of being faithful to the input from the synod process and the overarching goal of spiritual renewal of our diocese.


After our plan is finalized, the hard work of putting the plan into action will come. Implementation will take a lot of work, coordination, and cooperation. We continue to pray that the Holy Spirit sustain and guide this important work – to glorify God and to work for our spiritual growth as we serve others. May we continue to encounter God with ever greater effect through a Spirit-inspired plan! The proverb says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Pr 29:18). May we understand the vision of the Lord for us and pursue it together!

Bishop Oscar Cantú