During the month of October, Cardinal Tobin, the Archbishop of Newark, held a meeting in each of the four counties that make up the Archdiocese of Newark, namely, Essex, Bergen, Union and Hudson Counties. During these county-wide meetings the Cardinal shared his pastoral vision for the Church here in our Archdiocese.
The last of those county meetings, the one for the Catholics of Hudson County, took place here at Our Lady of Mercy this past Tuesday, October 29. Obviously, the Cardinal saved the meeting for the #1 county of the Archdiocese for last, and he chose the #1 parish in the county to host it!
The Cardinal said that his vision and hope for the Archdiocese involved six components or “pillars.” They included: Protection of the Faithful; Accountability, Transparency and Communication; Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning; Lifelong Faith Formation and Education; Ongoing Formation/Support of the Clergy; and Active Engagement of the Laity. Together these areas make up, “Forward in Faith Together, Our Road Ahead,” the name for the new pastoral plan for the Church of the Archdiocese of Newark.
During the meeting, which was attended by some 175 people, the Cardinal not only shared his vision, he took time to address questions raised by those in attendance. Some of the questions addressed to the Cardinal had to do with passing on the Catholic Faith to a new generation.
The Cardinal mentioned that it is important that the Church not only talk to young people but that it listen to them and give them something to do so that faith moves beyond words into acts of service. The Cardinal mentioned the important role of parents as religious educators. The Cardinal said that his father never sent him to Mass, but rather that his father took him to Mass with him. Parents, the Cardinal stressed, need to walk with their children as together they journey closer to the Lord.
For more information about the pastoral plan, please visit forward.rcan.org