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  Bishop Conlon Adjusts Structure of the Diocesan Curia

Following recent discussions with the Diocesan Presbyteral Council and the deans, as well as with the Diocesan Pastoral Council and Curia agencies, Bishop R. Daniel Conlon has made several adjustments to the structure of the diocesan Curia. Bishop Conlon and the diocesan staff hope that these changes will assist the bishop in a more effective governance of the Diocese of Joliet, particularly in the areas of pastoral ministry, Christian service and formation.

The intended “effective date” for these changes willbe Jan. 1, 2019. However, various elements will beginprovisionally.

The major changes are highlighted below:

  • What was formerly called the Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis will be called the Secretariat for Christian Formation. The offices in this secretariat will focus on a holistic and life-long approach developing relationships with God. In addition to forming minds through catechesis, they will also focus on forming hearts through prayer and practice.
    • The Religious Education Office and Office of Lay Formation will be re-named to the Office of Youth Formation and the Office of Adult Formation, specifically to reflect this change in focus. The former will deal primarily with children from the earliest ages through high school (those key formative years), while the latter will focus on those of legal adulthood, aimed more at developing lifelong practices of continual growth in the Catholic faith. (No explicit changes are anticipated for the Catholic Schools Office, which is also located in this Secretariat.)
    • Because of this more holistic approach to the formation of youth, much of the current youth ministry programming will be moved to this secretariat. These programs – notably Kairos retreats, scouting, youth sports programs, and parish-based youth ministry efforts – are principally formational experiences, and so fit well into this newly-defined secretariat.

  • What was formerly called the Secretariat for Pastoral Concerns will be called the Secretariat for Christian Life. Once persons are formed in the faith —but without ever ceasing in their own formation — they are called to live that faith in daily life. Importantly, the faithful are called to worship and called to evangelize others. 
    • While there already exists an office dedicated to divine worship, discussions have led Bishop Conlon to authorize the creation of an Office of Evangelization. Christ’s command to “Go and Make Disciples” was the call of pastoral planning efforts these past few years, and it is the principal theme in his recent pastoral letter.
    • The remaining offices in this secretariat focus on ways in which certain members of the faithful are called to live out their faith in their daily lives — as young adults, as a minority culture or ethnicity, as Catholic women and men, or as married couples and family members.

  • Finally, what was formerly called the Secretariat for Social Concerns will be called the Secretariat for Christian Service, which focuses on the way the Christian faithful reveal their love of neighbor though acts of charity or advocacy for the needy, the oppressed and the vulnerable.
    • One specific change in this area of the Curia is thatthe Office of Human Dignity will assume leadershipin advocating on behalf of those with mental andphysical disabilities.

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