Our vision was created by the Pastoral Council directly from the input of our Holy Spirit parishioners. Shortly after our new church was built, a survey was conducted to evaluate our mission and resource requirements. Over 200 surveys were returned, confirming the stewardship mind-set of Holy Spirit parishioners. With these inputs, over the past few years we have been formulating our plan to meet the current and future needs of the parish.
A majority of parishioners who participated in the survey agreed that as stewards of faith, our relationships with God and faith formation are our first priorities. As followers of Christ we have a desire to learn more about his way and our faith. Furthermore, there was a desire to reach out to others and share that journey of faith and the teachings of Christ. From today for tomorrow; we have the responsibility and are committed to uphold that faith for future generations and to help secure our church’s position in society.
The members of the Pastoral Council analyzed the responses to the survey and in response developed five long-term objectives:
1. Provide Religious Education/Formation programs which will enable all parish members to appreciate, understand, and articulate their Catholic faith with enthusiasm and conviction.
2. Enable and encourage evangelization through celebrating and sharing faith in the community.
3. Heighten awareness of the role and purpose of the Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils, Commissions, School Board and the Pastoral Plan.
4. Strengthen the relationship between our parish school and church community.
5. Practice stewardship, as a way of life for our parish and its members through the sharing of our gifts of time, talent and treasure.
Now, here we are, ten years later and our parish has grown by leaps and bounds. Our parish vision has shifted at times but education, evangelization and stewardship are still at the forefront of our goals. Sts. Peter and Paul facility is used by numerous groups as well as our religious education/formation programs. Improvements to the Peter and Paul facility are still goals of the parish. Holy Spirit Catholic School remains on Central Avenue. At the diocesan level, talks have begun to consolidate the Catholic schools in Great Falls into the Great Falls Catholic School System. If Peter and Paul is needed as part of that system, that renovation will move up on the priority list.
Other projects such as landscaping and expanded parking are being completed. As we practice stewardship of our environment, perhaps we should be taking on projects that not only protect the environment but also reduce our costs and thereby enable improvement or expansion of ministries with the funds saved.
There will be challenges as our parish continues to grow. We can wait and react until the time we are confronted with these future requirements or we can be proactive and plan for them in advance. We know that, as good stewards we will want to be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that lay ahead.