Bishop Matthew H. Clark received a national award for pastoral planning April 12 from the national Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development, which met in Chicago last week.
Bishop Clark received the conference’s Lumen Gentium Award, which, according to the group’s website, recognizes pastoral leadership in planning and broad consultation processes and initiative and creativity in responding to parish or diocesan changing needs. The award is named for the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, which examined the nature of the Catholic Church.
More than a decade ago, Bishop Clark began the diocesanwide planning process Pastoral Planning for a New Millennium, which taps lay volunteers to work with church leadership to meet the challenges of the future. Planners draft multiyear strategies to address changing demographics, a decline in the number of available priests and other pressing issues.
"This award truly is shared with the many, many people who have diligently worked to help us embrace the needs of our parishes in the 21st century," Bishop Clark said in a statement. "I am very grateful for all the hundreds of dedicated people who have helped our diocese embrace the future."
Bernard Grizard, diocesan director of Parish Support Ministries who oversees the Office of Pastoral Planning, said Pastoral Planning for the New Millennium has been unique "in that it offers to the people in the pews the key role of forming for themselves a plan for the future and then making recommendations to the bishop. They truly have a voice."
Bishop Clark has led the 12-county Diocese of Rochester since 1979. This is the second national award he has received in the past six months. In November 2010, he was named Exemplary Bishop of the Year by the Catholic Campus Ministry Association.Tags: Bishop Matthew H. Clark