Bishop Kemme hopes to unveil vision statement at Chrism Mass March 27

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This past fall, as you may know, I conducted 10 listening sessions throughout the diocese, gathering in various places and with various groups of our diocesan family. These listening sessions were intended to give me an opportunity to listen to the Holy Spirit truly at work in the hearts and souls of the people I and my brother priests are honored to serve.
I can say with all honesty that I was deeply inspired and moved by so much of what I heard, reflecting on three simple but profound questions: What do we do well as a diocese?, What could and should we be doing better?, and, What priorities should we focus on for the next three to five years?
The responses we received were substantial. Among the many themes that emerged from the listening sessions are these: stewardship, evangelization – especially for our youth and young adults, increased Mass attendance, Catholic education, diocesan and religious vocations, increasing needs of those with disabilities, sacred liturgy and reverence, adoration, outreach to the poor and vulnerable, ongoing formation of the clergy, discipleship, tithing, and a host of many other worthy and interesting subjects. In many ways, we do most if not all of these well, recognizing of course that there is always room for improvement.
So, where do we go from here? What is the next step in this important process? I’d like to tell you. Recently, the 15 diocesan delegates who joined me for last summer’s “The Joy of the Gospel in America” national convocation in Orlando, Florida, met over two days and discerned what our vision should be and what priorities we would establish for the next three to five years.
Again, this time was dynamic, engaging, and indeed challenging. We found that there is so much to focus on, but we realized that we would be wise to limit our priorities to only a few so as to ensure success and excellence. We will continue to discern this question for the next several weeks.
It is my hope and plan to unveil our vision statement and the set of priorities at or near the Chrism Mass in March. After that, I will look to our pastors and the directors of our curia offices and other related ministries to take this vision and the priorities and to discern with their various constituents the strategies that they will use to address our diocesan priorities in their particular context of parish life and ministry. I hope this will prove to be a time of renewal for all our parishes, diocesan offices and related ministries.
It is an exciting time for our diocese. As someone said at our recent visioning meeting, we are at a crossroads in our history. Looking back over the past 30 or more years and, indeed, reviewing the entire history of our diocese, we now look to the immediate future. In the spirit of Pope Francis, let us endeavor to bring the Joy of the Gospel to a new generation with renewed vibrancy, enthusiasm and life.
Please know of my profound thanks to all who participated in the listening sessions either in person or through the website of the diocese. Your contribution to our mission is a great gift.
Please continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will give us wisdom, fortitude, understanding, right judgment, piety, courage and fear of the Lord. The Holy Spirit has gifted the church since the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit will never fail us if we seek wisdom from above.
God bless you and may God bless the Diocese of Wichita.
+ Bishop Carl A. Kemme