Church of the Magdalen
(July 2017-June 2020)
Pastoral Plan Prayer

The Church of the Magdalen (Magdalen Parish) is a Roman Catholic Parish of the Diocese of Wichita of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ, and in union with the Pope as the Vicar of Christ and head of the Universal Church.

Having a missionary mandate from Jesus Christ, our Church is a “pilgrim Church,” which must constantly update its methods of evangelization to accompany the people down through the centuries and into every home. The Magdalen Parish is therefore a pilgrim parish, continuously in need of renewing the way in which it fulfills the mission given to us by Jesus Christ to “go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The Magdalen Parish mission statement flows from the missionary character of the Church: “To cultivate a family of stewards for Christ through personal prayer, public worship, Catholic education, ministry to one another and the community at large.”

This Pastoral Plan is in response to our need to focus our resources of time, talent and treasure on the most important objectives that we would like to accomplish over the next three years. We have also had changes in pastoral leadership at the universal, diocesan and parish levels since our last pastoral plan discernment process. In March 2013 Pope Francis was elected and installed as our new pontiff; in May 2014, the Diocese celebrated the ordination and installation of our new Bishop, Most Rev. Carl A. Kemme; and in June 2015, Rev. W. Shawn McKnight was appointed as our Pastor.

Having completed our previous pastoral plan of 2012, and after having changes in pastoral leaders, we conducted surveys and focus groups of men, women and youth of the parish on how we might respond to the pastoral vision of our new leadership, especially the pastoral plan of Pope Francis laid out in The Joy of the Gospel. We have adopted the following vision statement taken directly from Pope Francis to guide us in the implementation of our mission over the next three years: “Church of the Magdalen will be an environment for hearing God’s word, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities, the parish will encourage and train its members to be evangelizers. It will be a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a center of constant missionary outreach” (cf. The Joy of the Gospel, no. 28).

Pastoral Priorities

The Pastor and Parish Pastoral Council of Magdalen Parish hereby identify three key pastoral priorities to be accomplished over the next three years:

  • Formation for Evangelization (FFE): The surveys and focus groups made it clear that parishioners feel encouragement to be evangelizers, but very few understand what that means or how to do it. This priority identifies our need to provide better and more effective training in how we can personally witness our faith to others.
  • Reach out to the Margins (ROM): Parishioners are somewhat familiar with the nature and purpose of our very active St. Vincent de Paul Society conference, but few have taken advantage of numerous other ways to connect them personally with those in need. This priority will focus our resources on how to fulfill Pope Francis’ dream of a church for the poor;
  • Active Service, Personal Prayer and Liturgy (SPL): Pope Francis reminds us that in order to be good evangelizers outside the Church, we must first be nourished from our spiritual resources within the Church. The promotion of active stewardship, commitment to the parish adoration chapel, and assisting the active participation of parishioners at Sunday Mass are our chief goals with this priority.

Schedule of Pastoral Objectives

Over the next three years, Magdalen Parish will undertake the following objectives to accomplish our key pastoral priorities:

Year I and following

  • Improve the quality of our church sound system (SPL);
  • Evaluate and revise the current practice of welcoming new parishioners from initial contact to utilization of parish mentors, to a reception and tour of facilities, and to hosting a “name tag weekend” with reception following Mass (FFE/ROM/SPL);
  • Provide immediate registration to join the parish in the gathering space (SPL);
  • Assess the utility of the current parish database system and stewardship forms to better promote and track the time and talent of parishioners (SLP);
  • Initiate a “children’s liturgy of the word” during the 9:30 am and 11:30 am Sunday Masses to allow families to attend church together while meeting the catechetical needs of 3-5 year olds and the needs of their parents (SPL);
  • Revitalize our youth ministry, high school PSR and Confirmation programming through changes in format and curriculum (FFE/SPL);
  • Engage more youth of the parish by establishing a youth board for planning and communication of youth ministry events (FFE/SPL);
  • Hold a parish mission to inspire and form men, women and youth for evangelization and charitable outreach (FFE/ROM/SPL);
  • Implement Kapaun’s Men model of formation for men of the parish (FFE/SPL);
  • Identify leaders for the establishment of women’s small faith groups (FFE/SPL);
  • Task the new Safety Advisory Board to address issues regarding parking and access to the church (ROM);
  • Improve communication about the Magdalen St. Vincent de Paul Conference activities and the function of the Charity, Hospitality and Service Board (ROM/SPL);
  • Expose students in Magdalen Catholic School (MCS) to culturally significant celebrations of the Vietnamese and Hispanic cultures (e.g., Our Lady of Guadalupe / Our Lady of La Vang) through class lessons, lunch menu options, and continuation of courses on Spanish (FFE/ROM/SPL);
  • Assist parents through “Parent University,” which would include presentations on multiple topics throughout the year (SPL);
  • Surveys and listening sessions for parents of MCS to develop a school strategic plan (FFE/SPL);
  • Professional development of staff of MCS with regard to enculturation (ROM).
  • Develop a standardized form of images of Saints to be added to the church over time (SPL);
  • Bring all of the church shrines into conformity to the recently renovated St. Teresa shrine (e.g., candles in sconces on the wall) (SPL);
  • Development of “captains” for altar servers to promote accountability (SPL);
  • Improve services to people with special needs in the church by adding a holy water font and stationing an usher at the special needs entrance; promoting the use of our assisted hearing devices (ROM/SPL);
  • Make use of the bride’s room restroom for the physically challenged during Sunday Mass, and make use of the St. Joseph’s library as a nursing room for mothers during Mass (SPL);
  • Promote devotional prayers (rosary/chaplet of Divine Mercy) before Mass through the designation of specific intentions (SPL);

Year II and following

  • Enhance our understanding of Catholic teachings and awareness of challenges facing immigrants in our area (ROM);
  • Institute an adult faith formation series on at least a quarterly basis for men and women of the parish, organized by the parish office with individual sessions sponsored by various organizations, councils, boards and committees of the parish (FFE/ROM/SPL);
  • Retreat opportunities for men, women and youth of the parish (FFE/SPL);
  • Put a face to those who are on the margins through one-on-one opportunities of service beyond the parish (ROM);
  • Introduce ministries to the incarcerated (ROM);
  • Realign committees and ministries of hospitality and welcome for the parish and school in order to provide a concerted effort and training (e.g., ushers, greeters, welcome and hospitality committees) (FFE/SPL);
  • On occasion, have a reading proclaimed at Sunday Mass in Spanish or Vietnamese, and incorporate Spanish and Vietnamese liturgical music (SPL);
  • Establish a REACH family group to support families of the parish who have children with exceptionalities (ROM);
  • Revamp the “stewardship fair” (SPL);
  • Evaluate our Communion lines for a more efficient distribution of Holy Communion to the assembly (SPL);
  • Manifest the parish’s welcome to those from the Vietnamese and Hispanic cultures through the placement of significant devotional images in the church and on our campus (ROM/SPL);

Year III and following

  • Foster visits to the homebound and assist with transportation to Mass (ROM/SPL);
  • Evaluate the parish stewardship directory and revise for efficiency (SPL);
  • Formation for all liturgical ministers (SPL);
  • Formation opportunities for prayer and spirituality, especially regarding what to do during adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (SPL)