Episcopal Visitations are one of the ministries that I enjoy the most, because they give me the opportunity, as Pastor, to listen to my people, and to be in communion with them.
-Bishop Gerald R. Barnes
A parish visitation is when the Bishop visits a parish in order to encounter his community, interchange experiences with the priests and religious, recognize and commend the efforts of the parish community and its ministries by celebrating the spirituality of the parish faithful and experience the life of the parish through the services it offers. Additionally, it allows the Bishop to provide guidance and focus on the future of the parish through pastoral recommendations based on the Diocesan Vision.
The Pastor/Pastoral Coordinator chooses a coordinating committee for the Visitation.
The Pastor/Pastoral Coordinator and committee members hold a preliminary meeting with the Department of Pastoral Planning and Transitions 3 months prior to visitation.
The Parish creates a Parish and/or School Pro-file to turn into Bishop.
The Parish Community is given the opportunity to fill out response cards to let the Bishop know about their concerns and commendations of their parish. These are then sent to Bishop who reads every card with special attention.
Plan to attend the Town Hall.
A highlight of the visitation is a town hall meeting with the Bishop. The town hall affords the community and the Bishop the opportunity to have an open interaction. Using information gained from the visit, the parish profile, and the information provided on the parish response cards, the Bishop hosts a 2 hour open forum to listen to the community and to share the present and future of the parish.