May 13, 2004 – Like every business, school or government, the Roman Catholic Diocese of the Virgin Islands has to have a strategic plan. And so, for the first time in its history, the diocese is gathering a large group of representatives from throughout the territory to chart its course for the next five years.
"Bishop Murry has long wanted to collect the wisdom of those involved in the Catholic ministry," the Rev. Charles Crespo of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on St. John said. "He recognized he could make decisions from the top down but decided he preferred the direction of the diocese would be determined by the vision of its people."
At the invitation of Bishop George Murry, 80 delegates from throughout the territory are coming together this weekend for a convocation at St. Ann's Church on St Croix. Each Catholic parish, school, organization and society has been asked to assess its strengths and weaknesses, set goals and develop a plan to reach those goals in the next five years.
As the participants share their information, Crespo said, they will be able to get a broader view of the church and its role in the Virgin Islands and also find some common ground among the various entities. The ultimate goal is to finalize a pastoral plan for the diocese.
"I believe that the convocation will offer us a wealth of opportunities to more faithfully live the Gospel and more effectively participate in God's mission for the Virgin Islands," Murry said. "I look forward to this time together."
To help guide the process, a steering committee was appointed with Sister Patricia Alexander of St. Croix as chair. The committee will oversee the design and implementation of the plan that emerges.
The territory's Catholic diocese has eight churches, two chapels, four schools and several outreach organizations including Catholic Charities of the V.I..
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