We, the people of the church of Corpus Christi, recognize ourselves to be a pilgrim people, a community of believers in Jesus Christ who have been called through baptism to continue the life and mission of Jesus on Earth. Though one family of God, we are of diverse ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds. Our unity is rooted in common faith in Jesus the Lord who guides us through His Vicar on Earth, the Most Holy Father. Led by our bishop, we see ourselves as ministers of the mysteries of God who are called to witness to what we are in Jesus - a redeemed, holy people - and to proclaim the Good News entrusted to us by Him.
We are a people who are called to celebrate our experience of Jesus and through this celebration to reach out to others and invite them to share in this same joy. As a faith community, we are called to live a way of life which is distinctly different from the way of the world. The roots of this way of life are found in the Gospel values as interpreted by the authentic teaching of the church. Gifted by the Spirit in so many ways, we seek to introduce the message and presence of Jesus into a world that frequently refuses His love and ignores His word. A high degree of mobility, rapid economic expansion and a great infl ux of people from many parts of the world characterize the area in which we live. While blessed with material wealth and natural resources, we also experience physical poverty, spiritual confusion, social alienation and powerlessness.
Although we are identifiable as the Catholic community, we participate with all people in the search for an authentic human life and a more just society. With those who also believe in Jesus and are rightly called Christian, we share in the work of building the kingdom inaugurated by the Savior. With those who believe in God but not in Jesus as the Lord, we labor in the world as stewards of God’s creation. With those who claim no faith in a divine being, we struggle for a more peaceful society and a more human existence. We view the present challenge as too critical to work in isolation in confronting the debilitating elements of society and we seek to be partners with all who strive to enhance the quality of life around us.
As a Catholic community in this area of Texas we gratefully acknowledge our rich religious heritage and the courageous witness of our fellow believers during the past several centuries. For nearly 100 years as a diocese, we have found stability in the leadership of our eight bishops and we stand on a firm foundation of the lived faith of countless men and women. Thus, we feel compelled to accept the challenge of our mission today and commit ourselves to a response that is caring, inviting and enabling. We must be caring because that is how the Father treats us. We must be inviting because that is how Jesus brings us into His life. We must be enabling because that is how the Spirit works in us.
As we reflect on our present challenges and commitments in the diocese, we express these beliefs:
- that our parish communities must be strong and vibrant because it is here that the crucified and risen Jesus is experienced daily and proclaimed to the world;
- that we must renew our efforts to evangelize those of our faith, to call them to conversion as well as to reach out to those who are unchurched and alienated;
- that the family is the basic unit of the church and society and that we must foster the enrichment of family life;
- that we must minister to all people, particularly to the unborn, to youth, to young adults, to the elderly, to the poor and to those with special needs;
- that we must develop leadership at all levels of diocesan life and enable those presently working in the apostolate to do so effectively;
- that the whole community of the baptized is called to minister and that the variety of ministries in the church be promoted;
- that liturgy is the source and summit of the Christian life and that liturgy, properly celebrated, evokes effective daily witness to the presence of the Lord in our lives;
- that we must promote a learning environment within our parishes and educational institutions and programs which will enable people to internalize the Gospel at all levels of growth and development;
- that we must work tirelessly for peace and justice in our own church and in society as a whole because to do so is constitutive of preaching the Gospel;
- that we must support ministry among the Hispanic and African-American communities and encourage the full participation in diocesan life of all cultural, ethnic and economic groups;
- that as stewards of God’s creation we are called to be accountable to God and to one another in the administration of our programs, resources and services;
- that the Spirit operates within the total community and that we must be sensitive to the prompting of the Spirit in all segments of the diocesan family.
As people with a vision, we commit ourselves to assess the needs of our diocese and to study the trends of our society. We pledge ourselves to work with our bishop in identifying the priority needs of our diocese and in developing a pastoral plan to respond to those needs. We commend the accomplishments in the past, we support the good work that is presently being done and we invite all diocesan agencies and groups to work cooperatively in addressing the needs of all our people today.
We seek the blessings of the Father as we embark on this journey together and we invite others to envision with us a future that is ours to create with the Lord’s help. We believe that we already possess the talents and gifts necessary to make this vision a reality because Jesus has touched each of us with His love and has spoken gently to our hearts. His presence is constantly with us as we continue to grow as a diocesan family and become a servant community to our expanding world. We are confident that it is the Spirit who moves us to renew our efforts as a faithful people to meet the challenge of our age. We pray that we will be equal to the task and that our words of today will become our actions of tomorrow.
The goals of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, as discerned by the Synod, are as follows:
Evangelization, Catechesis, Worship, Family Life, Vocations, Youth, Stewardship.