Drawing on the profound legacy of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearance and message to San Juan Diego, Bishop Oscar Cantú convened a diocesan synod under her patronage to listen and discern with the faithful how we, the Church of San José, can accentuate our strengths and address our challenges to spiritually renew our diocese and recapture the vibrancy of our Faith and radiate the Gospel message beyond our walls with renewed enthusiasm.
The diocesan synod consultations started in May 2022 with deep prayer, active listening, and collecting extensive data and feedback from many stakeholders, including priests, deacons, principals, lay leaders, staff, consecrated religious, and faithful of all ages. After 100 consultation sessions and an online survey gathering thousands of recommendations, the Diocese of San José Synod General Assembly was held at Santa Clara University on January 27-29, 2023. At the Assembly, the nearly 200 dedicated delegates considered 96 distinct proposals on how to reinvigorate our faith in a way that routinely forms and engages new disciples of Christ and is sustainable for generations to come. From these prayerful discussions, 48 prioritized proposals emerged for Bishop Cantú’s discernment.
Subsequently, the Pastoral Planning Commission, appointed by Bishop Cantú, took the prioritizations of the Synod Assembly and developed this pastoral plan in collaboration with the Coordinating Team, the Reid Group, and the six Planning Action Teams, consisting of 6 to 12 representatives from parishes, schools, Catholic organizations, and the clergy.
Continuing in the spirit of synodality, hundreds of representatives of our diverse stakeholder groups – lay leadership, staff, religious, and clergy from across the diocese – were gathered to review and provide feedback on the first and second draft plans. Their unique perspectives and valuable insights have enhanced the process and our pastoral plan.
Late November, this collective endeavor and our renewed pastoral plan was presented to Bishop Cantu for his approval.
The plan was unveiled publicly on December 6, 2023, heralding a new chapter for the Catholic community of San Jose. Implementation of the plan is scheduled to begin in January 2024 and continue through 2031.