Pastoral Priority and Pastoral Planning Resources for Parishes


A pastoral priority is an aspect of Jesus’ mission identified in the Gospel that requires we take action in order to more fully live out the Gospel. Through the process that began with the Speak Ups, the Church of South Jersey has identified 6 pastoral priorities through which the effectiveness of the way we hear the Gospel of Jesus and the way we live the Gospel needs to be revitalized. These areas of concern will be the focus of pastoral priority implementation efforts in each parish of the diocese.


The Pastoral Priorities of the Diocese of Camden are: Liturgy, Lifelong Faith Formation, Compassionate Outreach, Youth and Young Adults, Lay Ministry, and Priestly Vocations. Parish toolkits included in the many menu sections are designed to help parishes find ways to organize new ministries, or enhance existing ministries.


Pastoral Planning is a process that engages members of the faith community, invites them to take and express their baptismal responsibility to build up the Church through prayer, discernment, and actions that address the needs of the faith community and those served by it. In the Pastoral Planning section are numerous parish toolkits to help pastors form good councils and help parish leaders determine the strengths, weaknesses, needs and desires of their parishes, and to plan for the future of their parishes.


We recommend that pastors and parish leaders begin their work in pastoral planning be learning about the Diocese of Camden’s Pastoral Council Guidelines, and by assessing their own parish using the “Hallmarks of Parish Vitality” assessment tool.