Partnering Faith Communities (AKA “Sister Parishes”)

“Mission takes place where people interact with people, seeking to overcome all that separates them from one another and from GOD.” -CANACOM (Caribbean and North American Council for Mission)

Numerous documents have been written by our Popes and Bishops calling us to participate in the missionary nature of our church, and inviting us to answer the call to global solidarity. In addition, we at the St. Cloud Mission Office have expressed our own philosophy of mission and invitation to enter into the life of the Trinity through relationships with one another in documents, reflections and guides. We invite you to take a look at any or all of these great documents.

Church documents, reflection resources and other background information on Global Solidarity and Partnerships:

  1. U.S. Catholic Bishop’s 1997 statement, Called to Global Solidarity (PDF)
  2. U.S. Catholic Bishop’s 2001 statement, Call to Solidarity with Africa (PDF)
  3. Vatican II Decree Ad Gentes on the Church’s missionary activity
  4. St. Cloud Diocesan Sister Parish Statement (PDF):  An official document on what partnering relationships are, aren’t, and how to most effectively go about them for the good of the whole church.
  5. More specific guidelines for communities within diocesan partnerships (PDF), those sister parishes within the diocese of Homa Bay or Maracay, that need to be extra attentive to the guiding goals and values and policies of the diocesan leadership committees and Bishops on both sides of this broader diocesan partnership.  
  6. The official Partnership Manual (PDF) from Catholic Relief Services, including many reflections, tools, and information to be sure your partnerships are on the right track to success and true solidarity.
  7. Or read stories and reflections from those who have experienced mission and partnerships in our MISSION CONNECTIONS Newsletter.

guadalupe_skitWhat are “Sister Parishes” or Partnering Faith Communities?

A number of the parishes within our St. Cloud Diocese have established sister relationships with parishes or faith communities overseas, and others are exploring such partnerships. The first step in this process is to build relationships and greater understanding of one another. Thereafter from this base of mutual appreciation the exchange of both spiritual and material resources can take place, as well as the promotion of just international policies.

Read our Sister Parish Statement (PDF)  for the philosophy, guidelines and helpful tips/resources for Partnering Relationships.


Considering a Sister Parish?

Contact us for more information and guidance for developing a relationship of mutuality between your parish or school and a partner from elsewhere in our global Church. Be sure you’ve viewed our Sister Parish Statement, a document developed to provide the philosophy and guidelines for sister parish relationships within the Diocese of St. Cloud, or see a  list of sister parishes who have already entered into such partnerships.

 

It is also important to have resources and formation in the do’s and don’t’s and best practices of partnering relationships.  Join the Mission Office every 18 months for a Solidarity workshop in which various aspects of partnering are addressed, as well as other speakers, workshops and events sponsored by the Mission Office.  In the meantime, look into one of the most thorough guiding resources, put together by Catholic Relief Services, their Partnership Manual (PDF).

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