Our Mission

We, the people of God at Epiphany Cathedral Parish,  are empowered by the Holy Spirit at Baptism to be the heart and hands of Christ.

Our Vision

We, the faith community of Epiphany Cathedral, nourished by Word and Sacrament, will continue to grow in our baptismal vocations as joyful disciples of the Lord. Fervent in teaching a Catholic way of life, we will strive to proclaim in word and deed the Good News of Jesus Christ to all persons.  We will give compassion to those in distress and comfort to those in despair and we will pledge to be good stewards of the gifts God has given us through hospitality, prayer, formation, and service. 


Send Inquiries and Comments to:

Epiphany Cathedral Catholic Parish Office
ATTN:    Epiphany Cathedral Pastoral Council
310 Sarasota Street
Venice, FL 34285

Office: (941) 484-3505
Email: inquiries@epiphanycathedral.org

Letter From Fr. Jack

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

It is with great joy I present the Parish Pastoral Plan for Epiphany Cathedral Catholic Church. This plan has come to fruition through a collaborative effort of our parishioners, councils, committees, school, clergy and parish staff, and represents an extraordinary outpouring of prayer, planning, and perseverance.

For more than 80 years, the people of Epiphany have been building the foundation of this parish through service and sacrifice.  From planting our roots in 1935 to serve as a mission  for the Catholics of Venice, to becoming the Cathedral of our great Diocese of Venice.  Through those years we remember the Spirit-filled people who were united in faith to create our amazing parish and today we celebrate the fruits of their vision.

This plan recognizes the good works we have accomplished and will be the blueprint that will carry us into the future full of hope.  To ensure our growth continues, we must look forward just as our founders did.  I believe this plan continues to build on their dream, but to succeed, it will require the commitment and energy of every parishioner.  The plan invites you to enhance your engagement with Jesus to love and serve more.  Please refer to the gold boxes after each goal and listen to how God might be calling you to take action, so that together we will be the “Heart and Hands of Christ.”  I present this plan to you with my prayers that you will read it carefully and consider how we can all be more fully a part of the life of Epiphany Cathedral Parish.

Sincerely in Christ,
Very Reverend John F. Costello
Rector

Introduction

As a Church, we are called to be missionary disciples who live the faith and proclaim the Word. Each of the pastoral goals in this plan have objectives that challenge us to seek new avenues of communication, to build ministries that invite individuals who need support, and to reach beyond our doors and into our communities.

The framework of Epiphany’s 5-Year parish plan consists of five encompassing pastoral goals that carry forth Pope Francis’ invitation to be a culture of encounter. These five priorities define who we are as a parish and the direction in which the Holy Spirit is leading us.

The success of this plan depends on each person in the parish.  Each of us has been called to be disciples, and each of us has a God-given set of gifts and talents for the purpose of answering that call. It is our sacred obligation to return to God a portion of our time, talent and treasure as an expression of our gratitude, a profession of our faith and a demonstration of our belief that our gifts and talents are important and necessary for the building of God’s Kingdom.

The 2018 Epiphany Cathedral Parish Plan outlined in this booklet provides a comprehensive roadmap for the future of this parish. The plan offers a vision for our future and establishes clear goals for achieving that vision. As you read and study the plan, please take inventory of your gifts and talents and be open to the ways God is calling you to share those gifts and talents with the community as a means to your own holiness and the building of His Kingdom.  God promises to bless this work with grace upon grace.

The desire for God is written in the human heart because man is created by God for God.
– Catechism of the Catholic Church,  No.27

5-Year Outlook

Our Parish Pastoral Plan was developed using Epiphany’s Vision and Mission as its guide. Our Vision succinctly describes the parish as we wish to be known in the future and our Mission defines what we have set out to do together. The goals, objectives and action items in this plan all work in partnership to realize this vision.  The goals identify five specific results we believe must be achieved in order to realize our Vision.  The objectives and action plans convey ideas on how to accomplish the goals.

Goal 1:    Spiritually nourish the faith of parishioners to be the “Heart and Hands of Christ.”

Goal 2:    Encourage parishioner support of the parish mission through the commitment of their time, talent and treasure.

Goal 3:    Provide and manage the financial resources necessary to support existing operations and missions, and to ensure the long-range viability of our parish.

Goal 4:    Improve communication channels to assure parish information is organized and easily accessible.

Goal 5:    Provide a quality faith-based education and assure the long-term viability of Epiphany Cathedral School.


How is God calling me?

At the end of each Goal, you will see passages in gold highlighting actions you can take to further your faith journey with Jesus Christ and carry His Good News.

  • I will join the …………………..
  • I will participate in …………………..
  • My family can …………………..

We ask you to reflect on ways you and your family can further our mission by sharing your Time, Talents, and Treasure.
To get involved, email: inquiries@epiphanycathedral.org or (941)484-3505.

Goal #1: Spiritually Nourish the Faith of Parishioners

Goal 1: Spiritually nourish the faith of parishioners to be the “Heart and Hands of Christ.”

Theological Perspective:
“One of the great challenges facing the Church in this generation is to foster in all the faithful a sense of personal responsibility for the Church’s mission, and to enable them to fulfill that responsibility as missionary disciples, as a leaven of the Gospel in the world.” – Pope Francis, Homily at Holy Mass September 2015


Objective #1: Promote spiritual growth of parishioners of all ages to encourage continued growth in their love of God, to build community, and to deepen their knowledge of Catholic doctrine. 

Action plans include:

  • Encourage parishioners to gather as a faith community in prayer and devotion before the Blessed Sacrament in the perpetual adoration chapel.
  • Conduct annual parish surveys to seek the views of parishioners on their spiritual needs and how we can enhance parish life.
  • Continue to strengthen our Faith Formation program offerings to include opportunities designed for adults, young adults, special individuals, families, and youth ministry.
  • Build upon the existing strength of our religious education classes to develop a program to attract inactive Catholics to return to the faith.
  • Expand music ministry offerings to nurture spiritually a connection with God through sacred music and encouraging community involvement through inter-faith and inter-diocesan concerts, events, and education.

Objective #2: Promote opportunities that foster “small faith community” experiences among parishioners through social and recreational events.

Action plans include:

  • Sponsor social events, inviting parishioners to participate in community building (i.e. special celebration dinners, bingo parties, dances, etc.)
  • Initiate RENEW and Neighborhood Apostolate program for faith sharing.

Objective #3: Increase mission outreach by 5% each year (including Charity Care, Tuition Assistance and Catholic Faith Appeal) to 25% of revenue. 

Action plans include:

  • Broadened Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministry support to homebound Catholics and those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
  • Support the diocesan prison ministry, serving those incarcerated.
  • Create a Wellness Program to support health and social needs of parishioners.
  • Expand community programs including participation in local inter-faith activities, food pantries/kitchens, and services for the homeless.
  • Publish reports on outreach successes to encourage broadened support.

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”     Jeremiah 29:11-12


How is God calling me to take action?

Examples:        

  • I will join one of the liturgy ministries (Reader, Server, Sacristan, Usher, Greeter, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion)
  • I will join a ministry for personal spiritual growth
  • I will dedicate time in prayer in the perpetual adoration chapel (make a holy hour)
  • My family will join a neighborhood outreach program
  • I will share my professional skills in one of the advisory councils or committees
  • I will share my talent in a music ministry

My List:                                                                               

  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________

To get involved, email: inquiries@epiphanycathedral.org or (941)484-3505.

Goal #2: Sharing Our Time, Talent, and Treasure

Goal 2: Encourage parishioner support of the parish mission through the commitment of their time, talent and treasure.

Theological Perspective:
The life of a Christian steward models the life of Jesus. It is challenging and even difficult, in many respects, yet intense joy comes to those who take the risk to live as Christian stewards. Women and men who seek to live as stewards learn that “all things work for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28). – U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship


Objective #1: Further strengthen the awareness and commitment of parishioners to distinguish Epiphany Cathedral as a “Stewardship Parish”.

Action plans include:

  • Expand education of “Stewardship as a Way of Life” to all parishioners, especially families, young adults, children and youth.
  • Increase Adult Faith Formation program opportunities that focus on parishioners utilizing their talents to live as good stewards (i.e. outside speakers, “Living Your Strengths”, etc.)
  • Continue marketing campaigns to include impact publication of Stewardship initiative results of the contributions from parishioner’s time, talent and treasure.

Objective #2: Encourage parishioners to commit their time and talent to generate a 5% increase annually in “pledges” on Commitment Sunday.

Action plans include:

  • Encourage participation on Commitment Sunday through pre-Mass announcements, testimonials, and communications with Ministry Leaders.
  • Report stewardship goals and level of participation through recurring communications.
  • Integrate and translate Stewardship marketing materials for Epiphany’s Spanish and Polish communities to further engage them in living a stewardship way of life.

Objective #3: Encourage stewardship of treasure to increase offertory collections and Catholic Faith Appeal by 5% per year.

Action plans include:

  • Expand communications to educate parishioners on the need for tithing and the programs supported. This includes personal meetings with clergy, witness talks, annual reports, and demonstrations of impacts made in communities.
  • Educate parishioners about the fiscal, material and ministerial needs of the parish to maintain outreach efforts, education programs, and buildings and grounds.
  • Offer financial management workshops to support parishioners with personal finances including budgeting, debt management, and retirement plans.
  • Inform our church family about the Catholic Faith Appeal participation through consistent communications.

“Stewardship is what I do after I say I believe” – The Most Reverend Robert Morneau, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Green Bay, WI)


How is God calling me to take action?

Examples:

  • I will participate in Faith Formation programs (Ex. Catechist, Living Your Strengths, RCIA, Vacation Bible School, etc.)
  • I will volunteer in youth ministry (ex. food ministry, retreats/conferences)
  • I will commit to an annual spiritual retreat
  • I will pray and reflect on my financial support of the parish
  • My family will be involved with an outreach program
  • I will provide hospitality by assisting with food or drinks at various church programs

My List:

  • ___________________________________
  • ___________________________________

To get involved, email: inquiries@epiphanycathedral.org or (941)484-3505.

Goal #3: Promoting Financial Resources

Goal 3: Provide and manage the financial resources necessary to support existing operations and missions to ensure the long-range viability of our parish.

Theological Perspective:
Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given to you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already.   – C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


Objective #1: Monitor management of financial resources to create a break-even budget and increase cash reserves by 5% per year.

Action plans include:                                  

  • Review and monitor the annual parish budget, prioritizing expenditures and making recommendations to the Rector.
  • Evaluate capital projects and monitor project costs and implementation.
  • Publish and promote the annual impact report based on the sharing of time, talent and treasure in conjunction with the Stewardship Committee.

 


Objective #2: Commit $400,000-$500,000 per year to maintain buildings and establish a Capital Reserve Account. 

Action plans include:

  • Establish a Capital Reserve Account at Epiphany and fund it monthly. This process will include establishing a budget as well as policies and reviews for disbursements.
  • Involve the Building and Grounds Committee in the review of capital expenditures before, during and after completion to monitor the budget and ensure due diligence.

 


Objective #3: Promote planned giving by parishioners in support of the parish and school community.

Action plans include:

  • Conduct education seminars quarterly focused on Planned Giving initiatives through the Legacy Society and Bequests, such as Estate Planning, End of Life Planning, and Women & Finance to encourage parishioners to create a financial plan and include Epiphany Parish and/or School in their philanthropic planning.
  • Increase visits, receptions and events for current and potential legacy donors to encourage new planned gifts and also to steward those that have already included Epiphany Parish and/or School in their philanthropic planning.
  • Promote and recognize current and potential legacy donors through marketing materials (bulletin, website, mailings) and install a Legacy donor wall/tree on campus.
  • Participate in the Annual Giving Challenge to increase visibility, donations and expand our database of planned giving prospects.

Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.   Proverbs 3:9-10

How is God calling me to take action?

Examples:                                                    

  • I will become more fully informed of our parish financial resources by reviewing financial reports and projections
  • I will share my treasure by increasing my weekly or spiritual intention donation
  • I will join the Legacy Society by making a planned gift to the parish or school
  • I will share my professional skills to assist Building and Grounds in Capital projects
  • I will share my talents in hospitality by assisting in event planning

My List:                                                                                                            

  • ______________________________
  • ______________________________

To get involved, email: inquiries@epiphanycathedral.org or (941)484-3505.

Goal #4: Improving Communications

Goal 4: Improve communication channels to ensure parish information is organized and easily accessible.

Theological Perspective:
We are also obliged to be stewards of the Church—collaborators and cooperators in continuing the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, which is the Church’s essential mission. This mission—proclaiming and teaching, serving and sanctifying—is our task. It is the personal responsibility of each one of us as stewards of the Church.   – USCCB, Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, 2012


Objective #1: Employ technology advances to improve communication channels for various parish users.

Action plans include:

  • Increase network and Internet bandwidth across the Epiphany Campus to support advancing technological needs.
  • Expand communication technology platforms to create interactive resources for event scheduling and notifications allowing parishioners to connect more readily to activities and opportunities. This includes website, mobile, and digital signage.
  • Analyze, expand, and provide professional development training to staff on the parish database to improve targeted communications.
  • Create and cultivate a social media plan within the parish that encourages parishioners to share witness.

Objective #2: Improve non-technology-driven communication methods to foster better exchanges of ideas and information between the parish clergy, staff, and parishioners.

Action plans include:

  • Develop a culture of collaboration in both ministry work and as parish staff through consistent information sharing to ensure the mission of Christ is at the center of our parish life.
  • Implement professional development training for parish staff focusing on the communication purpose and effective techniques.
  • Conduct annual parish surveys to seek the views of parishioners on their spiritual needs and how we can enhance parish life.
  • Develop and implement highly effective and consistent communications with parishioners to support a small faith community culture in a large parish.
  • Evaluate marketing strategies and opportunities, including the use of billboards, bulletin design, and parish/ministry branding.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.   Proverbs 3:5-6

How is God calling me to take action?:

Examples:                                                    

  • I will be a missionary disciple in the greater community by sharing God’s love and mercy
  • I will serve as an active member of the parish with a kind word and a caring heart
  • I will share my talents as a photographer to capture various parish events
  • I will volunteer at the parish and school offices
  • I will utilize my writing skills for various church and school projects
  • I will share my professional skills in digital and/or print communications

 My List:                                                                                                            

  • ________________________________
  • ________________________________

To get involved, email: inquiries@epiphanycathedral.org or (941)484-3505.

Goal #5: Advancing the Vision of Epiphany Cathedral School

Goal 5: Provide a quality faith-based education and ensure the long-term viability of Epiphany Cathedral School.

Theological Perspective:
“Epiphany Cathedral School provides excellence in education which nurtures a loving relationship with God and builds a caring community to serve others.”   – Epiphany Cathedral School’s Mission Statement


Objective #1: Increase revenue through fund-raising efforts by 5% per year.

Action plans include:

  • Increase the Annual Fund to 10% of School’s Operating Budget.
  • Increase participation in the parish community in special fund-raising events (Giving Challenge, School Gala, Casino Nights and Garage Sale) to raise $100,000.
  • Generate major gifts to raise $200,000 for a Sports Complex.

Objective #2: Strive for ever-higher levels of academic excellence.

Action plans include:

  • Provide professional development programs for staff.
  • Continue arts programming and participation, partnering with community resources.
  • Recognize student achievements in educational competition.
  • Implement use of technology devices to engage students in critical thinking and real-world readiness (i.e. interactive, multi-media screens for all classrooms).
  • Become STREAM (Science-Technology-Religion-Engineering-Art-Math) certified.
  • Integrate foreign language and world culture programs.
  • Expand extracurricular programs for students.
  • Maintain standardized testing results which demonstrate the school average at or above the twentieth percentile nationally.

Objective #3: Increase student enrollment by 10% annually.

Action plans include:

  • Continue leveraging School Board Marketing and Enrollment Committees.
  • Build relationships with surrounding parishes to encourage increased student enrollment from those parishes.

Objective #4: Maintain and expand facilities and equipment to serve their educational purpose.

Action plans include:

  • Update and strengthen the security system on the campus.
  • Increase Internet bandwidth to support advancing technological needs.
  • Build outdoor playground and sports facilities.
  • Install hydraulic elevator to service individuals with disabilities.
  • Remodel gymnasium to allow use for indoor sports.

 


How is God calling me to take action?

Examples:                                                    

  • I will pray for the success of Epiphany Cathedral School and all those who support the ministry of Catholic education
  • I will promote Catholic education to increase enrollment
  • I will be a Tuition Angel providing financial support (any amount) to students in need
  • I will support the athletic programs by coaching school teams
  • I will share my professional skills by tutoring students

 My List:                                                                                                            

  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________

To get involved, email: inquiries@epiphanycathedral.org or (941)484-3505.

Stewardship as a Way of Life

The following Councils and Committees act as the advisory bodies to the Rector, assisting him with planning and direction to live out Stewardship as a Way of Life.

 

Pastoral Council

The Code of Canon Law (1983), which shapes the life of the Church, urges that pastoral councils be established in every parish to serve as advisors to the Rector. The Epiphany Cathedral Pastoral Council is charged with the task of ensuring the parish, as a Catholic Christian faith community, lives out its Mission Statement “to be the Heart and Hands of Christ.” The Council’s main role is to envision how God is presently calling us to be His good stewards as we attempt to fulfill our mission. The number of outreach ministries supported by Epiphany continues to grow every year, with currently more than a hundred ministries.

Finance Council

As mandated by Canon Law, the Finance Council is a consultative body that assists the Rector in monitoring and organizing the financial resources necessary to sustain parish operations. The principal duties of the Finance Council include strategic mission planning and reviewing financial reports  of annual capital and operating budgets.  These trusted advisors act as good stewards of the resources that have been entrusted to the parish and advise the Rector in the management of the temporal affairs.

Stewardship Committee

The Stewardship Committee promotes Epiphany’s Vision by fostering Stewardship through the four pillars of Hospitality, Prayer, Formation and Service. Committee members seek to create opportunities which allow parishioners to become more aware of the abundant blessings that God has bestowed upon them and advise the Rector on how to develop programs and activities which promote Stewardship as “Our Way of Life.”

Endowment Committee

The Endowment Committee promotes planned gifts through the Epiphany Legacy Society, which benefit Epiphany Cathedral Parish/School directly, or may be endowed in accounts held at the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida, assuring the future financial viability of the parish now and in the future.

How is God Calling You?

With God, all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26

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