Bishop Clark honored

April 10, 2011

Bishop Clark to receive national award

Bishop of Rochester Matthew H. Clark will receive the  Lumen Gentium Award from the national Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development during the group’s 38th Annual Conference in Chicago this week. The award will be presented to Bishop Clark at a special awards banquet tomorrow night (12 April).

The Lumen Gentium Award is given in recognition of distinguished pastoral leadership in utilizing planning and broad consultation processes; initiative and creativity in responding to parish or diocesan changing needs, and significant contributions to raising awareness of the principles of the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, which greatly influenced the role of laity in the Catholic Church.

More than a decade ago, Bishop Clark initiated the nationally recognized Pastoral Planning for a New Millennium, a diocesan-wide planning process involving every parish in the Diocese of Rochester, and hundreds of lay volunteers working with church leadership to meet the challenges of the future. Organized into groups of several parishes,  planners have formed new multi-year strategies to meet changing demographics, a decline in the number of available priests and other pressing issues.

“This award truly is shared with the many, many people who have diligently worked to help us embrace the needs of our parishes in the 21st Century,” Bishop Clark said. “I am very grateful for all the hundreds of dedicated people who have helped our Diocese embrace the future.”

Bernard Grizard, diocesan director of Parish Support Ministries, said Pastoral Planning for a New Millennium is unique nationally “in that it offers to the people in the pews the key role of forming for themselves a plan for the future and then making recommendations to the Bishop. They truly have a voice.”

Bishop Clark has served as bishop of Rochester since 1979. As Bishop, he is spiritual leader for more than 300,000 Catholics in a Diocese that spans 12 counties (Monroe, Wayne, Ontario, Cayuga, Livingston, Steuben, Tioga, Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Tompkins and Yates).

This is the second national award Bishop Clark has received in the past six months, In November 2010, he was named Exemplary Bishop of the Year by the  Catholic Campus Ministry Association.

The Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development promotes and advocates consultative processes that foster effective planning for the pastoral life of the church. Through member involvement, education, personal development, and professional programming, the organization and its members work together to develop their full potential in their unique ministries.