The parish is a community of believers where the living stones continue to witness to and to make present the risen Christ, the Chief Cornerstone, to enhance and to bring hope in challenging times, and to renew the joy of following Jesus Christ.
The pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop. The parish is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ's saving doctrine; it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and charity toward all people
The Living Stones Planning Committee (LSPC) will consist of a representative group of priests, deacons, religious, and laity selected from the deaneries of the Diocese of Ogdensburg who will support the pastor and the parish community of believers, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in living out their baptismal call to "go out and to proclaim the Good News."
The LSPC will follow and allow the Diocese's "Christ-led, Christ-fed, and hope-filled Vision" to guide the deliberations and decisions it will make. There are many challenges and difficulties facing parish life today that warrant new life, new energy, and restored hope for building up the Kingdom of God with Christ Jesus himself as the Master Builder. The people of the parish are the living stones that build up the edifice by their active faith and participation, striving to be a sign of unity, in communion with God, in the midst of the human family.
The LSPC will develop for parishes a plan, along with strategies for implementation, in order to:
a. strengthen parish identity, including but not limited to realignment and restructuring.
b. activate greater participation among the laity in leadership roles.
c. assess the parishes' demographics in relation to the economic and spiritual resources available in each parish and those of neighboring parishes.
The purpose of this plan is to enable parishes to become more vibrant, hope-filled, and joy-filled communities of disciples, to awaken in parishioners a new fervor for their Catholic faith, to restore hope to those away from the Church, and to reach out to those who wish to become members of the Catholic Church. It is hoped that the God-given gifts and talents of the people in the parishes will come forth and bring about a new enthusiasm and zeal for the Kingdom of God.