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Learn about accompaniment and make a pastoral plan.

Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has stressed how important it is for the church to accompany people through their challenges and struggles. This is more than just “being with” people. It entails deeply listening to them, supporting them, and helping them listen to how God is working in their lives. When we accompany others, we help them discern how God is leading them.

An “accompanying parish” is one in which the pastor and pastoral team intentionally portray a particular attitude and posture toward all members of the parish. The attitude is one of understanding that not everyone is perfect. Perhaps no one is perfect. People often struggle to follow the norms and policies of the church or of a given parish. In an accompanying parish, the leaders recognize that people can only respond as they are able to. They gradually grow toward the norms of the parish. The posture is, therefore, one of acceptance, love, and patience.

Accompaniment is not accidental in a parish. To succeed as an accompanying parish requires the pastor and parish team to sit down together and do some planning and be sure they are on the same page. These tools will help you do just that.

View all general accompaniment resources

Tools for Learning & Planning

Promise & Hope - Pastoral Theology in the Age of Mercy

Discerning and Becoming a Parish of Accompaniment

Bill Huebsch

A groundbreaking work in theological reflection, providing a framework for creating parishes of accompaniment that are open, welcoming, healing and discerning. It offers practical steps toward clearly and compassionately responding to the often messy reality of human living within the context of faithful discipleship. Perfect for both academic settings, parish leaders, and adult faith formation, this text is a must-read for any thoughtful, engaged Catholic who cares deeply about the church’s future. Group reading guide booklet also available.

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The Art of Accompaniment

Four Essential Conversations on Becoming the Kind of Parish the Church Needs Today

Bill Huebsch

This clear and easy-to-use group reading guide will help pastors and parishioners deepen their understanding of Pope Francis’ urgent call and explore ways to make it real in parish life. Perfect for pastors and parish leaders, including catechists, committees involved in outreach of any kind, and anyone who ministers to the People of God.

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How to Become and Accompanying Parish

Powerpoint Planning Process

Bill Huebsch

A kit to help parish leaders structure discussion around the booklet The Art of Accompaniment. It includes a Powerpoint presentation and leader notes for each of the four sections in the booklet. Designed to occur in four separate meetings but you could also cover all the material in a single, day or day and a half retreat.

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Walking with Jesus

A Bible Study for Learning the Art of Accompaniment

Art Zannoni, Ann Naffziger, and Paul Canavese

A four-session process for learning how to accompany others as Jesus did. The purpose of this Bible study is not to explain Pope Francis’ approach to accompaniment, but to instead offer a process for learning more about accompaniment from Jesus’ example in the Gospels.

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Tools for Learning
The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia)

Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation gives us a fresh perspective on how to accompany families, even through the difficult struggles of everyday life. Our learning tools include:

  • Downloadable eResources including a Powerpoint, video presentation, and other analysis of the document.
  • A group reading guide designed for small group discussion or personal reflection.
  • Small group sessions and handouts specifically for parents.
  • A parish or take-home retreat for couples.
  • Booklets for all parishioners with daily reflections based on the document.

View all resources