"The parish is a beacon that radiates the light of faith and thus responds to the deepest and truest desires of the human heart, giving meaning and hope to the lives of individuals and families."

— Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI,
December 10, 2006

What is

Beacons of Light is a multiyear process of pastoral planning for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Rooted in prayer, groupings of parishes will come together as one faith community. These new “Families of Parishes” will be stronger together, focused more on mission than on maintenance. In the Families of Parishes, we will grow closer to God, follow Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit and radiate Christ in our lives.

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Guiding Principles

Source and Summit of Christian Life


Universal, Archdiocese, Parish


Healthy Leaders, Vital Parishes


Grateful Disciples Give and Serve


Forming Missionary Disciples


Love, Service, Justice


Beacons of Light Overview

An introduction to Beacons of Light. Learn why the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is entering into this new phase of pastoral planning, why it is happening now, and what you can expect in the future.


Key Steps on the Road from Maintenance to Mission

Fall 2020: Beacons of Light project launch announced. Data gathering from parishes and schools begins.

Winter 2020/21: Six principles of Beacons of Light are established. Design of parish planning process (including vision points and parameters) begins.

Spring 2021: Parish and school data is analyzed. Current reality is assessed.

Summer 2021: Families of Parishes modeling begins. Draft of parish planning process is completed.

Summer 2021: Draft models of Families of Parishes are published for comment. Parish planning process (including vision points and parameters) is finalized.

Winter 2021/22: Families of Parishes are finalized and announced.

Spring 2022: Pastors and parish leaders begin preparing for the parish planning process.

Summer 2022: Families of Parishes implementation begins. Each Family starts its parish planning process.

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Families of Parishes will be communities of charity and justice, serving those most in need and working to change systems that oppress and marginalize.


As centers of missionary outreach, Families of Parishes find new ways to foster discipleship among all the baptized. Schools, parishes, and indeed Church itself are centers of this essential work.


Families of Parishes are communities of grateful disciples. Recognizing God’s gifts, they use their talents, skills and resources to build up the Church and live as Christ’s body in the world.


Pastors, in collaboration with parochial vicars, deacons and lay ministers, according to their proper roles and charisms, share responsibility for pastoral leadership. The spiritual, physical and mental health and ongoing support of ordained and lay leaders is vital for Families of Parishes.


Each of us is called to actively participate as a member of a parish, the Universal Church and our local Church, led by our archbishop. Parishes continually deepen the bonds of communion with other parishes.

The Eucharist is the source and summit of the whole Christian life. Accordingly, the Mass is the essential moment for building up and strengthening the parish community, along with the sacraments and other celebrations of the paschal mystery – the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.