the Pastoral Zone of Leuven
The Leuven Catholic English Speaking Community is part of the Pastoral Zone of Leuven aan de Dijle, inaugurated in February 2017.
Why a Pastoral Zone?
Owing to the changed situation of the Catholic community in Belgian society the Vicariate of Flemish Brabant and Mechelen has undertaken to reduce the many existing parishes to a smaller number of faith communities, called “pastoral zones”. The decree, published in Advent 2013 together with a pastoral-theological reflection on the new zones by Bishop Leon Lemmens (De kracht van het Evangelie - The Power of the Gospel), is available online.
The zone “Leuven aan de Dijle” consists of the six former parishes of the city of Leuven and the four former parishes of the nearby Federation of Wilsele. The aim is to bring “the power of the Gospel” again into contact with people’s daily life, supporting each other through broader collaboration between existing communities and ecclesial structures in the areas of evangelization, formation, diakonia, temporal goods and communication, while allowing these existing communities to maintain their identities and breathing space, particularly with regard to the celebration of liturgy.
The pastoral care of the zone is entrusted to a number of bodies, each with specific input:
Zone team (zoneploeg): defines the vision and coordinates the development of the zone and includes:
- the appointed priests and lay pastoral workers: Dean Dirk De Gendt, Pater Dominique Vandebergh, SDB, Pater Dirk De Vis, MSC, Pater Juan Carlos Tinjaca, SSCC, and pastoral workers Hans Homblé and John Steffen;
- the appointed coordinators of each of the four pastoral fields and a secretary: Mai Wevers (catechesis), Dominique Michaux (Evangelization), Deacon Marc Michiels (diakonia), Jos Binnard (temporal goods and communications), and Rita Merckx (secretary).
Zone council (zoneraad): a body with advisory powers, consisting of:
- the members of the zone team,
- delegates from each local faith community,
- co-opted members who have an important contribution to make to this consultation.
Economic council: oversees the management of the assets and resources of the zone.