John 17 Discernment project 

"The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."

-- John 17:22-23


The John 17 Discernment Project grew out of the work of our 5 Year Plan conducted in 2016. One of the mandates of this work was to form a "multicultural task force" that leads the community in a discernment about how to best honor and represent the diversity of St. Leo members in all aspects of St. Leo community life. 


This project will do its work from January to June 2018. Discernment requires the openness to follow. The proposed process may change as we walk together in the light of the Spirit, following where she bends and swerves. 

The discernment is designed in three movements.

  • The first movement looks internally into the St. Leo community. Who is here? What are there needs? When do people feel a sense of solidarity with the community? In what ways can this solidarity be deepened?

  • The second movement turns our inquiry outward. What is happening in the larger church? In the Archdiocese, the Deanery, the Province? How are the demographics of Tacoma and the Hilltop changing? What are the needs of the Church beyond our own walls?

  • Based on the discoveries of this work and the prayer and reflection of the parish, the third movement will offer recommendations. The community will pray and have the opportunity to elect the next steps in better honoring the diverse peoples in and around St. Leo.

At certain points there will be events or gatherings or forums for parishioners to pray and share with one another. More information will be forth-coming as the process unfolds and next steps are made clear.  



In addition to offering times for the community to pray and share, we will light a candle at Mass on the first Sunday of the month to invite the Spirit to guide our communal discernment. As a symbol of our striving to a deeper commitment to diversity, the community chose the symbol of the Parol, a star-shaped latern displayed in homes in the Philippines, to be paired with the candle. The Parol is meant to serve as the guiding light and sign for Mary and Joseph and more importantly, Jesus, to come into the home, as the family is ready for them. The Parol represents the star of Bethlehem that guided the magi to the place where Jesus was born. The presence of the star reminds us that Jesus is Emmanuel--God with us. 


If you have any questions, please contact Pastoral Associate, Luis Blanco-Doring at