Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I would like to remind you of something I wrote back in September:
“Even when he was at his best, Tiger Woods would go through a swing change, In other words, he always wanted to get better.
“For the past few years, we have been trying to find our way in the Parish Assessment and Renewal. I think many good things have come out of this – more people involved and a Pastoral Council. But I also feel that his is a good time for a ‘swing change’.
“I’m not sure what this ‘swing change’ will look like, but I ask for your help and input. If you have any ideas on how we can make the commissions and Pastoral Council better, please let me know. And I will keep you updated on the ‘swing change’ as we make our way through it.”
At our first CAFÉ of this new year, I talked about Evangelization and stated that it starts with us being disciples of Jesus – to sit at His feet and learn from Him. We can only do so if we take the time to pray and listen.
With that in mind, I am asking the Parish of Divine Mercy and St. Mary’s to enter into a time of prayer and discernment. This will start on Ash Wednesday – March 6. We will have special times at each Church for adoration and prayer as we ask Jesus to guide us. As it says in Luke 24: “That very day, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.” In faith, I believe Jesus will walk with us on this journey.
These are the questions I want us to look at:
- What is at the heart of why we exist as a Catholic Parish?
- Why are we doing what we’re doing?
- Are we making a difference in our community or serving members?
- Are we mobilized for mission or business as usual?
- Are we meeting or moving?
- Are we a Church – preserving our broken systems – or a movement – willing to go where God is blessing and/or leading us?
The Pastoral Council at St. Mary’s will start to take a look at these questions and I’m asking a group of parishioners of Divine Mercy to be part of a council to start looking at these questions. If you would like to be a part of this advisory group at Divine Mercy, please let me know. And if you have any comments or answers to these questions, please let me know.
To be honest with you, I’m not sure what this is going to look like exactly. I have ideas that I have prayed over and I’m confident God is calling us to this. But I think in light of the Diocese’s Vision 20-20 initiative, this is a good time for us to look at ourselves and see what we want to be as a Parish.
More than ever we need to embrace renewal and a more determined focus on mission in our Church. The work that Jesus has entrusted to us is too important and the time is too short. Now is the time for us to do our part to be spirit filled members of the Church! May we be a Church that moves the world – or at least our corner of it!