One of the basic ‘ground rules’ for any priest that is assigned as Pastor to a new assignment is; ‘Don’t change anything for a year.’ The idea behind this is the new priest needs to get to know the parish, its culture, what its needs are and what they already do well. After the first year, then some changes can be made.
Ironically as I reflected last week that Fr. Luke and I have been here a year, now we can start ‘changing things!’ St. Mary’s was different from the norm for any priest because of the challenges that St. Mary’s had been enduring over the past several years. The priority for Fr. Luke and I was to bring some stability, energy, insight and make immediate changes where necessary to move St. Mary’s in a positive direction. I do believe that as St. Mary’s, we accomplished that to the best of our ability.
Now that a full year has passed, I find myself asking the question, how are we continuing to grow? Some thoughts and goals of things we need to discuss as a parish…
- What are some strategic goals for St. Mary’s?
- How are we improving the quality of our liturgies?
- We are one of the few areas that has new housing and developments continuing to be built. How are we reaching out to those who are moving into our area?
How are we reaching out to those who have fallen away from our parish and church? Do we even miss them?
- How are we combating the downward trend in sacraments that are received at St. Mary’s?
- How are we improving our academic standards and meeting the changing demands of our young people in our school?
- Is our campus meeting the needs of our parish today, and how can we plan for meeting the needs of the future?
- What is our technology plan? We should be developing one.
- Financial stability, are we strategically looking at developing a plan that secures the future of St. Mary’s financially?
All of these questions should be something that all of us focus upon. I can promise you that we will be looking into these at their appropriate levels of parish leadership. This weekend’s readings have examples of people who were invited to give their all to God. They accepted the invitation to go deeper. Are we willing to do the same?
An immediate need that I need help with is our Auction. I am asking anyone who is willing to help with this huge fundraiser for our parish and school to come to a planning meeting on Wednesday, November 10 at 6:30 pm. PLEASE consider helping!
It’s time we strove to be better, the days of status quo won’t keep us vibrant and alive!