Consider This… Renewal
By now I am sure you have heard the announcement that I will be leaving St. Mary’s as your Pastor to become the full time Vicar for the Renewal. This was not a position that I asked for, but Bishop Mike recognizes that for the Renewal to receive the attention it deserves, I need to focus upon that ministry full time. The past two years and three months St. Mary’s has experienced her own renewal. We have seen ministry come alive, people drawn to the enthusiasm, prayerfulness and energy of our parish. Many have returned from the pandemic and our parish leadership is working hard on celebrating our 175th along with crafting a vision for the future. The enthusiasm, energy and renewal that you have experienced here, is exactly what needs to happen in our Diocese. Please pray for this, and pray that I am able to help foster the same renewal you experienced here across the Diocese.
As I prepare in these last weeks to surrender to God’s will in my now full-time assignment of Renewal, and stepping down as your Pastor, there are several things we need to do before I go.
- State of the Parish– My final state of the parish address as your Pastor will take place on Monday, January 23 at 6:30 pm in the church. Please attend to see what is happening and where we are going. I will share some important trends for the future as we also look at this past year.
- St. Mary’s Education Endowment Fund– This fund has been established to ensure that all education at St. Mary’s well into the future is funded and supported. I invited our top donors several weeks ago to help me kick off this education endowment. I am now asking our parish to help invest in this legacy project ensuring that education is a priority at St. Mary’s well into the future. Much more on this will be shared at the State of the Parish and information will be available at the church entrances.
- Pillar committee work– The Renewal focuses upon six ‘pillar’ areas that work to develop a strategic plan for the Family of Parishes. Representatives from all parishes within our family will come together to work in the areas of; Liturgy, Spiritual Life, Forming Disciples, Outreach/Inreach, Stewardship, Administration. Fr. Luke and I will be identifying people to work on these committee’s for the future of our Family of Parishes. More information on this will be forthcoming. If you are interested in serving on any of these pillars, please share your interest so Fr. Luke and I can determine who to invite onto these important pillars.
- Mass schedule– Our Family of Parishes that includes St. Mary’s, Nativity, Our Lady of Peace and St. Teresa is slated to have 4 priests serving within our family of parishes. Looking at the future of our parishes, the Masses we offer and the number of priests serving within our family, we at St. Mary’s have to make an immediate adjustment to our Mass schedule. As you are aware, the 5:30 Saturday evening Mass was instituted to thin the 4 pm Mass crowd down when people returned from the pandemic. Fr. Luke and I have continued the Mass well beyond what we originally committed to for the convenience of our parishioners. With my departure, we cannot guarantee that we will have priestly coverage for this Mass. Therefore, January 28 will be the last 5:30 Mass. As of Feb 4, our only Saturday vigil Mass will be at 4 pm.
- Pray– St. Mary’s is strong, vibrant and has emerged as a leader within our Diocese of what real renewal is all about; faith in God and one another. The great work that has taken place here is through the effort of great priests, deacons, staff, lay leaders, people, and young people. All of us working together have responded to the Holy Spirit. Please pray to the Holy Spirit who has guided St. Mary’s these past few years. Pray for continued guidance, trust and insight during this transition into the future. I am confident that St. Mary’s will continue to flourish and be the leader I know she can be.