Consider this… Renewal
As I return to St. Mary’s, I thought it would be important to share with you the work that has been taking place with the Renewal.
As you are aware, our Diocese is in the midst of the ‘Road to Renewal.’ The Renewal is about bringing our Diocese into the modern times by focusing on the aspects of our church that have not been a priority as they should be while also responding to a diminishing number of clergy and resources for our parishes to work with.
The Renewal is about making sure we look to:
- Spiritual Renewal – making sure the Eucharist is our source and summit of all we do. The foundational spiritual component of the Renewal is a program entitled, ‘Life in the Eucharist’ that every parish as we move into the Renewal will be sharing in their families.
- Outreach – reaching out to those who may have wandered away due to COVID, or other reasons. We must make a strong effort to bring people back into their relationship with Jesus Christ. Our parishes working together as a family of parishes must focus on this effort which also includes reaching the marginalized in society and letting them know they are always welcome and loved in our parishes.
- Parish Families – our parishes need to come together to provide the essential programming and opportunities that our communities need. By working together we can more effectively minister as a family of parishes. This will mean we better utilize resources among parishes, focus our efforts and collaborate to build the Kingdom of God among our family of parishes.
- Education – our faith formation programs and schools need to work together to help meet the needs of all our young disciples. We need to offer the best programming available to inspire our young disciples to live their faith and have a relationship with Jesus. By working together, we can make sure opportunities we never thought existed before can come to life among our family of parishes.
Having worked with a pilot family, I can let you know that having gone through the process, it is a lot of work. It is going to take some time for the vision of the Renewal to bear fruit, but what is most important, is making sure we have a new way of looking at how we function as church.
As I shared some of the Renewal with some St. Mary’s parishioners recently, they were shocked that the pilot family I left has a new pastor who is in charge of six parishes with one assistant and some retired priests for help. This new model of ministry will be happening in our own family of parishes as well. Our family is projected to have four priests ministering in it between our four parishes, only one of whom will be the Pastor of all four. This should give all of us an urgency to pray for vocations.
This week more announcements will be made concerning the Road to Renewal. I will keep you up to date as more information is released. Please pray for our church, Diocese and the Renewal as we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us into the future.