Jan 12, 2023

Consider This… Road to Renewal, here we go!

Each week at the conclusion of the prayers of the faithful we have been praying our Prayer for Renewal. I hope that the words of this prayer have been sinking in since we began this a year ago. There is a line in that prayer that I believe needs to be a priority for all of us; ‘Send your Spirit to lead and guide our Emmaus journey as we commit ourselves to the renewal of our Church.’

What is the Emmaus journey? If you remember in the Gospel of Luke, it is a post resurrection account of two disciples leaving Jerusalem for Emmaus. They are heartbroken, scared, frustrated and disappointed that Jesus suffered, died on the cross and was placed in the tomb. They got stuck in their pain and didn’t realize the risen Jesus walking among them. It took sharing of scripture, honest dialogue and conversation between the disciples and the risen Jesus on the road as well as the breaking of the bread to realize that something greater was taking place.

As we move forward in the Renewal, I want us to be prepared. Our family of parishes that includes Nativity, Our Lady of Peace, St. Teresa, and us is about to begin moving forward with the Road to Renewal. We might be tempted to think, why do we need the Renewal when things seem to be going well? Our parish is part of a larger church. We do not operate independently from the other Catholic parishes in our Diocese or in our world. That is what it means to be the Universal Church. When one area of our world, country, state, Diocese is hurting or in need, so are we. The trends in all of our parishes (Diocese of Buffalo, and many areas of our country) clearly show that we need to renew the ways in which we minister moving forward. People have left the church, have not been reached out to, many young people are disinterested in the church, our vocations to the priesthood, religious life and diaconate continue to decline and the resources to help our parishes succeed are dwindling fast. The Renewal is designed to respond to these trends.

Over the next three weeks, I will be sharing very important information on the Renewal, our parish, our priests and how we are moving forward. We will begin by looking at the six pillars that are essential in the Renewal; Mass times, Spiritual Life, Administration, Forming Disciples, Outreach/Inreach, Stewardship. We will be creating teams that focus on these six areas to identify a Family Action Plan (strategic plan) for the future of our family. Next week I will share the details of each pillar so you can identify if you are interested in helping to serve on one of these pillar committees.

Please pray for our parish, our Diocese and all who are working to help in the Renewal of our church. The time is now and the need is great. It is possible! Let’s not get distracted like the disciples who were on the road to Emmaus and focus on the past while not recognizing Jesus at work in the present. This is going to be different, but the Holy Spirit is in charge and guiding us all.

Keep smiling smiley face

Fr. Bryan