Many thanks to all those who helped make our parish feast day liturgy and picnic such a wonderful celebration for our 174th Anniversary on June 26!
One year ago, Pope Francis introduced a new day of special prayer on the Church’s calendar: the World Day for Grandparents and Elderly. I would like to invite our parish to join in the special prayer and activities of this day on Sunday, July 24. The heart of the vision of Pope Francis for this day is the encounter of the different generations, a time for a true meeting of minds and hearts of both young and old that allows the wisdom and love of each generation to be shared with the other. If you are a grandparent, consider bringing your grandchildren to Church that day. And if you’re younger, consider bringing your grandparents! See the notice in this eNewsletter that describes other ways to participate in the day, including a beautiful a letter to write to your grandchild or grandparent. Pope Francis has been devoting his weekly teaching for several months to the importance of elders in contemporary society. You can see the collected teachings through June 1 HERE (and more recent ones HERE), and read his special message for this 2022 celebration HERE.
Our Family of Parishes
July 1 was the official starting date for our being joined as a “Family of Parishes” with Gesu Church, the other Jesuit parish in town. I began a series of explanations in the June 3 issue (read it HERE). Today I would like to describe another aspect of the Archdiocesan plan: the consultative processes in the parishes. I should first introduce some new terms. Each Family grouping of parishes will be served collectively by a team of priests (the technical Latin term is “priests in solidum”), with one of them designated as their Moderator (coordinator). In most cases under the new arrangement, each priest will continue to serve primarily at the same parish where he currently serves. In our particular case, Fr. Snow and Fr. Dorr will remain at Gesu, and I will remain here at Ss. Peter and Paul. I have been appointed the Moderator of the three of us priests. This new Family structure also makes ample provision for the priests to be advised regularly by the members of the parishes.
Since Vatican II, most all parishes have had a Pastoral Council (more commonly known as the Parish Council) comprised of parishioners who advise the Pastor. Under this new structure, Parish Councils will be succeeded by a ”Family Pastoral Council,” comprised of a set number of parishioners from each of the parishes in the Family grouping, with the purpose of advising the priests of the Family and their Moderator about the pastoral life and mission of the parishes. We are to establish our Family Council by January 1, 2023, when the former Parish Councils will be dissolved.
In the Family, each parish remains a distinct entity both in civil law and in church law, with each parish responsible for its own financial well-being. Therefor each parish will maintain its own Finance Council consisting of three members appointed by the Moderator. Its work is governed by Archdiocesan Statutes and is a necessary element of administering the material resources of the parish to carry out its mission. In addition, parallel to the Family Pastoral Council there will be a Family Finance Team comprised of two members from each of the parish Finance Councils. This Family Finance Team – also to be established by January 2023 – will advise the priests regarding those financial or temporal matters that touch upon the Family as a whole, or upon the relationships among the parishes in the Family.
As I mentioned in my first article about the Family, you probably will not notice any differences or changes initially. But by next year you may begin to notice these changes in the consultative bodies and processes that are integral to the life of the parish – and now also to the Family. My next article will be about the suggested staffing structure and priorities within the Family. Remember in all this that we intend to focus our energies on those changes that will truly help strengthen our two parishes, especially in their living of the Jesuit mission and vision that shapes our unique way of following Jesus, and our calling to share it with the world.