Dear Brothers and Sisters,
After a very important invitation to the Worcester Catholic Women’s Conference from last weekend’s bulletin, we return to the explanation of the structure of the parish. Two weeks ago we spoke about the Finance Council, and this week we will speak about the Parish Council.
As the Finance Council assists the pastor on financial matters caring for the temporal goods of the parish (assets), the Parish Council works on the human, spiritual, and pastoral side. The Archdiocese of Boston describes the purpose of it as “to assist the pastor in his leadership role of planning, organizing, initiating, promoting, coordinating and reviewing the evangelization, worship, religious education and service activities within the parish.” As members of the parish, the members are able to give their personal insight on pastoral decisions. Since they are diverse in their composition, they are also able to represent the community in the decision making. They will be assisting the pastor to set long and short term pastoral goals for the parish. Additionally, the council will also seek out the needs of the people of the parish and beyond and involve the whole parish in the response of those needs. Finally, by Canon Law the pastor has to consult the parish council before making bigger decisions whether spiritual or financial. The council will be formed by 10 parishioners representing all three communities. Some members will be appointed and others will be voted in. Speaking with a number of parishioners, listening to their suggestions, 6 members from the English community have agreed to give their names to be chosen. We will choose 3 out of those 6. They will serve 3 year terms that can be renewed only once. Next week we will publish their names with a little bio about themselves.
As these brothers and sisters will be serving first of all God in this very important role, it is crucial that all of us first of all pray to the Holy Spirit. We read in the Acts of the Apostles how before electing St. Matthias, they prayed to the Holy Spirit for guidance. We will not be choosing a person to be the new apostle, but nonetheless, we will be choosing those who will help the guidance of the parish. There is a beautiful prayer used in different parishes before the election of new members. I kindly ask each of you to please pray this prayer for seven days before the naming of the “candidates.”
O God, We ask you to send your Holy Spirit to guide our parish in the selection of members for our
pastoral council. We are a parish that wants to do your will and carry out the mission Jesus entrusted to us. Help us find the men and women who will work with our pastor and guide us in our mission. We need men and women who will listen to the wisdom of the spirit and the needs of the people. We need men and women who are open to the ideas of others and who will work to bring us all together in unity as brothers and sisters in Christ. We need men and women who have a great love for you and for our parish. Continue to bless our parish so we can be a people filled with joy and faith as we live out our call to follow your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Next week I will instruct you on how to cast your vote for these brothers and sisters.
As we begin this new year, we are very excited to share with you the changes we are making to our music ministry. After much prayer, thought and discussion we will be making some changes in order to best serve everyone. We will be starting once again the children’s choir and we will be making the 11:00am mass a more child friendly mass. As a result, the adult choir will be moving to the 4:00pm mass on Saturday. We will also be adding some music to the 7:30am mass on Sunday and are making some small changes to a different style of contemporary music at the 5:00pm mass.
Next week, members of the music ministry will be speaking at all the masses to encourage participation in the adult choir and the children’s choir. Please prayerfully consider joining us!
Father Steven Clemence