From Our Pastor – Oct. 29, 2017 Bulletin Message
A Grateful Update
During my time away the week of Oct. 15-22, it was easy to pray and reflect upon God’s beauty, especially in the spectacular weather that we were granted; and in the St. Alphonsus community, where Bishop Zubik has assigned me for the past 2 ½ years. I am grateful to be here with all of you.
Fall is now here, and with it come many changes, like the colors of the leaves, the temperature, the amount of sunlight.
I hope you have been following along in our bulletin, E-News, and The Pittsburgh Catholic regarding all of the very real On Mission for the Church Alive! changes that will begin to occur at this time next year. As I mentioned at the end of Mass in mid-September, the On Mission for the Church Alive! initiative continues to advance as Bishop Zubik considers proposals that would merge parishes throughout the diocese to create, at this time, 48 “new” parishes (the diocese currently has 188 parishes).
Our proposed parish grouping is a merger with St. Alexis Parish. Other parishes in the diocese are facing the possibility of merging with up to six other parishes. You can view all of the proposed parish groupings at OnMissionChurchAlive.org by clicking here.
Priests in our diocese have been meeting with members of the Priest Personnel Board (the advisory board to Bishop Zubik that often recommends clergy assignments) to express their own hopes, concerns, thoughts, and feelings about On Mission, and where and how we are discerning God’s will for us amidst these changes. I had my meeting last month, and appreciated the opportunity to be heard, and to ask questions.
Additionally, the bishop continues to meet with his advisory councils from now through the beginning of 2018 to receive feedback regarding these proposals. I am honored to sit on two of these councils (Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors). At this time in history, these meetings primarily consist of reviewing each proposed parish grouping/merger with serious dialogue, debate, and recommendations.
Bishop Zubik will take all of this into consideration and prayer before making his final decisions and announcing: 1) the “new” parish groupings; 2) the clergy who will be assigned to each of these groupings; and 3) the number of weekend Masses for each “new” parish grouping. This announcement is to be made on April 26, 2018, and the “new” Mass schedules for each grouping are to begin the week of Oct. 15, 2018.
Please review the On Mission timeline by clicking here for a flier that we included in the Oct. 8 and 29 bulletins.
In the following weeks, I will write about how these changes will most likely affect St. Alphonsus, at least as far as I am aware of at this point.
As we move forward, we soon celebrate the feasts of All Saints and All Souls Days, special days in our liturgical calendar. We will also have our Evening of Remembrance prayer service on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 5 p.m., a beautiful and solemn way to pray for loved ones who have passed from this life to the next within the past year. Note: This is NOT a Mass.
Additionally, we are privileged to host Seelos Academy’s musical rendition of The Little Mermaid on Nov. 3 and 4. Hopefully, you already have tickets, as both shows are sold out! If you have tickets for the Nov. 4 show, please join us for Mass at 5 p.m., then walk over to The Ryan Center and relax before show time!
Yours in Christ,