A Message from the Pastor…………

St. Monica 2023 Parish Strategic Plan Promulgated I announced this at Masses last weekend with brief comments, and a little more is in order. First, this is our own plan for the parish’s growth, developed independently and begun before the Archdiocesan re-organization of parishes. I’d hoped to start it in my first year here, but COVID made that impractical. So we started at the end of last March, and have produced this growth plan before the year is up, and that’s good progress.

The plan divides our parish life and growth areas into four familiar areas:, Worship, Christian Formation, Service and Social, and Administration. All members of the parish were invited in multiple ways to contribute thoughts and ideas: the opening Visioning Day; surveys done in the church, and invitations to develop specific actions plans through the summer and fall. The Parish Council and our parish plan- ning Core Team have taken all this into account and produced the final document, a template for the parish’s growth for at least the next two years (until the parish decides new planning is called for.) Now that we know that our parish will be open under our own name and in our boundaries, it’s especially advantageous for us to plan out our best growth areas and maximize this renewed opportunity to live our parish life.

I made an appeal at church that I repeat here: as you review the Strategic Plan, on paper or on the parish website, don’t do so with a focus on critiquing—what you think is missing or valued wrong. After all, every parishioner had the multiple ways above to contribute thoughts and ideas. It’s time, at this stage, to ask yourself “What can I do here? Which parts of activating this plan could I contribute to, and how? I take the work of the entire parish on this seriously, and in coming time, as new things are proposed, I will ask how they fit into our growth plan. Such things as further our plan will be the priorities for me.

We are now again in the midst of the 3 Great Lenten Conversion Stories, Last week we heard of the Samaritan Woman, weary from work, unsatisfied in her relationships, and uncertain of her connection with God. Jesus healed and enlivened her with a simple conversation. This week’s story is tougher—a man who has much of his life stripped away, because of his encounter with Jesus. And yet he turns to Jesus, and, like the woman, becomes a disciple. This gospel, and Lent itself, ask us if we’re true to our conversion, in worship and discipleship.

Fr Tom Wyrsch

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