Six months ago, the parish council urged me to form a group of parishioners who would assist me in the development of spiritual programming for the parish. Since that time, I have been meeting with Kevin Murphy, Don Sitner, Julie Kuhnert, Lucy Telthorst, Justin Clerc, Deacon John and Joanie Peroutka. This group – the Spiritual Formation Committee – is now charged with bringing to our parish community opportunities that help us grow in a deeper relationship with God and each other. More specifically, they will assist the pastor in developing, organizing and promoting classically Catholic spiritual formation opportunities. This will enable all of us to grow in our knowledge and love of Jesus, wherever we happen to be on the journey of faith. We have been careful in our formation and intend to move forward deliberately in discerning what types of programs and retreats to offer the parish. I am grateful for the time and effort this group has committed in working with me on this most important aspect of our life together.
By now, most of you have heard that our parish is moving into a period of prayerful discernment. Although this is being initiated on the school side by the Office of Catholic Education and on the parish side by the Archdiocese, it is always a good idea to pause from time to time and engage in some self-reflection. It is why some individuals go on days of recollection or set aside a longer period of time for retreat like those at the White House
Lucien Roy and Maureen Gallagher of The Reid Group are going to lead us through a prayerful process of discernment during two weekend “retreats” at the parish on September 25-26 and November 13-14. These are not retreats like the kind where we leave our homes/parishes and go to a retreat center. We’ll gather at the parish. We’ll pray together and invite the Holy Spirit to help us listen to God and to one another.
We will ask ourselves basic questions about our life together. Who are we? What is God calling us to become? What are the values we cherish? What are the hopes and dreams we have for the parish? What resources do we have in time, talent and treasure? Do these resources correspond with our values? Lucien and Maureen are well-practiced in guiding groups like ours in prayerfully discerning what God is asking of us in 2015 and for the years to come.
What we need more than anything else is the prayerful participation of as many of the parishioners as possible. Your voice, your perspective is important. We are a Catholic parish. We operate a number of programs and ministries. Some we may want to continue to operate. Others, God may be calling us to let go of. New ministries may begin, as for example, the Spiritual Formation Committee mentioned above. Watch the bulletin and website for more information.
Father Paul J. Rothschild