EFFECTIVE JUNE 30, 2018
4:00pm - Immaculate Heart of Mary
9:00 am - St. Joseph
11:00 am - St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
at Immaculate Heart of Mary
Holy Day Schedule
at Immaculate Heart of Mary
JUNE 10, 2018
Hopefully as this bulletin article comes to you, Fr. Amrit will be jetting back over the ocean toward his home with us in The TriParishes. I have such a deep appreciation for his ministry as a missionary assigned to our linked family of parishes, but I think that respect may have increased since he has not been present! Besides aiding with the weekend and weekday Mass schedule, Fr. Amrit also shares the nursing home Mass rotation, the hospital calls, and is usually the priestly presence visiting the sick and shut-ins in our area. I’m so grateful for his friendship and willingness to serve. Needless to say, I don’t just miss his availability as a working colleague, but also his true assistance in ministry and brotherhood. I know you’ll join me in praying for his safe return.
One of the things that both Fr. Amrit and I have been taking to
Our Lord in prayer is the Mass Schedule. Since Fr. Amrit had to leave at a moment’s notice to visit his family, there was no time for him or me to arrange any substitute to help with the weekend Masses. Even if there were time, it is increasingly obvious that our diocese doesn’t have the manpower to fulfill sustained requests for substitute coverage. Consequently, I have taken upon myself the entire schedule of Masses, Monday – Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. In addition to the daily appointments, phone calls, souls in distress, caring for my mother’s affairs in the nursing home, all while attempting to take Friday off to rest and prepare the homily for the weekend (which hasn’t happened every Friday!), I can verify that the entirety of the schedule can wear a priest (me!) pretty thin.
I’ve spent the past month trying to truly think “in the shoes” of an average parishioner when it comes to Mass and ministry. The priest is simply “there” for the hour I need him to be there. If I were a parishioner whose parish had been clustered with another, I would want “my priest” to be at “my parish” at the times to which I have become accustomed. That’s natural and in a different time it was also a reasonable expectation.
Unfortunately, for the health of the priest – and I’m not just speaking about my personal physical and psychological health, but also the trends we see in priests experiencing burnout and medical treatment with stress related injuries, the “my priest, my Mass, at my church” model is not sustainable at present.
To that end, following the input received from you (which was not a vote but merely an information gathering exercise), following counsel received from Fr. Lorrain, the dean of our deanery, after consultation with the parish and finance councils of all three parishes, and in consultation with each other, Fr. Amrit and I have determined that the Mass schedule that will take effect on June 30, 2018 will give each parish a “prime” Mass time that covers the entire weekend and should be sufficient to serve the numbers of actual parishioners that we count “in the pew” and not just on our rolls of registration.
That means, there will be three Masses on the weekend and the farthest a parishioner will have to drive for Mass is within a 30-minute timeframe.
The Mass Schedule will be as follows beginning June 30:
- 4pm at Immaculate Heart of Mary
- 9am at Saint Joseph
- 11am St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
On Holy Days (like The Immaculate Conception) the schedule will remain in place as is, with the vigil the day before and the Mass of the Holy Day taking place at Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Christmas and Easter schedule will remain the same.
The Daily Mass schedule will also remain in place with Mass Monday through Friday at 8:30am at Immaculate Heart of Mary. The administration building will continue to be at Immaculate Heart of Mary.
This will be yet another difficult transition in a short period of time, but I trust that the time in prayer has not been in vain. I trust that the tears that I have shed before the tabernacle have been received by The Lord and that the guidance I have received is not for the destruction of any of our parishes but rather an opportunity to keep them viable as houses of prayer and Christian activity.
You are all dear to me as your priest and pastor, and I pray earnestly in the words of Jesus: And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day. (John 6:39)
It is my great hope that none will be lost, but rather find the source of resurrection at the altar in Jesus Christ, who is the same, yesterday, today, and forever in any of the churches where He makes himself present in Word and Sacrament.
Please pray for me and for Fr. Amrit, please pray for and encourage vocations to the priesthood from your families, and please know that I continually lift you up in prayer.
In Christ’s Peace,