From our pastor, Fr. Chas Canoy….
Dear Parish Family,
With the desire to have a proactive response to some of the downward trends in Mass attendance, participation in the sacraments in general, and priestly ordinations over this last generation, the Church realizes that she cannot keep on going with business as usual. The response to this has been the New Evangelization by which the Church has desired to rise to the challenge of sharing the Gospel anew in the midst of a very secular post-Christian culture.
Locally in the last six years, this renewed vigor in equipping the clergy, staff, and lay leaders of the parishes throughout the Diocese of Lansing for the work of the New Evangelization has centered around the three major diocesan assemblies. This beautiful work of the Holy Spirit in our area culminated in the historic Diocesan Assembly of 2018 at MSU’s Breslin Center. Nearly 400 of our own parishioners were present, and their hearts were set aflame for love of Jesus Christ and the advancement of the Kingdom of God!
Since that Assembly, we have had the Year of Prayer in 2019, prayerfully awaiting the guidance our local Church needed to continue moving forward and preparing spiritually for a New Pentecost, that is, a new and greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the People of God. Among the fruits of the Diocesan Assemblies and the Year of Prayer were the priests of the diocese at the last two presbyteral convocations of 2018 and 2019 urging action on the priorities of 1) the health of the presbyterate and the decreasing number of vocations, 2) the renewal of the sacramental life of our parishes, and 3) the necessity of equipping the lay faithful in our parishes to be communities of missionary disciples.
To those ends, the 14-person committee called “Realigning Resources for Mission” was formed, composed of five priests (of which I am one), one deacon, and eight lay people, to recommend a vision for the diocese with accompanying priorities and objectives by which all the resources of our diocese become rightly aligned with the overall mission that Jesus Christ entrusted to his Church: “Go and make disciples of all nations!”
The committee has been meeting regularly since last fall, laying the groundwork for the visitation of all parishes in the Diocese of Lansing. Thus, starting Tuesday, April 21 through Thursday, May 21, representatives from both the Realigning Resources for Mission Committee and the Bishop’s Chancery will be having 71 local parish meetings in order to explain 1) the rationale behind the process of realigning all our resources for mission, 2) the methodology of the process, and 3) most importantly, to listen to parishioners for their input on the process and the potential impact it may have on their particular parish and the work of evangelization in their area.
The meeting for our parish will be on Tuesday, April 21, and will begin at 7:00 p.m., lasting for 90 minutes in the parish center. You are invited to come and offer your feedback! The meeting will consist of two components: 1) a presentation on behalf of the Realigning Resource for Mission Committee and 2) small group discussion followed by feedback from parishioners on your hopes and fears for the process, what you love or feel needs to be known about your parish, and any specific suggestions you may have for the future of your parish or the future of the diocese. Please come, as the outcomes of this process will have a significant effect on the future of our parishes!
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Chas Canoy