Discernment

Dear Parishioner,

Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

On the Feast of the Holy Family, Archbishop Kurtz promulgated a Pastoral Letter, Your Parish: The Body of Christ Alive in Our Midst, that contained an invitation to all the parishes in the Archdiocese to enter into a process to discern the future of our parishes. In response to this invitation from the Archbishop, we at St. Rita will be participating in this process of prayerful discernment in the coming months.

In the spring of 2016, the Archdiocese commissioned an independent study to decide how to fund a variety of ministerial needs. During that study, more than 300 people were engaged in one-on-one conversations, focus groups, and e-surveys. While participants involved during the study affirmed the need and their willingness to fund ministries, they surfaced other fundamental issues for consideration as well.

Participants emphasized the importance of family, education, and service and they indicated many parishes had a need to discern their own future. At the conclusion of the study this information was shared with the Archbishop, pastors, and key leaders, and we affirmed the views surfaced.

After this process of listening closely to the faithful of the Archdiocese, taking time for personal prayer, and reflecting upon the words of the Holy Father, the Archbishop wrote and promulgated Your Parish: The Body of Christ Alive in our Midst. In it, he called for a renewed emphasis on the life of the parish and the areas of Family Life, Education and Lifelong Formation, and Service and Outreach.

The purposes of the parish discernment process are to reflect on the Pastoral Letter, discern how we can grow in holiness and vitality as a faith community, and to plan through a process of prayer, listening, deciding, and developing the parish in the areas of Family Life, Education and Lifelong Formation, and Service and Outreach.

I invite you to participate fully in this process over the coming months as we seek to listen to God's call for St. Rita and discern His will for our future. At the conclusion of this process, we will have had the opportunity to prayerfully reflect on the Archbishop's Pastoral Letter, recognize and celebrate the ways in which God has already abundantly blessed our parish community, and identify new, or confirm existing, priorities in the areas of Family Life, Education and Lifelong Formation, and Service and Outreach.

The Pastoral Letter and accompanying study guide are available at www.archlou.org or in hardcopy at the parish office. Additional information will be distributed through Mass and bulletin announcements in the coming weeks.

Yours in Him,
Fr Joe Rankin

 

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