Father Tirso

At this time, I would again like to remind parishioners about the Renew My Church announcement meeting that has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 4th , 2020 at 7:00 p.m. in the church. I know that I myself will not be at the meeting due to a trip to the Philippines that I had begun to plan months prior to the start of the Renew My Church process here at the parish. Still, it is important that as many of our SMM parishioners attend the announcement meeting. Whatever decision is made, it will impact the lives of everyone in our faith community along with the faith communities of St. Henry, St. Timothy, and Blessed Aloysius Stepanic Croatian Catholic Mission.

Several parishioners have already asked me what we might be able to expect in regard to the decision. I have basically responded that everything is up in the air and anything is possible. Even though the Renew My Church conversations between the four communities pointed to one or two recommendations, there is still any number of directions the future may take us. At this time, the report that we had submitted is being reviewed by the executive committee of Renew My Church who will then pass it on to the Presbyteral Council—an advisory board to the Cardinal consisting of priests of the Archdiocese. Everyone will make recommendations to the Cardinal who again will ultimately make the final decision. In a few instances, the Cardinal chose to go in a totally different direction than the recommendations made to him. For this reason, I again must respond that everything is up in the air, anything is possible, and no one will really know until the day of the official announcement. I, for one, do not want to respond in any way that will get everyone’s hopes up only to discover that I had steered everyone in the wrong direction. As hard as it is to wait, it is all that any of us can do at this point.

Even if we speak hypothetically and consider the possibilities, again we are still working on conjecture. Yes, we can and we have started exploring the possibilities but it must still be clear that everything is speculation at this moment.

Even after the formal conversations have concluded, I have had continuing conversations with leaders from St. Henry Parish to begin “brainstorming” in the event that our parishes might be merged. If this were to happen, we all realize that as much space will be needed in order to accommodate all of the ministries that will become part of the new parish. Similar conversations have taken place with leaders from St. Timothy’s. Again, everything is at the level of speculation at this point, but these conversations have been good in helping to be prepared for whatever the future might hold.

Again, I encourage all current and active parishioners to attend the meeting on Tuesday, February 4 th at 7:00 p.m. This is part of the journey for ALL parishioners—Anglo, Filipino, Hispanic, and all the countries of Africa. We need to see a good representation of all the ethnic communities that are represented in the parish.

Again, I apologize that I myself cannot be at the meeting. I tried to request either an earlier announcement date or even a later date. However, February 4th was the most convenient for everyone else involved.

Finally, no matter what decision is announced, I hope and pray that we will all receive the news with open minds, welcoming hearts, and a faith rooted in Jesus who is present and will remain present even as we learn to be a parish in a totally different way as in the past.

Fr. Tirso S. Villaverde, Jr.

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