Individual achievement is critical to success, but for most sports, teamwork matters just as much (if not more). If you’re part of a team, you have to be a team player. I continue to be overwhelmed with joy at what God is doing in our parishes, for our families, and with our new parish staff! We are growing! Come Holy Spirit.
Happy Easter! As St. Augustine reminds us, “We are an Easter people, and alleluia is our song!” Our Pastoral & Finance Councils will soon gather, and continue the discussion of parish renewal. At the heart of every parish should be a community of growing, maturing believers who are committed to a lifelong process of disciplined learning; who are discovering their God-given talents and are prepared to serve with humility and, eventually, to go out and make disciples.
During the pandemic, communities of faith across Canada (and the world) have pivoted in creative and innovative ways. Almost everyone went online, a few didn’t. Some engaged brand-new ministry from afar: zoom gatherings and meetings, phone-tree ministry, etc.
Many are ready and perhaps even desperate for things to go back to normal. Despite all the innovation and success, people are tired and are ready for the comfort of doing things the way they’ve always done them.
Yes, people have done church without their buildings but people miss their buildings. It is great to see your faces again! Our teams are ready to welcome you home.
As I mentioned briefly a few weeks ago, the parish office is growing! Please welcome our new Director of Evangelization and Parish Growth, Lorne Stang. He moved to Alexandria with his family in the Fall of 2020.
Innovation is tiring and people want to go back to the way things were. Or at least, that’s the story I’ve been hearing recently. I’ve also felt the passion and excitement that some of these innovative ministries have inspired.
For the past few years, the Archdiocese has been encouraging parishes to embrace what Pope Francis has styled as a spirit of “missionary evangelization,” – the joy of the Gospel. There is a great emphasis in the past two years, including from the Bishop’s Office, on a new instruction on the renewal of parish life.
As Lorne shared with us in our last Quarterly Report, “Every aspect and ministry within our Church must align their very identity in the proclamation of the Gospel. We aim for beautiful liturgy so that participants may encounter Jesus, we serve the poor because in that service we are loving Jesus, we sing and play beautifully so that the beauty of Jesus is known, we have warm hospitality because Jesus welcomes sinners, we run programs because Jesus invites us into relationship, we serve pancakes cause it reminds us that Jesus invites us to the eternal banquet. It is essential that we unite in the common mission entrusted to every baptized believer.”
The new Director will share responsibilities with Maison Shalom House Retreat and Welcome Centre, as well as with our North Glengarry Parishes. I am very excited to be working with Lorne who has a joy of the mission. This new hire is a key signpost for our families and parishioners, it is the hard right turn, moving the parish from maintenance to mission.
Lorne will be reporting to the Management Board of Maison Shalom House and myself, as the Pastor of St. Finnan’s Basilica, and of our North Glengarry Parishes. As detailed in the job description, the Director of Evangelization and Parish Growth is responsible for the operations of a progressive Faith and Spiritual Centre, overseeing the growth of the Basilica through the development and implementation of outreach programs and the development of a strong volunteer network in conjunction with the Pastor. Maison Shalom House will be operated as a centre for evangelization targeting fall-away Catholics and young families from the North Glengarry Parishes, visitors to the Basilica and programs serving the outreach needs of the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. The strategic union with St. Finnan’s Basilica presents an opportunity to develop various outreach programs and leverage the religious tourism potential of the Basilica.
As a summary, the new Director’s responsibility will be 80% Evangelization, and 20% Administration.
Lorne is a great team player! He is a highly motivated and experienced leader with many years of experience thanks to CCO. He really does have a joy of the Gospel, and eagerness to share his faith with others.
Please welcome him to our parish office team, and to our parishes! Below are a few other details on his journey.
Lorne’s Story: He encountered Christ personally through the ministry of CCO at the University of Saskatchewan in 2004. One of his university friends was an active student in CCO. He lead him through the Discovery Faith study and encouraged him to participate in an Impact Canada mission. Through this study and the mission, Jesus was proclaimed in a clear and simple way. It was the first time Lorne was ever invited to respond personally to what Christ had done for him. Inviting Christ to be at the centre of his life changed everything for Lorne! He married his wife Carolline Lajoie-Stang in July 2005 and they now have six children.
Lorne’s office is at Maison Shalom House, and his contact details are as follows:
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- phone: 613.525.1340
- fav hockey team: Pittsburgh Penguins
Again, please join me in welcoming Lorne, and wish him every blessing in this role within our parishes.