One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

by Sep 26, 2023Pastor's Blog

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:5-13

The last three years, especially this past year, we have discussed parish renewal, structural changes, and church closures.

How Did We Get Here?

Every generation experiences challenges in faith and in this day and age, secularism has seemed to push God out of the picture. Secular culture leads us to think that all we have is ourselves and this moment and has also led to breakdowns of family life, respect for life, and a whole host of social ills. We need healing and redemption in Jesus Christ now more than ever.

Families grow stronger through the support and fellowship of other families with shared desires, dreams, and values. Let’s continue to encourage one another to find connection with other families seeking to live out our Christian & Catholic faith boldly during this year’s changes. 

  1.  We are all aware of the process which we have followed over the last several months.  For those who participated in the process, please accept my appreciation. It has not been easy. Some have expressed dissatisfaction with the process. I would simply state that we used our best efforts and will hopefully learn from the different comments.
  2. The proposal to rename the new larger parish is very contentious and viewing the reaction, I have asked the Archdiocese to set this recommendation aside.  I have spoken with members of St. James and St. Anthony’s.  They are in agreement that we set this particular recommendation aside.
  3. And so, we have received draft decrees which provide for the unification of the four churches under one parish called St. Finnan’s Parish.  We have also received a draft decree which announces the closure of St. Catherine of Sienna on November 3, 2023 with the last mass on October 29, 2023. 

We are co-workers in the vineyard of the Lord. We are a family, united by faith in the Most Holy Eucharist. However, that doesn’t mean there will be no challenges. We, as a parish family, are experiencing multiple defining moments, choices that reveal, test, and shape us. Let us continue praying for each other.

It is important for us to walk with our parishioners on this difficult journey. The main thing is that we don’t lose hope and don’t become discouraged. It’s still one faith, one church, one baptism. It may not be the same building, but we’re all a part of that one faith.

Again, I cannot emphasize strongly enough that although our structures may change, the mission Christ gave us to go forth and make disciples remains. There is an invitation for all of us to recognize the need for sacrifice and generosity, while working and praying for unity.

The decrees made available through the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall, and signed by His Grace Archbishop Marcel Damphousse and our chancellor Fr. Dan Van Delst, can only be read and understood through the mission of our parish. Where is God calling us? How can we work together to grow the Catholic Faith in North Glengarry? Let continue to expect God to work in our lives, and in our parish family.

Let us pray for all our parishioners.

For your information, attached are the decrees:

  • Extinctive union of the parish of St. Anthony in Apple Hill with the parish of St. Finnan in Alexandria (PDF)
  • Extinctive union of the parish of St. James in Maxville with the parish of St. Finnan in Alexandria (PDF)
  • Extinctive union of the parish of St. Catherine of Sienna in Greenfield with the Parish of St. Finnan in Alexandria (PDF)
    • Closure of Catholic Church of St. Catherine of Sienna in Greenfield and its reduction to a profane but not sordid use (PDF)

For any questions, please call or email the office.

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