This is a picture of St. Thomas Villanova chapel, and some of my colleagues, when I visited Philadelphia back in June. Now I’m preparing for two weeks vacation. Many of our parishioners are also away. I am eager to to see how God continues to call us to move forward together.
We have heard many parishioners discussing the parish renewal, structural changes and possible church closures. The Archbishop has met and consulted with his Presbyteral Council, and is now away for World Youth Day. I’ll also be away until mid-August, and several of our Parish Renewal Committee members will be away on vacation during August and early September. Our conversation will continue on September 18 to discern ways at how our blended family can continue to grow together. The meeting will be a leaders’ meeting of the Parish Renewal Committee, the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Finance Council.
What does it mean to rebuild our church? In my office I have an icon of St. Francis rebuilding the church. I learned while in the States that they are preparing for a National Eucharistic Congress 2024. This year their focus is on parishes. We are reminded that it is the Eucharist that will renew our parishes.
On their website, they are promoting four ways to help parishes grow. We’ll be addressing some of these issues at our next meeting on September 18. Please continue to pray for us as we discern how we might heal, form, convert, unify, and send our parishioners through a rekindled relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist.