We enter into the month of May, which has traditionally been a month dedicated to our mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. As an aside, we dedicate other months to other people or mysteries of our Lord: March is dedicated to St. Joseph, June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, July is dedicated to the Precious Blood of Christ, November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Back on topic, we celebrate Mother’s Day next week, and we remember and honor not simply our earthly mothers, but also honor our mother in Heaven: Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother. I invite you to draw close and grow in devotion to Mary this month; she will lead you closer to her Son, Jesus Christ. Perhaps you can begin by praying the Rosary or even beginning by praying a decade of the Rosary.
As we begin the month of May, it is probably the time to begin discussing topics relating to the Intentional Planning process the Diocese has embarked upon and how it affects our parishes here in the area. You may remember that it was announced a few months ago that Fr. John Miller will be the pastor of Resurrection, St. Mary of the Snows, and St. Peter’s, beginning on July 1; he will be assisted at all three parishes by Fr. Kevin Moebius and a parochial vicar (associate pastor) yet to be named. Since the announcement, questions have arisen, and unfortunately, so have rumors.
First, I would like to address the rumors. There have been rumors that the intention is to close one or both of our parishes (Resurrection and St. Mary of the Snows). The reality is that both parishes will remain open; there is absolutely no intention of closing either of the parishes. Adding my two cents, as long as the life of the parish, Mass attendance, and finances are strong, there is no reason to close our parishes; as long as parishioners remain dedicated, involved, and supportive of the parish, the parishes should remain open. Another rumor is that money from our parishes will be used to support St. Peter’s; the reality is that the finances of the parishes will remain separate, as has been the case for our two parishes for approximately the last decade. The last rumor is that St. Mary of the Snows Catholic School is going to be merged, absorbed, or taken over by St. Peter Catholic School; similar to this rumor is that St. Mary of the Snows Catholic School will be closed in a year or two. There is no discussion or planning to merge the schools or to close the school at St. Mary’s.
I strongly urge you to not engage in spreading rumors, and when you hear people spreading rumors, kindly ask them to cut it out. Fr. Miller has met with with the staffs of both parishes, along with the pastoral and finance councils of both parishes, and he has consistently communicated with all that it is not his intention to begin changing the parishes upon July 1, and I am sure that we will hear from him more in the next two months. Gossip, rumors, and pessimism only undermine the health of our parishes. Rumors and pessimism lead people to ask the question, “Why should I be or stay here?” Such a question may help someone rededicate himself or herself to the parish, but that question coupled with gossip and negativity can create self-fulfilling prophecies and drive parishioners, families, and students away.
This is a difficult and challenging time with changes coming to all three parishes in our area, and there is a great level of uncertainty about the future. This is a time of change and loss, and that also is painful. During this time, we need to support and encourage each other, and we remember to do what is best for our parish, parishioners, and families. In this time of transition, may we turn to Mary, our Mother, and ask her to lead us closer to the Risen Lord who leads us to new life.
We are saints under construction, asking the intercession of Mary in our times of need. Have a great week!