In the eyes of our Diocese, St. Mary and Resurrection Parishes are sister parishes. By design, this means that our two parishes are joined together in distinctive ways. For example, the priests and deacons who serve in our parishes are called and appointed to serve in both parishes. This indicates that in certain ways, our two parishes have a similar style of spiritual leadership. For the most part, persons who attend Mass in either parish on a given weekend hear the same message delivered from the pulpit. As an implication of the bond between our two parishes, on the last weekend of every month, each deacon preaches at one of the Masses in the parish in which he does not reside. The pastoral article for the weekly bulletin in both parishes is the same.
Other ways in which the bond that we have as sister parishes comes to expression are as follows. An on-going effort is made to have copies of the weekly bulletin of each parish present in the other parish. In our commonly-understood less than ideal weekend Mass schedule, persons from St. Mary Parish participate at Mass in Resurrection Parish and vice versa. For years now, Resurrection and St. Mary Parishes have been working together to prepare the youth of both parishes for the Sacrament of Confirmation. The site for the celebration of this Sacrament rotates every other year between our two parishes. Normally, persons who serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion receive training and formation for this ministry in their home parish. Where this does not work out schedule-wise for individuals, persons intending to continue to serve in this role are invited and encouraged to attend a formation session offered in the other parish. In the music ministry, from time to time there are persons who participate in this particular manner in both parishes.
As is the case in our families, each parish community has activities that are unique to it. For example, in September, St. Mary Parish will hold its annual Parish/School Festival on the weekend of September 12th and 13th. On Sunday, September 20th, Resurrection Parish will hold its annual Parish Picnic. It needs to be stressed that all persons in both parishes are invited and encouraged to participate in each of these significant events. Details for doing this are printed elsewhere in the various vehicles of communication. As a way of strengthening the bond of support that already exists between our two parishes, efforts will continue to be made to invite persons of both parishes to participate in activities of a social and formational nature that each parish hosts.
More recently, Mass in Spanish is offered at Resurrection Parish each Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Regardless of where Spanish-speaking persons reside, all are invited to participate at this Mass and to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation as this is offered at 5:30 p.m. before each weekly Mass. All of us in both parishes are encouraged and challenged to invite Hispanic persons to participate in all facets of the life of each of our parishes.
Regardless of our parish affiliation, I hope that persons and groups in our two parishes will be eager both to host and to participate in events of each parish. In our willingness to do this, besides helping our sister parish to remain vibrant, the identity that each person has with his/her own parish will be supported and strengthened. Having a strong parish identity can offer much strength and support in the on-going challenge to witness to the Gospel in our world.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor