Why are we creating Families of Parishes?
Before the pandemic, the local and universal Church were already facing significant challenges, including the shortage of priests to care for parish communities. The coronavirus pandemic and its associated health and economic crises accelerated these problems.
We now have fewer resources to keep our mission active. Archbishop Vigneron, in consultation with clergy and lay advisors, has determined that now is the time to act.
Our mission to unleash the Gospel hasn’t changed, but how we approach that mission must shift in response to our circumstances. We must move forward with greater collaboration and better stewardship of our resources.
With this shift, we take inspiration from the early Church. From the beginning, Christ knew the mission he gave his disciples would be difficult and that they would face many challenges, so he sent them to preach the Gospel two-by-two (Mk 6:6-7 and Luke 10:1). Like us, the early disciples knew what was asked of them but not necessarily how to accomplish it or what the end result would be. St. Paul himself was shipwrecked three times (2 Cor 11:25) but wherever he ended, he remained committed to the same mission with which we are entrusted today. Because of St. Paul’s commitment and the commitment of the early apostles, the Gospel was heard across the world.
Like the disciples, we have been asked to unite and go on mission together, enhancing each other’s strengths and working collaboratively to Unleash the Gospel around us. And while the impact of the pandemic may feel like a shipwreck – like St. Paul, this is not what we planned or wanted – we know that God wants us to continue his mission with the same zeal and dedication of the early apostles. He will be with us every step of the way.
Does this mean our mission to Unleash the Gospel has changed?
Not at all. Through Synod 16, we discerned that God was calling us to transform our archdiocese into a band of joyful missionary disciples, sent on mission to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in southeast Michigan. God continues to send us on this mission to bring Christ to this place and in this time. Those around us are still thirsting for the Gospel, the words of eternal life. The new model of Family of Parishes will allow us to better serve this mission.
In fact, it is during times of crisis — when people are in need and face uncertainty — that they are more open to hearing the Good News. We must seize the opportunity to bring the message of the Gospel to all during these times.
More to follow in the coming weeks.
Grandparents Day, September 13—Generations
God, you have blessed me indeed as the child I love has had a child I love with all that is within me. I pray that in your mercy you watch over and protect my grandchild as you have always done for me. May their lives be long and healthy. May they have the courage to follow their dreams and should the day come when I am no longer on Earth with them, may they look back upon me with fond memories and may they never forget that they were and always will be deeply loved by me.
Taken from jesuitresouce.org