I would like to thank everyone who participated in our synodal discussions that reflected on the state of our church and where we are headed in the future. I want to share with you some of the major points that were highlighted in our discussions.
The first major area of reflection was on where our parish is right now. Among the observations made:
*Spiritual health is fair. Weekly Mass attendance is not yet up to pre-Covid numbers, especially with the younger families.
*There is a lot going on in the parish with regard to ministries and activities, but many parishioners may not be aware.
*Personal invitations to participate in the various activities and ministries may draw some people who are hesitant to participate.
*Social opportunities are limited, and there is a need to develop parking and a parish center that is closer/attached to the church.
* The diversity of our parish has increased; however, we need more opportunities to engage and converse.
Reflecting on where our parish can develop in the future, the following points are among those that were made:
*We need to identify the needs in our community and work toward meeting those needs.
*Create adult program to help couples and families to develop relationships and assist with parenting skills. Have greeters before Mass to welcome people, hand them a bulletin, and improve hospitality.
*We need a way to identify those in need, and have volunteers reach out in some way.
* We have a strong group of faithful parishioners. We need to find a way to retain our young people and families so they will continue in the faith and make it a priority in their lives.
As you can gather from the above, there is a lot of good already happening here, and a lot of new areas in which we can direct our energies.
We carried out this process of discussion as we prepare to celebrate the centennial of our parish. In June 2023 we will have a celebration marking the anniversary of the first Mass celebrated at Holy Name Parish, which was then based in a tent on Stanley St. From those humble beginnings God has brought about so much good, and what a blessing it is for us to continue to build on this foundation.
Over the summer we will have time to reflect on how we can take the next steps in our development as a parish. I invite you to reflect yourselves, based on the above points, so that we can continue this conversation about how we live our mission as a church.