September 22, 2019

Last week we gathered for two parish conversations around the future of our parish. I was excited to engage some 240 parishioners on Monday, September 9 and Sunday, September 16. These two gatherings gave us a good start to our discernment process.

We gathered to discuss the state of our parish - where we’ve been and where we are today - in various areas of parish life, including liturgy, pastoral care, faith formation, outreach, and parish life. During our process we discussed several ministries, activities, and parish events that are of value and in need of volunteer support.

The results of our discernment process will shape our next steps in this process. In this week’s Bulletin you will find a description of the ministries, activities, and events that we hope you will spend some time reflecting on and discerning whether the Lord is calling you to give of your time and talent. You can also access these results on our website and our Facebook page.

As I shared at our two parish gatherings, the list of ministries and their descriptions, is not an exhaustive list of all the ministries, events, and activities that we engage in here at St. Joseph. Not all are even necessarily the most important of these. What is listed are those areas of liturgy, faith formation, outreach, and parish life that are valuable and in particular need of volunteer support.

There are dozens and dozens of other ministries, events, and activities in which parishioners volunteer, and our parish could not function without this generous gift of time and talent on the part of so many. To those of you who already give significant support to our parish ministries, events, and activities through the faithful stewardship of your time and talent, thank you!

Please take some time over the next week to discern if the Lord is calling you to help in a particular area of parish life. I encourage you to bring your consideration to prayer and reflection and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your discernment. Next weekend, at all our Masses, you will have an opportunity to commit to volunteering in one or more areas of interest to you.

It may well be that you are one of those parishioners that already give a significant amount of your time and talent to our parish. Once again, thank you! This year’s Stewardship of Talent renewal is targeted to specific areas of need, and it is quite possible that those of you who are already deeply involved in other ministries, events, and activities will not be able to give any more of your time and talent beyond what you are doing now. That’s okay, and once again, thank you for all you are doing!

If you are one of those people who could give more of your time and talent, then I ask you to prayerfully discern how you can serve.

At our conversations we discussed the purpose of parish life as providing opportunities for all of us to encounter the Lord, to be transformed by that encounter, and then to go out and bring that Good News to others. The summary of our parish mission, written on the glass as we enter our church, sums up this purpose well: Love God, Love Our Neighbor, Make Disciples. May our parish discernment process help us in that mission.

May God bless all of us in our discernment this week.

Fr. Gary Lazzeroni