On Mission; now what: On Mission for the Church Alive! has been going on since April 12, 2015. We are three years into the process and our projected end date is still three years away (2021). What does that mean for us?
First off, it means we now have a clear view of where we are heading. Up to this point we have been preparing ourselves for inevitable change, planning for the worst while hoping for the best. Of course we were not really planning for the worst; we simply were making plans for the most extreme possible outcome―we were not going to be caught unprepared. Yet, we hoped for the best and that hope was the theological kind, not simply a wish. We gathered our information, attended the On Mission meetings, held our town-hall gatherings and shared our findings with the diocese. Then, knowing that theological hope involves action, we began the process of expanding our understanding and living of Church. We have formed new relationships with the churches around us and have welcomed our neighbors into our faith journey, all of this having been done in the spirit of the Church being the Body of Christ. Likewise, we have begun to address important physical plant issues that are making our campus safer, more accessible, and even a little more beautiful, thus presenting a visual representation of the welcoming and inviting community which we are. We/YOU have done great work! We are ready to move forward with the next stages of the Bishop’s call to be On Mission.
So, what is next? First, it is important to remember that no churches are closing at this time. During the next few months the parish staff will continue to receive training from the diocese and transitional support from the Secretariat for Parish Services. The next announcement we should anticipate will be the interim Mass and confession schedule (the publication of which should occur sometime in August). Likewise, the board for the Pittsburgh-East Regional Catholic Elementary Schools planning process continues its work. You can follow their developments at https://diopitt.org/pgh-east.
Let us remember, and stay focused on the fact, that Saint Maurice has a wonderful Pastoral Plan (formed under the leadership of Fr. John) which guides us as we move into the future. Our parish has a highly professional, dedicated, and service minded staff that works extremely hard to bring Christ alive for all of us. Additionally, we have wonderful parishioners who have vision and motivation to take the Church into the world and proclaim in word and deed the Good News. Our parish family has embraced our pastoral mission as well as the On Mission initiative and we will continue to do so boldly and confidently. Our next six months will be filled with ongoing evangelization and outreach. The new clergy team better not be resting on their laurels because Saint Maurice surely isn’t!
Personally, I am looking forward to my next six months as this parish family continues to be a shining light for everyone to see what is truly a Church Alive! I hope you share with me the excitement of this process. For as our only Catholic President of the United States once said: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” -John F. Kennedy