Last week, I received a summary of the parish survey conducted by the Strategic Planning Committee. I will ask the committee to make a more detailed report available, but I wanted to share with you my "take away" points from the survey.
First, there were more than 400 responses to the survey from individuals and from ministries. In itself, that sort of response shows a great interest in the future of the parish.
As for the current state of the parish, the responses generally saw St. Rose as meeting the essential needs of parishioners. Looking to the future, the hopes seemed to me to focus in a few areas:READ MORE
"We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do." These words from the Gospel remind us that we are truly servants in relationship to God. And yet, to serve God is to be fulfilled in joy and freedom! Let's think about that.
I am finding comfort, strength, and hope in my servant relationship with our God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The readings for this Sunday are simply amazing! Through the Prophet Habakkuk we hear: "Destruction and violence are before me, there is strife and clamorous discord." How true is that of our world and our lives today? And yet God assures us: "For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it." St. Paul tells us in the Second Reading: "For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control...Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us." To serve God is better than to try to be my own master.READ MORE
Dear Parishioners of Saint Rose,
This letter is meant to strengthen our understanding of stewardship and our reason for sacrificial giving. This fall, we are having a series of homilies on stewardship in connection with an appeal to support and to become more involved in the parish. These homilies will be posted on the parish website, as well as preached at Mass. In response, I ask as your pastor for you to make a commitment to regular participation in the parish, including financial support.READ MORE
We are beginning this weekend a series of homilies on stewardship. Although this concept includes being generous with our money, it is much bigger than that. It is really a way of living.
In the first place, what is a steward? The Gospel today gives the example of a steward -- a really bad steward actually! A steward is one who has been entrusted with authority over goods that belong to the one who has entrusted the goods. It is a concept that comes up in the gospels a lot. The servants, for example, who are entrusted with the various number of talents, for example, are stewards. The man in the Gospel today is also a steward for his master's accounts, but he abuses the trust of his master to take care of himself.READ MORE
Saint Rose parish continually amazes me, but a Saturday a couple of weeks ago really stands out in my experience here. On that day, there were 16 weddings in one big nuptial Mass, along with four baptisms and 12 confirmations. There were also five baptisms of children before the Mass, as well as almost countless confessions the night before.
How did this come about? The marriage preparation ministry of the Hispanic community reached out to couples who were not married in the Church, that is, who had not received the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony -- for any number of reasons and with any number of complications. This ministry got to work on marriage preparation for these couples, as well as addressing whatever obstacles were in the way. A beautiful communion developed among the couples preparing for the sacrament and those preparing them. There was a lot of work involved, to say the least. In the end, 16 couples received the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony as well as other sacraments that were needed. In all, the ceremony was three hours! And then there was a grand fiesta.READ MORE
Last week, I talked about the obvious improvements going on at St. Rose in our construction projects in the church, and they are continuing at a good pace. I thank you for your support and patience during this time. I also want to tell you about other projects going on in the parish that are not so obvious: the work of our new councils and committees.
Parish Pastoral Council: This council is exactly what it sounds like, a group to guide the pastor about the parish's pastoral mission. It serves as a sort of "cabinet" to the pastor to keep the parish unified in carrying out dimensions of formation in the parish: human, spiritual, intellectual, and apostolic. The pastoral council works to foster unity between the English and Spanish speaking elements of our parish as well as unity with our parish school. This council has begun to meet and to organize itself according to this vision.READ MORE
Back in November when Saint Rose took over the pastoral care of our Hispanic community, the plan with the diocese was that there would be three priests assigned to Saint Rose. There are at least a couple of other parishes with three priests, and I would say that we need that many with all the pastoral responsibilities that our parish covers. That is when Fr. Michael joined us at Saint Rose. Since then, however, for a number of reasons we have had only two priests for the majority of that time. Now that Fr. Edwuin has his visa and is back in the parish (as of last Monday), we should regularly have three priests in the parish. All three of us will be offering Masses and confessions at all of the regular times, and we will divide up certain areas that each of us will concentrate on serving. Fr. Edwuin will be especially helpful with the Hispanic community, Fr. Michael will have a concentration on our homebound and hospitalized parishioners, and I will offer pastoral care to the MTSU Catholic students. Of course, all of us will be involved in all areas to some degree.READ MORE