Sacred Heart’s Pastoral council met with St Maurice’s Parish Council on Tuesday, June 17 at Saint Maurice in Bolton to work on the new Mass schedule. Here are Ernie’s notes from the meeting. If you were at the meeting and would like your notes published, simply send them to Ernie.
Combined Pastoral/Parish Council Meeting
June 17, 2008 7:15pm, Saint Maurice
Name tags were distributed, an attendance sheet was distributed.
Meeting started with prayer. Persons spoke their names.
Father Stan sent apologies from Sr. Elissa – she has bronchitis and laryngitis and sounds like a bass – but Father explained that we will follow her agenda for the evening, which consisted of two questions.
Two questions were asked:
1 What is your greatest concern as the process goes forward?
2 What do you see as the advantages?
Reflection, then around the table…
The responses to question 1:
Mass times / schedules; Holy Week & Christmas; social functions/hospitality; finances/specifically drop in Mass attendance; limited access to the Pastor/showing support to the Pastor; “The Unknown”; losing members to other parishes or just losing members; losing individuality/effect on identity; maintaining identity in an arranged marriage; the burden on Fr Stan/duplication of duties/additional burdens; failure to properly delegate to others those things that do not require an ordained person/not calling on people; has the definition of “Yoking” changed in the 7 years since the clustered discussions; parishes becoming enemies or merely tolerating each other; too much for Fr Stan to handle; counterparts in each parish should get together; mileage (driving to Mass); maintain positive face / image / attitude; might not run into as many problems as we think, we do have a lot in common – Mass, groups, functions; people will leave and new people will come to take their place as in any corporate merger; gifts and gaps of each church can fit together; Faith Formation and Youth Group require that the Mass schedule be set before setting up the programs for the year; Youth Group has been inactive at Saint Maurice for several years; Faith Formation at Saint Maurice is intergenerational; we have been trying at Sacred Heart for many years to increase our numbers, so in a way this accomplishes our goal; having fewer Masses is a big change; Saint Maurice is still healing from having its pastor of 20 years yanked without warning with only 1 week notice; having a rotation of resident and visiting priests means there is no usual priest at a given Mass with whom to develop a relationship; despite assurances, will there actually end up being staffing changes, specifically with regards to Ernie & Don, and Faith Formation?
Respondents were asked to shift to question 2
The responses to question 2 (advantages):
The benefit to evangelization which may be enhanced by sharing ministers; at least there is a priest and so there can be Eucharist; this presents an opportunity to do things we never would have tried and to learn from each other; this presents a new opportunity for our youth to grow; an opportunity to learn how another parish operates; working together; potential to be great; now each parish can continue instead of having to consider closing; more flags = more fun!; learning about another parish allows us to learn about our own parish; Saint Maurice has a pastor again! We can form a relationship; lemons/lemonade; we are people of faith for others to see; perhaps the pall (of the closing of Sacred Heart’s church building) is lifting; staff can take vacations and share coverage/ learn and try new things; try new things we never would have tried; realization that Saint Maurice isn’t just gaining half a priest, but that Sacred Heart is also giving up half their priest; sharing ideas/getting to know new people; there is no monopoly on good ideas; creativity and the opportunity to be creative; more people = more experiences; additional facilities to use; we’re not actually merging, but what would really be so bad if we did?; it’s like a marriage in the family – we’re gaining new in-laws and so there is more family to love
Given that there will be only four Masses offered between the two parishes and Masses must begin at least two hours apart, questions were asked about:
what is the earliest possible Sunday Mass we should offer
(responses generally favored 8am)
what is the latest possible Sunday Mass we should offer
(responses generally favored 11am)
what is ther earliest possible Saturday Mass we should offer
(responses generally favored 4pm)
what is the latest possible Saturday Mass we should offer
(responses generally favored 5:30pm)
What time should the Sunday afternoon Mass be offered
(slightly more responses for 7pm than 5pm)
What is the best-attended Mass in each parish?
St Maurice 9:15 and 11:30 both very well attended, others not
Sacred Heart 10:30 very well attended, other not
How do the times of Mass affect those families with small children?
Father Stan then proposed choosing between the following two choices:
one Mass in each location on Saturday (at 4pm & 6pm) and one in each location (at 9am & 11am)
one Mass in one location on Saturday at 5pm, one Sunday morning Mass in each parish at either 9am & 11am and a Mass in the parish that did not have the Saturday Mass on Sunday at 5pm
The second choice was the overwhelming winner
The following choice was then offered:
Saturday at 5pm. Sunday at 8:30 and 10:30am and Sunday at 5pm –
but was discounted because 8:30am is considered too early for those who have children.
The question of a survey was addressed; because Tom from Saint Maurice already had drawn one up so it was distributed and will be used
There was closing prayer.