Dear Parish Family,
I am writing this note before I officially become the pastor of our family of parishes because several important decisions need to be made before July 1. I believe it is important that you be informed of these decisions before they are implemented.
The first decision that needs to be made is where the priests in our family will reside. The second decision is determining which parish will act as the financial hub during our activation period. The third decision is which parish will be the central hub of the family.
An important factor in determining where a priest lives and where the central hub is located is determined by what the Road to Renewal team defines as priestly presence. Each parish in the family should have a priestly presence. Priestly presence is defined as a either a priest living in residence on a parish campus or the parish being the central office hub for the family. Another wrinkle in this decision-making process is that the Road to Renewal team has decided that a priest ordained less than 6 years must reside with the pastor.
Based on these factors, I have decided, in consultation with the other priests in our family, that Fr. Walt and Fr. Art will reside in their current rectories and be the priestly presence for Our Lady Peace and St. Teresa of Avila parishes. Fr. Joe Franz and I will reside at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus St. Mary’s of the Assumption in Swormville will be our parish central office hub. Also, for the 6-month activation period St. Mary’s will be the financial hub. The only current family expense will be the cost of the priests assigned to our family. Each parish will pay an equal share of the total cost of the priests because each priest works for all four parishes in our family.
More information about the central office hub and financial hub will be forth coming as the family activation period progresses. I would like to add that none of these decisions change the day-to-day operation of our parish offices nor are any employees currently working in our 4 parishes moving to a new location.
I have consulted with the Road to Renewal team, and they have approved this plan.
As with many decisions being made with the Road to Renewal, all these things are subject to adjustment if circumstances change. As of right now, beginning July 1 this will be the plan going forward.
I look forward to joining our family of parishes in Akron and Clarence. I know that this is a time of adjustment and change, but I am confident that if we remain focused on the Sacraments of the Church, we will persevere and overcome all obstacles. As St. Paul said in his letter to the Philippians, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”
Fr. Tom Mahoney