Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fifth Sunday of Easter - May 14, 2017

         I think I was in junior high when I had to do a project on family budgets. At the time, I thought of my father as the most mathematical person in our family. He was a COBOL programmer and was the one I went to when I needed help with my math homework. But for this project, I sat down with my mother and asked about planning meals for a course of a week. She took the budget that my teacher had given and then developed a menu. I was amazed at how quickly she could bring up all the prices of any of the items on her menu.

That story allows me to take this column in two directions. First of all, I want to take the opportunity to offer a “happy Mothers Day” to all mothers out there. Like my mother, you do so much for your families than they even realize. I hope that your children have an insight as I did into what you do for them. But one way or another, I hope you realize that God knows how important you are to your family.

The other point from my story of my mother is the importance of planning. As my mother knew what the family needed and was able to plan for our care, so Bishop Zubik is now trying to plan for what the Diocese of Pittsburgh needs. At the Masses this weekend I am talking about the update on the initiative On Mission for the Church Alive. Some months ago, we had meetings led by the diocese on the “models” that had been proposed. The models proposed various different options for the mergers of each parish in the diocese. Now we are talking about “groupings.” The diocese has taken the feedback from all the meetings and all other sources and has now come up with “groupings.” Each parish is now in one particular proposal. The groupings are not a final decision, and diocese wants us to offer more feedback.

As it stands now, as I am expressing at the Masses, St. Malachy is in a grouping with St. Philip and St. John of God. In the original models, we were also in with St. Margaret of Scotland, but just about all the feedback we received indicated that St. Margaret did not belong with us. One of the models also had us in with Holy Trinity, but again the feedback put them elsewhere. So we are left with St. John of God and St. Philip as our partners.

As proposed currently, the new parish will have two “campuses,” a term which refers to the church building as well as all the buildings and grounds. In short, it means that two churches will be available for celebrating Mass and all the other parish activities. The determination of which buildings will be open has not yet been made, but I have hope that St. Malachy will remain as one of the churches.

Again, the diocese still wants more feedback. If you read this column before Mass, I invite you to stay after Mass (whichever Mass you attend) to take part in a brief meeting to discuss the current proposal. Otherwise, you are welcome to offer any thoughts you have, and I will be sure to include them in preparing the parish’s final feedback.
                                                                                        Father H