Sunday, September 10, 2017

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time - September 10, 2017

There will be crowds in the parish office this week. It is time for our annual “party,” in which people come in to schedule Mass intentions for this coming year. This year, I realize, there are questions over the whole process. With On Mission for the Church Alive going on in the diocese, people may be asking what changes we can expect. This seems like a good time to review, particularly in regard to Mass intentions.

First of all, let me offer a brief word about intentions. Many people still take the attitude that if I request a particular Mass to be “offered for” a loved one, then this is “my” Mass. Strictly speaking, every Mass is offered for the good of the entire Church and belongs to all of us. But we ask the priest to include prayers for a particular need, usually for someone who has died. When a priest is concelebrating at a given Mass, as Fr. Russell generally does on weekday mornings, then there are two intentions being offered – mine and his.

With all of that in mind, we know that next spring Bishop Zubik is going to announce the final “groupings” for On Mission. Although it could change, it looks like we will be grouped with St. John of God and St. Philip. At that time, the bishop will announce what priests will be assigned. One priest will be assigned as administrator of all three parishes, and he and any Parochial Vicars assigned here will work with the current pastors to prepare for the transition. Sometime around this point next year, the new teams will move in and will have a given period of time (also to be announced) to complete the merger. At that point, there will need to be a new Mass schedule, which will obviously affect Mass intentions.

Bishop Zubik wants us to continue to provide for the ordinary pastoral needs of the faithful. Yet we have to remember the possible changes in schedule. So please keep several points in mind. First of all, there will be no change in schedule in the first part of next year. If you schedule an intention for a Mass up through August, there should be no changes.

All intentions scheduled after September will still be satisfied. But please keep in mind that the date or time you choose may have to change. If that is necessary, we will make every effort to reschedule the intention as close to the originally requested date as possible. Of course, it may just be a change in time on the same day. It is also possible that an intention may have to move to one of the other churches in our grouping, though we will make an effort not to do that.

There is one more possibility that Canon Law does not ordinarily permit. The bishop of a diocese can allow, under special circumstances, for a priest to offer more than one intention at the same Mass. Bishop Zubik has told us that he will grant that permission where there is a need. Thus we can tell you that all the intentions will be satisfied, and we ask you understanding if there may have to be a change in date, time or place, of if there may be more than one intention at any given Mass.
                                                                                             Father H