Over the summer and continuing into the fall, our staff has been reflecting on our parish mission statement, on what it means for us now, and on what ways it takes on flesh in the everyday. Sometimes a mission statement can become overly familiar, and so early in the summer I looked at the statement, broke it down into sections, and wrote down my own thoughts to share with the staff on what it means for us. The first seven words of the mission statement read: “Inspired by our patron Francis of Assisi.” Those first words contain much. What might they mean for us?
Some aspects of “Franciscan,” based on the life of St. Francis himself, include: peacemaking; the embrace of the leper (a leper in the time of Francis was a person no one wanted to go near. Who, then, are the lepers of our own time?); dialogue with the Muslim world; the natural environment as reflective of God’s goodness; the primacy of the incarnation (meaning: if God became flesh, if God dwelt in our midst in the person of Jesus, then it’s the created world around us that is the privileged place for our encounter with the holy). This of course only covers part of the story of St. Francis of Assisi. But it provides a broad outline on who we are as a parish and how we see our mission in the modern world. Our staff and also our parish council will continue to reflect on our mission statement and the ways we live it out.
Last week in the bulletin you may have seen a page promoting our Caregiver ministries – visiting the sick and the homebound. This is a very important part of our mission; please contact Kathleen Owen if you’d like more information on these ministries. Also for this year, on Wednesday evenings, we are offering a series of mini-courses on Catholicism. You can contact Jenn Fiduccia for more information on that. Upcoming in October, and as part of our Franciscan mission as outlined above, we have planned a multi-part series on Islam, with some excellent guest speakers.
See page 3 of this week’s bulletin for more information.
Blessings on your week!