Dear Parish Family-
Continuing my gratitude for the beautiful Holy Week and Easter festivities; I want to thank all of our Altar Servers who did an outstanding job through many complicated liturgies. They are a great group of young men and women and we are all grateful for their service. Special thanks to Patty Boyce who trains and oversees our Altar Server Program!
On Monday evening our Faith In Our Future Core Team met with our Cohort Partners (FIOF Core Teams from St. John, Lakehurst, St. Monica, Jackson and St. Elizabeth, Manchester). The meeting took place from 6-8:00 p.m. at the parish center of St. John’s Church in Lakehurst. This was the second meeting of the Cohort. We discussed and disseminated survey results and parish data forms. The discussion centered on sacramental life of the parishes based on survey results. We quickly discovered there were many common elements, suggestions, concerns and challenges raised by the surveys. It was fascinating to discover each parish had many common themes. There ensued a large group discussion of each of these themes and possible solutions or outcomes. Near the end of the meeting, there were suggestions made on how the Cohort might cooperate on sacramental life in the future.
The Next FIOF Cohort meeting will be at the end of April, at St. Elizabeth in Manchester, to further discuss the survey and parish data forms. The commitment by the lay members of each of these parishes is quite extensive and shows the great strength of our lay leadership. This is not a one-and-done process but one that is very involved, requiring a huge commitment of time not only to many meetings but analysis of data as well.
Each meeting follows an agenda set by the Reid Group and requires the Cohorts to write down information for a final report due by June 1 but which must be completed by the third week of May. Our Cohort is on track to have all of our work completed by May.
The Reid group communicated to our Cohort leader a clarification on timeline for implementation. All data from all Cohorts will be submitted to the Diocesan FIOF Team by June 1. They will then collate the data and present it, along with recommendations, to Bishop David O’Connell by December 31. In January of 2017 Bishop will begin the process of reviewing the data and making decisions on how to move forward. Implementation of any suggested changes will begin in July of 2017. Initially we thought implementation would occur in January of 2017, however that will not happen until July of 2017. Some of the changes may be introduced in stages over a period of time and some will be introduced on an as-need basis, there will not be wholesale changes made all at once.
Congratulations to our First Communicants on their reception of another of the Sacraments of Initiation! We had children receive on Holy Thursday, Divine Mercy Sunday and this Sunday at 12:30pm and 2:30pm. There will be one Mass in May. Last week there was a typo in this space, we have 225 children (NOT 325) who will be receiving this year!
Peace and Good
Very Rev. John P. Bambrick, V.F., Pastor