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Family of Parishes


A message from Bishop Fabro: Family of Parishes

Last Tuesday the announcement was made by our Bishop the coming together of the Family of Parishes that will serve the Diocese in the future and this news will be fully promulgated this weekend, Pentecost Sunday. The formulation of these family groupings were determined by consultation of the leadership of parishes. In our case here at Blessed Sacrament and St. Agnes the determination of the family that would serve Chatham was made by the Parish Pastoral Council, the Finance Committee and Pastoral Team along with meetings of interested parishioners at Town Hall Meetings. The recommendation was given to the Bishop that the city of Chatham be one family and this would include St. Ursula, St. Joseph, Our Lady of Victory, Blessed Sacrament and St. Agnes.

These five church communities will come together and be served by one pastor assisted by two priests and a pastoral team. The Bishop has decided that there would be two pioneer families to spearhead this new model of parish life. We have been selected to be one of these pioneers and we will be fully launching the model in January of 2018. In the meantime between now and then we (parishioners of the five church communities) will be meeting to determine the many things of parish life that need to be worked out in order that the family run efficiently and smoothly. This will include parish staffs, living arrangements for the priests, office space, mass and sacrament times, and the day to day operation of catechesis and cooperation of the various organizations in the family.

I am very hopeful in going forward with this new model of parish and I know that it will mean a lot of adapting to new mind sets and thinking but it will definitely bring about a unity in the understanding of parish life that is always presumed. Please pray for our parish and the leadership that will be involved in the first steps of forming the new family and for the meetings that will ensue to bring about the ways we will express ourselves as a Family of Parishes.

In the announcements that were made we will be receiving a new priest to our Family – Father Donald Pumputis who is presently serving in London as well as having Father Bodgan Molenda assist us and he is presently at Our Lady of Victory. Father Matt Kucharski, the present pastor of St. Joseph and St. Ursula Cluster will be moving to Sacred Heart Parish in LaSalle.

Last weekend we received an insert on the renovation and restoration of our Diocesan Seminary – St. Peter’s Seminary in London. The total cost of the physical transformation is approximated at $35 million. The most significant elements to impact the Seminary will be the restoration and renovation of the main building and modernization of the living and learning areas to support its education and formation programs more efficiently . This ambitious project will require extraordinary support that includes an unprecedented and historic co-operative agreement by the Diocese of Hamilton, led by Bishop Crosby of $23 million to fund the costs, representing 70% of the building costs. The balance of the $12 million will come from the following sources – funds from Pentecost 200 campaign that were raised for the Seminary, the proposed sale of surplus Seminary property to King’s University College, $6.5 million capital campaign Rekindling the Gift: An Invitation to Renew St. Peter’s Seminary from current and future supporters, and parishes of the Diocese.

If you can make a contribution to this Fund Raising Program please make your donations known in the Sunday Offertory Collections and allow it to be a collective gift from our Cluster. If you send it directly to the Seminary it will not be credited to our collective gift. Please consider your gift as the way that we support the future education of priests, deacons, and lay ecclesial ministers.

Fr. Jim Higgins

Contact Michelle Elgie for more information