Having completed one full year of leading the Parish I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for your help and share a few reflections with you. The year has been filled with blessings and joys that have challenged me to ask how to “grow” this great Parish community.
Since my arrival in October 2008 people have consistently asked how they can help me guide the growth of the Parish. At times I found the leadership role overwhelming (how often have you hear me say I got an F in Business Management in College) and simply did not have sufficient organizational skills to “pull it all together” but some kind and generous souls stepped forward to assist me establish an organizational
structure which can lead to greater transparency and better lines of command while other parishioners took “mop and broom” in hand and started to work!
The greatest crisis in the parish I perceive is a critical financial shortfall that limits our ability to maintain our beautiful Church, grow the parish membership, and do works of Charity. The Increased Giving Campaign has started to address this crisis but it is far from resolved. Painful economic steps have and will continue to take place. Change is always upsetting but we have no choice! Like all of you we simply must live within our budget!
Part of the reason we face financial constraints is a decrease in the number of people joining our Parish. One parishioner spoke of walking down Joralemon Street carrying a wreath just purchased at our wreath
sale. A resident of one of the houses asked “where did you get that beautiful wreath”. When informed that it was obtained at Saint Charles Borromeo the person said that they were not aware that a Catholic Church existed on Sidney Place (around the block on which they lived
for 20 years)!
What can we do to make ourselves better known in the community in order to “grow” the Parish family? This question leads us to the realization that Evangelization and outreach need to be the goals for 2010! If we cannot create a greater awareness of the spiritual growth opportunities provided at our Church the future is in serious question. We have a dynamic Parish family and a beautiful Church. We need the skills to communicate that message.
Please let us continue to work together to make 2010 a great year. A year in which our Parish continues to grow and flourish!
– Fr Edward Doran