August 19, 2022 – Pastor’s Note

This week, the parish staff and I went on a “strategy retreat” at St. Joseph’s in Ferndale (thank you to that parish for their hospitality!) where we spent the day talking about our vision for the parish over the next twelve months. Of course, and it should be no surprise to anyone who has been listening to my recent homilies, we spent time reviewing and recommitting ourselves to the Pastoral Plan, the Reach More (missionary training) program, and the upcoming roll out of the Next Step prayer topics.

In the course of our discussions, though, we realized that much of our evangelization focus relies on teaching our parishioners how to bring the topics of Jesus and faith into their already existing relationships with family, friends, and associates – meaning that our parishioners need to have these relationships to begin with. Specifically, we talked about how important it is to help forge relationships between parishioners, especially with the amount of population movement that Bellingham sees each year – new parishioners coming, old parishioners leaving, etc. We discussed the need to create social environments to foster these natural relationships before they can become supernatural relationships of faith. And we discussed the need to reinvigorate the faith of our parishioners regularly so that they remain motivated to bring Jesus into their relationships.

Through all of this, I was very thankful that we already had Mission Week on the calendar, and that (with the help of our Evangelical Catholic consultant Kendra) we had settled on the format that we did. Mass – the source and summit of our faith – to bring us together in the unity of the Church; then dinner, to help create those social bonds; and an inspiring talk, to help inspire us to make faith the center of those bonds. Obviously focusing on these things cannot just happen one week each year, and we need to continue our efforts with things like Coffee and Donuts, name tag weekends, etc., but I am still really excited for what next week holds.

You can view a video of our speaker, Kendra, inviting you to Mission Week here.

And should you need a schedule reminder, it is August 23, 24, & 25, with Mass each night at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:15, and the presentation at 6:45 (childcare provided).

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