Pastor's Message for Nov 1st
A Flourishing Congregation
This past month I have been reminded, once again, how the Holy Spirit provides just what we need at exactly the right time. Let me explain.
Since my arrival here at St. Leonard, three short months ago, I have been busy getting to know you, familiarizing myself with the Parish and trying to assess
where we are in realizing our vision of being "a thriving Catholic community based on a vision of growing disciples of Jesus Christ”. What I have been struggling with is, how exactly do we determine
where we are? Much to my pleasant surprise this week the Archdiocese announced that all Parishes are being asked to participate in a national survey through Flourishing Congregations Institute that may provide the very information that we are seeking.
The Flourishing Congregations Institute at Ambrose University in Calgary is a research project that seeks to promote the health and vitality of all churches. The aim of the survey is to help better understand the traits, perceptions, and experiences of Christian parishes/congregations in Canada, learning about what contributes to flourishing parishes/congregations and, in turn, helping parishes/ congregations who aspire to flourish. This is a goal that I think that we can all share, and I am certain that it will provide us valuable insight into
where we are.
Now, here is where I need your help. All parishes need to complete their surveys by the end of November. Flourishing Congregations Institute will produce a parish specific report for St. Leonard and conclude their nation-wide research by the New Year. My request is that each of you visit
by Sunday, Nov 24th and complete the parishioner survey. This should take approximately 20 minutes. I would be extremely grateful if you could help me out with this initiative.
I think it is safe to say that our vision of being “a thriving Catholic community that is committed to growing disciples” is synonymous with a flourishing congregation. An honest assessment of where we are is a good place to start because, for us to put in place the focus and strategies that we need to get ‘from here to there’, we need to know where here is. But at the same time, we should not worry about our future because we can be fully confident that, whatever stage we are at as a community, God is the author of a much bigger story for all His people.
May God bless you and all those that you love, Father Gerard