There is always so much going on here at the Cathedral, you can easily blink and miss some important happenings. So here’s an overview. A few weeks ago I handed leadership of the parish of St. Moses the Black over to Fr. Marko Djonovic; thus I am now able to serve here at the Cathedral full time! Although we are no longer clustered with St. Moses, they are our collaboration partners and we still hope to share in various ministries (food pantry, vacation Bible school, etc.).
The councils and commissions in our parish are looking different than they have in the past. This is not only here, but in many of the parishes across the Archdiocese. Why? We had a synod in 2016 in the AOD. A synod is a process in which the Archbishop, clergy and the laity gather to discuss faith and the people’s participation in it. As a result of the Synod, in 2017 Archbishop Vigneron released his fourth pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel, explaining how we can become joyful missionary disciples with evangelization as our focus. The Archbishop asked us here at the Mother Church to redesign the Parish Council and commissions (so as to teach other parishes). So, In 2017 and 2018 representatives from the parish and staff met for several months to redesign parish council. With careful attention to the pastoral letter and looking at the needs of our parish/cathedral the Cathedral Visioning Team (CVT) was born. Last November, you nominated more than 20 people to be leaders on the CVT and four leaders were chosen: Marcella Verdun, Tim Cholyway, Demetria Blair, and Jeff McMichael. Since then, the CVT has been working through hurdles big and small to set a mission for us to carry out for several months at a time.
In the meantime, the AOD asked us to be part of the first contingent (among all parishes) of the next phase of the Unleash the Gospel “Sent on Mission” initiative: to gather some folks to pray, create, and implement new activities which will help us renew our sense of mission and our ability to carry it out. Perhaps not coincidentally, the AOD has been calling these parish planning groups by a very similar title: “Parish Visioning Teams” – which can lead to confusion, I’m sure. Our parish visioning team has been participating in a Missionary Strategic Planning process, part of which was the survey we offered on July 14. Nine of us have been meeting for three-hour sessions over 11 weeks so as to move the process forward, and to blend the plans with those of the CVT. On September 8, Archbishop Vigneron will commission us, and we will be able to offer even more clarity.
As a result of all this work, including all your valuable input, new and good things are coming! By mid-September you will be enjoying more formation opportunities, more outreach to the neighborhood, and an even more radiant Sunday experience. YOUR participation is vital to the success of this bold plan. Please keep praying and expecting greatness from the Lord. We thank Him ahead of time. God bless you!