From time to time, I would like to use this page to express the vision (short term and long term) that I have for our parish.
Since my arrival in July, I have been able to see what our bishops of San Diego had been talking about when they mentioned the many challenges I would face when arriving here and which I have been trying to prioritize with God’s help.
My first priority was to get to know you: my parishioners, my staff, other parish groups and their families, your customs and needs.
There are three dimensions that a Pastor must develop: the one of Christ as Priest, the Sanctification of the people through the sacraments, and Christ as prophet. May the Word of the Lord come to all through Evangelization and Catechesis and that you may receive Christ the King who governs through the proper guidelines and norms of our Catholic Church.
During the month of August, I started to reorganize these three dimensions, the first one is the one to govern. I am slowly giving direction to my staff on where and how we will move on.
It is difficult at this time to have a clear plan but I believe that with good communication and order we will have a good start.
While the parish offices were recently remodeled for a more inviting and efficient use of space, I made a few additional modifications to the space to allow a more adequate office for the pastoral works of the pastor. I will be very accessible to staff and parishioners alike.
During these coming months I will continue reorganizing the parish offices and staff to better meet our pastoral needs.
While preparing for this assignment, I studied the financial statements of the parish. It worried me that the expenses exceed the income. I am not saying that our parishioners are not generous, because I know you are. With the help of the Finance Council, I am committed to reorganize our budget so that it will be in good accordance to our income.
I am also looking forward to a new school year as well as another year for our religious education program.
Later this month we will celebrate the 90th year of the dedication of our church and I would like to restore some things to their original place.
I will start by moving the wooden statues of Our Lady and Sacred Heart of Jesus to their original places in the side altars. At this moment they are somewhat hidden behind our baptismal font.
We will be moving the statue of Majogorie and the tapestry of the Baptism of the Lord to another place in the church. I will also be removing the black arch that is in front of the Sanctuary. If for some reason removing it might damage the wall, we will paint it the same color as the wall.
I am also working with the Altar Society to buy a statue of the Holy Family with the intention of consecrating each one of our parish families during the new liturgical year. It will be similar in design to main statues in the sanctuary area. It will be placed on the east side wall near the piano.
Finally, if someone has an objection with any of the changes that I have been sharing with you, I would like to hear from you. Please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the parish office at your convenience.
Thank you to each and every one of you for all the kind attention you’ve had with me since I became pastor of St. Mary’s Parish and please continue praying so that I may guide you to a safe place and you may always have the peace of our God.
In Christ, Father Gerardo Fernandez “Father G”