Welcome to Guardian Angels
Dear Friends and Families of Guardian Angels Parish,
I hope you are following the Synod on the Family in Rome. A “synod” is a gathering of bishops from around the world to assist and guide the Church and the Pope on a matter requiring priority attention. A “council” is an assembly of all the bishops. The topic is family, because the Church is reading the signs of the times and sees that the family is an extremely valuable, highly important human structure that is being assaulted on every side in the modern world. The Church wants to promote, encourage, and heal family life. Our culture, lead by the media, only promotes individualism, isolation, and consumer materialism.
You may read or hear on the news various reports on the Synod. From the National Catholic Reporter’s moan that the Synod did not do or say enough to open the doors of family, all the way to the other extreme nervously fearing that the Synod said too much about the boundaries of family. Neither represent accurate reports. Read the “Prepartory Document,” the “Instrumentum Laboris”, and the Synod draft document for study. I am seriously considering a parish study group of couples to get on board with this.
The Synod deliberately issued a statement for the whole Church to study over the next year until they are re-convened in the Fall of 2015 in Philadelphia. The Synod issued a draft of a working document. Pope Francis is asking all of us to be in on the dialogue. Please read the document and please discuss family around your supper table this year. Google “synod on the family” locate the USCCB website (it’s about the fourth option down the list). Note the subtitle that puts the family in the context of evangelization. Parents promise at baptism to raise their child to know Jesus Christ.
For example, go around the table and ask each person when you say “Grace” this question: What gift did you give to our family life today? OR What gift did our family life give you? Let the children and youths talk. Listen to them and your spouse.
Our parish is doing more than ever for families. I can’t wait till we have a new church building and family faith night can be all at once and in one place.
Beginning next weekend for one full month, CCS will move into our parish. The Guardian Angels Design Committee, the Parish Finance Council, and the Pastoral Council have contracted with these consultants, recommended by the archdiocese, to do a feasibility study of our parish. Their question is simple: Do the people of Guardian Angels and other interested stakeholders have the financial resources to build a new church building?
They will have an office space in the parish Hall. They will conduct individual and small groups interviews. They will survey the parish. Along with many other steps, they will produce a document for us that will enable us to move forward with confidence and assurance into a capital campaign. I cannot lead this parish into building a parish hall to be used temporarily as a worship space until some future generation steps up to the plate. No. It is our turn right now to respond to this urgent need here at Guardian Angels.
In this month, I challenge and invite you to go the Design Committee website at www.road13.com/gadc and view the 10 very short video clips by a profession of church architecture from Notre Dame University. These will help all of us understand the importance of building a Catholic Church in which we encounter Jesus Christ together in Holy Communion.
Finally, your parish offers state of the art and very current adult faith formation, catechesis, and evangelization. Symbolon is a complete on line video catechism available on your wifi television, smartphone, or tablet. Monday nights, the parish offers a bible study of the following Sundays readings in light of the Catechism. On Thursday mornings at 8:30 there is a bible study. In an age of media confusion about our faith, it is more than ever necessary for us to know and to practice our faith.
There’s a lot going on, of course. It is my job to animate the parish to encounter the Lord Jesus and to respond to His love with love for others. God bless and prosper our work and faith.
Fr Alan Hartway, CPPS