Saturday, May 20, 2017

Living Stones - Holy Family, St. Patrick, St. Anthony


      Faced with a declining number of available clergy and a shifting and dwindling population, the Diocese of Ogdensburg has engaged in finding updated ways to provided pastoral care for the people throughout the Diocese.  Several years ago, the Diocese engaged in an activity known as an Envisioning Process.  This process led to the formulation of six goals, one of which is entitled “Living Stones”, a reviewing and analyzing of parishes throughout the diocese to ensure appropriate pastoral coverage for all.
In Watertown, the parishes of Holy Family, St. Patrick, and St. Anthony were directed to formulate a plan so that the three parishes could be linked in some way under the direction of one pastor, one parochial vicar (assistant pastor) and adequate pastoral staff including deacons and lay pastoral associates.
Under the chairmanship of Msgr. Robert H. Aucoin, pastor of St. Patrick’s and St. Anthony’s, two parishes that were previously linked, a steering committee was formed consisting of Fr. Steven Murray and three representatives from each of the parishes.  This committee was tasked to design a pastoral plan specific for the three areas now served by these three parishes with an eye toward the current situation and the potential for future growth of the Catholic community.
Topics to be discussed and submitted to the Diocese of Ogdensburg for approval include: the Sunday Mass schedules and locations, weekday Mass schedules, ministry to the sick and homebound, sacramental preparation, faith formation for school-aged children and adults, the number and type of advisory councils, the location of parish offices, the residence for the clergy, finances, human resources, youth ministry, young adult ministry, and, ultimately, what arrangement of the three existing parishes and worship sites will best serve the Catholics of Watertown with vibrant faith-filled communities, while keeping the particular customs and practices now found in the individual parishes.
To date, the local committee has met on three occasions and will continue to meet monthly.  The pastors are reporting back to their parishes and their pastoral councils on a regular basis.  At some time in the future, there will be  a form of town meetings for parishioners.  During that forum, the work of the Living Stones Committee will be presented and input from attendees will be gathered.
Besides Father Murray and Msgr. Aucoin, the committee members are from Holy Family:  John Eisenhauer, Dan Charlebois, and Maureen Van Wormer; from St. Anthony: Garry Puccia, Peter Souch, and Patti Widrick; from St. Patrick: Nate Holloway,  Pam Kennedy, and Thomas Deusser.    

The committee would like your input concerning Mass times.  Please complete this survey by clicking here.