To the faithful disciples of St. Matthew Catholic Church,
I am pleased to offer for your consideration the 2019-2021 Parish Pastoral Plan for our parish family.
I was appointed as the pastor of this amazing community shortly over one year ago. In that time, I have experienced great joy in the fruits of the Holy Spirit that have been at work here since 1986. The vibrant liturgies, the sacrificial service, and the spirit of evangelization that is so evident here draws all who pass through our doors into a large, yet intimate, parish family, but most importantly, into a personal relationship with the Lord.
We are not unaware, however, of the challenges that we face in today’s world. Secular experts have declared the current times as the beginning of the “post-Christian” era. God is seen as no longer relevant in a culture that has determined truth to be subjective and the individual to be the only true god. Mass attendance is in decline, reception of the sacraments has become less common, and young people are leaving the Church in alarming numbers. Our parish community is no exception to this trend.
But we are not the first to confront a world that rejects Jesus. The first disciples, in fact, were met with skepticism, hostility, and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Alone, they were powerless. And so they did what Jesus taught them to do—to seek an intimate relationship with the Father, who would fill them with the power that would transform the world.
Our 2019-2021 Parish Pastoral Plan, then, is based on that simple model. By fostering a deeper spirituality in our parish community, and by using the gifts we are given in our encounter with youth and young adults, we allow the Spirit to speak and act through us.
It worked 2000 years ago. With God’s help, it will work for us today.
I look forward to our future together.
Patrick T. Hoare