By Susan Miller
Over the past year, I heard some variation of the following many times: “Nothing you do matters.” The overwhelming feeling in All Saints Parish was that the sale of St. Vincent’s Church was a done deal, and it couldn’t be stopped.
Except it wasn’t a done deal. Providence Housing, for whatever reason or combination of reasons, has withdrawn their offer.
One of the reasons I became involved in SOP was because of the process that led to the decision to sell St Vincent’s Church. It was simply wrong. With all due respect to the hard-working members of our parish committees, they were not elected. They were chosen by leadership. No one sought input from parishioners. No one communicated with parishioners about what was happening in these closed meetings. When the decision was made, it was announced from the pulpit. It was such an obvious recipe for further anger and division that I wondered if the purpose was to drive away more people from the parish. It would make it easier to go to the one-church solution, wouldn’t it? Of course people were discouraged.
Now our parish has a second chance to get this right. Here are few suggestions:
• Open all meetings to all parishioners.
• For parishioners who can’t attend meetings, provide detailed minutes from the Parish Council and Facilities Committee meetings. Let’s use our bulletin for its purpose: to keep people informed of parish news.
• Provide financial statements for the parish and All Saints Academy that are timely and detailed. Posting information on the web site some ten months after the financial year ended is not acceptable.
And remember that you, the parishioner, matter. There is no parish without you. You pay the bills. You make the sacrifices. You will be attending mass here long after people step down from committees and new leadership arrives at All Saints. This is your parish. So tell leadership and committee members what you want and what you’re willing to contribute in time and money.
And never stop praying.