Beacons of Light Next Steps
We are currently in the middle of a transition period in the Beacons of Light. It seems best to make a marriage analogy. At this point, it feels like our parishes are engaged to one another. We are not quite married, yet we are headed in that direction. Let me explain.
At this point, we fully anticipate becoming the Holy Face of Jesus Parish, however it is not official yet; we aren’t officially merged, we are four distinct parishes. Each parish has its own buildings, identity, property, and finances. Similarly, an engaged couple has their own property, finances, and identity. The engaged couple has to figure out how to merge their individual lives together. Similarly, our parishes are figuring out how to merge property, finances, and identity.
In a marriage, the couple takes on a new identity, while keeping their own individual identity. They are still two individual people, yet they have merged into something completely new, a married couple. This is similar for us. We will still have four individual church buildings and thus individual identities. Yet we will merge into something new, a single parish.
Like a marriage, this is exciting and terrifying. In a marriage, the individuals lose something and yet they gain so much more. I’ve heard someone describe a wedding as a funeral for your single life. The new reality of a merger can be scary. We worry about what will happen to our individuality. On the other hand, it is exciting. We will have an incredible ability to share the good news of Jesus Christ as a unified parish.
I hope that this merger will occur on July 1, 2024. We have about fifteen months left in our engagement. There are plenty of discussions and decisions that need to be addressed in these next few months. Our pastoral council, finance committees, and staff will be diligently working through these hurdles. If you want to hear more, please come to our Open Forum on March 30 at 7:00pm in the St. Joseph PLC.
We plan to use the name “Holy Face of Jesus Parish” when we are officially merged. Like a marriage, the bride does not officially take the groom’s name until the wedding day. This is why we still use “Petersburg Parishes” on most of our communications. We are heading toward being the “Holy Face of Jesus Parish” but we aren’t a merged parish yet.
One of the exciting aspects of being named in honor of the Holy Face of Jesus is that each of our four church buildings have an image of the Holy Face of Jesus. The Holy Face of Jesus is in all four church buildings. I am inviting all of you on a scavenger hunt to find all four images of the Holy Face of Jesus. Send us a picture of your family in front of each image of the Holy Face. We will offer a prize to the first three families to send us four pictures. In each picture, we want to see your family in front of the image of the Holy Face. You may have to get creative with the selfies! Send your pictures to Grace at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson