The Best Analogy I Can Think Of
Recently I had dinner with two couples. One of them is engaged and the other has been married for almost thirty years. What brought them together is that the engaged couple is bringing kids from a previous relationship to this marriage. They wanted some advice and support from the married couple who, decades ago, blended a family.
I found myself personally engrossed in the conversation as they described bringing relationships together when the children don’t want it to happen. They described some of the things that children said to their parent’s spouse that deeply hurt. They also described the long road toward things settling down, balancing out, and figuring out how to make things work. The discussion was full of pain, transformation, hope, and God’s grace.
I realized that the Beacons of Light process is not too different from merging families together. Sometimes single parents have been leading a family for years or decades before they get married and life all of a sudden changes. Sometimes the children say things to their parents like, “things are perfectly fine right now, and I don’t want to be part of this new family.” The parents have to figure out how to acknowledge their children’s loss and pain, while at the same time helping them to move forward.
In so many ways, this is what we’re experiencing. Instead of keeping four separate parishes that interact occasionally, we are creating a new family. We are coming together in deeper and more complete ways until we eventually become a single parish with multiple locations.
Parishioners experience a wide spectrum of emotions. Some are infuriated while others are simply sad. A couple of parishioners have simply expressed hesitant curiosity saying, “I’m curious to see how this will work.” Others will go with the flow and some are excited about this process. A couple of people said they would lector at any of the six Masses, just schedule them where they’re needed.
We can look at the Beacons of Light process this way. Even though we are years ahead of most of the families of parishes, we still have plenty of hurdles to overcome. All of us will have to learn some flexibility and fortitude. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth doing is easy. Please continue to pray for our entire Archdiocese, especially the priests who are moving to new assignments and the parishes which they are serving.
Please continue to pray for our parishes. Our new Mass schedule goes into effect on July 1. It will mean change for all us, each parish and our priests. Also next weekend, we’ll find out which of the newly-ordained priests will be our parochial vicar beginning on July 1. Please pray for him and for all seven of the men preparing for ordination next week.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson