where are we going?
the importance of vision
A message from Father Robert Buchmeier
In the early 1960s a group of families gathered in their homes on Euclid Drive in Garrett Park Estates to pray and support each other in raising children. The Holy Spirit was at work and a vision developed — to build a Catholic community of faith in Garrett Park. Out of a desire to have a home for this emerging community of families, the group petitioned the bishop to establish a parish. With a generous donation of land from the Sisters of the Holy Cross, our parish became a reality.
In my first year as pastor here I have had the pleasure to meet and worship with so many faith-filled people carrying out the vision established by the founding members. I have also consulted with the Holy Cross Parish Council, a body of committed parish members with varied perspectives, skills, and talents. Acting as stewards of the parish, the Council’s ministry is to envision, plan, and implement policies and activities that assist the pastor in our core mission -- bringing people to Jesus!
“We are at our best when we…
Proactively welcome new people and existing parishioners
Give of ourselves
Have the church and school working together
Care for each other
Focus on kids
Are involved participants in a faith community
Give to others
Sing songs of praise to God
Come together to pray
Are working together
Respect our differences.”
Last Spring the Parish Council met with more than twenty ministry leaders to pray and reflect on growing Holy Cross Parish as a welcoming church. We collectively developed a statement reflecting “when Holy Cross is at its best.” At that meeting the group also shared their dreams for Holy Cross, and several themes emerged. The largest related to enhancing the Sunday Mass experience. After all, the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith and the reason we come together as a community.
After the meeting the Parish Council developed a strategic vision with eight priority areas to guide activities in the coming year. We have already begun to work toward some of these goals, and some of the changes you may have noticed reflect this prayerful work.
We must prioritize meeting people where they are, being attractive to those who have been away from the church or are new to the church and encouraging full and active participation in the Liturgy through sacred music that reflects the diversity of our many cultures. The music director will endeavor to establish and maintain robust volunteer membership in a children’s choir, a youth choir, and an adult choir.
Volunteers must warmly greet people as they enter the church. A volunteer will address the community before Mass to welcome people, encourage them to greet their neighbors, and convey anything notable that is to happen during or after Mass. The clergy and extraordinary eucharistic ministers will bless those who come forward but are not receiving communion.
Filling the Church
Our goal is to fill the church at each Mass with a vibrant, participating assembly and encourage a greater sense of unity and fellowship. Whether the number of weekend Masses is five or four, we want to fill the pews with joyful disciples of the Lord.
The Religious Education Office and Holy Cross School will work together with interested volunteers to devise a strategy to develop a Youth Ministry at Holy Cross.
A Hospitality Committee will be formed to foster community spirit.
Stronger Church and School Connection
The school and parish will coordinate communications so that school families might be attracted to the parish, and parish families attracted to the school. School families will be encouraged to participate in Sunday liturgies as greeters, Children’s Liturgy leaders, lectors, etc., especially on the days of open houses and during Catholic Schools Week.
The Parish Council will approve bylaws to govern its composition and conduct, which will be posted to the Council’s webpage. The names and, at the discretion of the individual, photos, of Parish Council members will be posted to the Council’s webpage. The names, contact information, and photos of parish staff will be posted to the parish website.
Sisters of the Holy Cross
The parish will more deliberately and gratefully attend to its relationship with the Sisters of the Holy Cross, our neighbors and benefactors. The Sisters will be invited to a place of honor at all parish-wide events, and will be specially acknowledged at a Sunday Mass in their honor biannually.
I want to thank those of you who have been faithful parishioners at Holy Cross for many years. Many of you who have been active in this process, when working with one another to bring our shared vision, our dreams for our community, into reality, have felt the power of the Spirit. I am very grateful to each parishioner who has been involved in this work thus far and I am calling upon each of you to reflect on this vision statement and on your own gifts. What are you called to contribute? How will you help to shape our parish? As we move forward, there will be many opportunities to give of yourself, I hope that you will hear that call and respond with faith and generosity.