October 7, 2019
Dear Families of Saint Andrew,
I am writing you to offer a note of similar content to a letter that was sent to parents of Saint Andrew School just over a week ago. At the time, I was writing alongside the School Board of Saint Andrew School to share information about Renew My Church and its impact on our parish and school in the coming years. Renew My Church, a process in which many parishes and schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago are currently engaged and in which Saint Andrew will be participating in the coming years.
Renew My Church will seek to strengthen mission vitality for all the constituents of the Archdiocese of Chicago, especially through its parishes and schools. It will ask us to explore how we can best use our resources to serve the individuals within our community, because it is through everyday people having a transformative experience of God’s love that the world itself will be transformed. To be sure, Renew My Church will result in a dramatic consolidation of the number of parishes in the Archdiocese and the formation of various new configurations of parishes that will be managed differently than they are today. This process does not start until a parish community is activated and while Saint Andrew is not activated at this time, it is likely (although not entirely certain) that we will start the process in the year 2021.
Undoubtedly, some may fear this process and its outcomes, but I would urge you to be hopeful and mindful of the good that comes from this process. I believe that examining how we can best use our resources is always a good thing to do and I also believe that we do not need to wait for a facilitated discussion by the Archdiocese to renew the fervor for our mission. It is something we can and should start today!
In anticipation of the 125th Anniversary of Saint Andrew Parish which begins in just a few weeks, our Stewardship Commission at Saint Andrew Parish has invited us to reflect on this year’s stewardship slogan, “Connect to Community.” I deeply appreciate their invitation because it is through opportunities to connect with one another that we have transformative experiences of God’s love. Cultivating those moments are at the heart of our mission. In our busy world, with too much going on, you deserve to have an hour a week where you and your family can connect with God and with each other. You deserve to have a place where your faith can be enriched. You deserve the enjoyment of the company of others who are also on the journey of life with its ups and downs. That is what church should be and the expectation I believe that we can fulfill even better at Saint Andrew with your participation.
So, I strongly urge you to connect to this community in the coming year. Come to Mass with regularity. Participate in the events and activities the parish has organized. Learn more about God’s love through our faith enrichment opportunities. Support our mission financially with ordinary sacrificial giving. Make these commitments not out of fear, but out of the joy that comes from being part of such a wonderful community. If we do this now, then Renew My Church will not be a period of trepidation, but rather a process of affirmation for Saint Andrew ratifying that we have already rallied ourselves around our mission. Thank you for your support of Saint Andrew and for continuing to join me in our mission.
With humble gratitude,
Fr. Serigo Romo, Pastor
Learn more about Renew My Church at https://www.renewmychurch.org/