The "Amazing Parish Prayer" Arrives at Resurrection

Since September the parish leadership has been actively discerning our mission and vision. We have been using material from the website which was developed to help “Catholic leaders build amazing parishes,” through the experience of Catholic leaders from around the United States. Out of the seven pillars that they put forward as foundational elements of any amazing parish we have decided to focus on the first three: prayer, a real leadership team and a clear vision. These first three pillars are absolutely essential as we strive to build our community for the future. Our parish staff and pastoral council are making sure that we have the right leadership in place with both paid and volunteer staff along with helping to craft a parish vision that calls upon every member of our community to proclaim the gospel with joy. However; all too often the first pillar gets overlooked and compromised, PRAYER. To this end, I am asking every member of our parish family to pray the AMAZING PARISH PRAYER every day.  In other words…pray for your parish and pray for one another. This prayer will be introduced at our weekend liturgies beginning the 1st Sunday of Advent and will continue through the Solemnity of Christ the King on November 22, 2015. This prayer will end our general intercessions and will be prayed by everyone at each Mass. It will be located in the front cover of your hymnal or missal and personal prayer cards will be handed out after Mass for the next two Sundays. 

 I would also ask that you invite others to pray for our parish. This might mean approaching family, friends, coworkers and even classmates. It could also mean contacting local religious orders and prayer groups to see if they might add our parish to their daily intentions. I would also ask that this prayer be a part of every parish gathering, meeting and formation opportunity. By offering the same prayer and asking others to join us in solidarity we will be united as a parish family. It is only through constant prayer that we will remain faithful to our mission and be able to craft a vision of ministry that is life sustaining and faithful to the church we are called to serve through our baptism.

 As we begin our Advent journey with a spirit of hopeful expectation I humbly ask everyone to open their hearts a little wider and make a little more room in their daily schedule to be in solidarity and communion with one another.  Our “Amazing Parish Prayer” is available below and I invite you to take a pocket version with you over the next two weeks. Let us pray unceasingly for our parish and in doing so build up the Body of Christ in our midst.

I Love you all,

Fr. Mark Bialek

Fr. Mark Bialek Announces Parish "Multicultural Commission"

Speaking in regards to the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Pope Francis said, “Wherever there is a wall, there is a closed heart. We need bridges, not walls!” Since the founding of our community of faith 50 years ago our parish has only become more diverse. While some may see this diversity as a major challenge I have come to discern it as a major opportunity. We cannot exist as two parishes living under the same roof, but as Catholic Christians we must find ways of building bridges that opens our hearts to the other. This “other” might be someone of a different age and generation, they might be someone from a different culture than my own or it might even be someone who looks different from me or speaks a language that I do not understand. These differences can lead to frustration, anxiety and even fear. However, called to be the Body of Christ, the divisions that we find in the world cannot and should not be allowed to exist in the church and certainly not here at Resurrection. Building bridges of understanding through the fostering of relationships and getting to know the “other” for who they are is the only way to bring the walls down. As Sister Rosa reminded the parish leadership nearly a year ago during a weekend retreat we might not be able to understand or even appreciate an entire culture, but we can understand and begin to appreciate the person that is sitting next to me or attending the same meeting or sharing a meal at a Parish Family Dinner.  

To this end, I asked that a new commission be formed from the Pastoral Council that would help build a blueprint of the road that we might walk together in the coming years. This “Multicultural Commission,” recognizing that our parish already has many diverse cultures and a number of different languages counted among us, will be tasked with determining what bridges get constructed. In the coming weeks this commission, led by Mrs. Michelle Rios, will have the task of meeting with parish leadership and also cross-sections of our parish family to where there might be common ground from which to begin building. This period of consultation and listening will take place through April while everyone in the parish gets updates on a regular basis through the bulletin and other means. It will then be the task of the pastoral council, parish staff and I to draft a new mission statement for the parish that reflects the ministry and pastoral needs of our current and future members. Beginning next summer the Multicultural Commission will than use the feedback received and the new mission statement as a means to adopt policies and pastoral guidance to make sure that every culture, background and language is incorporated as a valued and integral part of our parish family.  

I encourage you to attend the listening and consultation sessions that will be scheduled and that you pray for our parish during this period of discernment. All of us are called to open our hearts a little wider to Christ and in doing so will open them up to all those who are seeking to be recognized as an integral and incorporated member of the Body of Christ.

I love you all,

Fr. Mark Bialek