Dear friends in Christ,
After my Easter Greetings, here are pieces of other important messages I wish to convey. A little over a year from now there will be a diocesan synod. This will be the largest gathering of parish representatives with the priests and bishop in Vermont in more than 50 years. (See the announcement by clicking here). The first goal of the synod is a complete spiritual renewal of our diocese and our parishes in Vermont. However all sorts of administrative, priestly assignment, and structural policy changes are possible. We must pray and fast, offering our whole will to the lord in the year to come.
We will not have a seminarian with us for the summer. Things are in motion for new priest assignments in the Diocese. I will certainly remain in this double assignment as pastor of six churches with Fr Charbonneau as assistant until June 2018. That said, I do not think it is likely that I will remain in Barton more than two or three additional years. Reaching six years this July, I will try to go for two more. All along I also plan on keeping pastoral responsibility for North Troy, Troy, and Lowell also. But I may plan on moving to another parish in June of 2019, if the bishop and the Diocese do not call me sooner, or the synod does not make major changes to our parish arrangements.
We are slightly fewer in numbers over the past five years, but healthy in spirit. I think it will be justified if I do one more general offertory appeal. I will ask if every active parishioner can increase their parish support by an average of $3 a week. Given the prior request – put out two years ago for an extra $2 per week – this new request adds up to $5 a week or $260/year more than your giving amounts from two years ago. I will be increasing my own financial giving, and will be splitting almost 100% of my disposable income among all the churches here in the next year.
The parish is in need of small scale construction skills. Relying in part on my own donations I wish to advertise a summer stipend of $3,000 for anyone who can do repairs, summer painting, and other projects on small parish improvements. A catechetical year stipend of $5000 will be planned for next year starting in September. Parishioners interested in training to assist the grade school family formation program, the middle school and high school programs, may inquire about this job.
An immediate job needed is an assistant for this year’s Totus Tuus program, being offered to St Paul’s School students June 18 to 23. (Parishes were forced to take such early dates, even though many public schools will not be out of session.) A stipend of $500 is available.
An update, last but not least , is that no permission has been given for the use of St John of the Cross Church for sacramental use. The bishop is well aware that this status quo of the church – neither rented as a hall nor used as a church – will eventually force the issue of selling the building out from parish ownership. The upcoming parish burdens on diminishing numbers of priests are still a huge concern. My honest recommendation at this point is that a lay organization form to own the building and turn it into a Catholic shrine. I could supply a plethora of suggestions, but the point is that someone other than me as parish pastor, and an entity other than the parish charitable trust, needs to assume complete financial and managerial responsibility for the building,
When I came to Trinity Parish almost six years ago, the words of St. Paul in Romans 8:21 were a deep mystery to me: “creation itself set free from the slavery to corruption to share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.” I am learning slowly how the reality of eternity bears this out among all the things to which our Lord calls us in this life. Giving you my prayers,
Sincerely, in Christ, with Mary,
Fr. Timothy Naples, Pastor