A message from Father Ken
St. Francis de Sales parish has five purposes which Christ gave all Catholic
Our first purpose is: We are called to Love the Lord with all our hearts. This
purpose describes for us the heart of Catholic Liturgy. Our worship is to give
expression to our love of God. These two, love of God and worship, go hand in
hand. It is in this way that worship becomes for us something we want to do.
Our parish survey indicated that as a parish we recognize that we are to provide a
spiritually enriching environment. We also recognize that we must be a place
where everyone is welcomed and we reach out to one another. This means that
everyone is free to express themselves without judgment or criticism. We are to
maintain a good relationship with one another in an open and sharing environment.
This enables us to be a place where our relationship with God is strengthened and
encouraged through meaningful and spiritual worship. We can be theological
sound but we also need to be spiritually significant. In short, we see that the need
to have our spiritual development is facilitated as we grow in our love of God and
love our neighbor. As someone expressed it in the survey, we are called to be a
beacon for our neighborhood.
Our second purpose as a parish is to Love our neighbor. This purpose shapes our
ministry. Our ministry demonstrates God’s love to others as we become the hearts
and hands of Jesus. Our ministries are to meet the spiritual; emotional, relational
and physical needs.
Our survey indicated that we do some of these ministries, but there is room for
more and more involvement by many more people than those who are currently
involved. There was the expressed concern that time, family commitments and the
such can and do interfere with our ability to be more actively involved. We
recognize that we need to do more prioritizing of our time so that we can better
share our talents with the community and neighborhood.
Our third purpose as a parish is to go make disciples. To go make disciples, we
like Jesus’ first disciples, need to know, understand and love Jesus, our light. It is
in this way, that we will become the light, the salt and the city on a hill top. The
quality of our faith is what makes us willing to reach out to others, that is to
evangelize. Jesus calls us first to be disciples, that is students, and then to be
apostles, evangelizers. Thus, the church exists to communicate God’s Word. It is
every Christians’ responsibility to share the Good News wherever we go.
Evangelizing is not only our responsibility; it is our great privilege.
In the survey, we recognized the need to grow in our faith through educational
opportunities. We had such opportunities as we reflected on the book,
Rediscovering Jesus and currently we are exploring The Gospel of Mark. There
was also the recognized need to grow in a deeper understanding of prayer and
The survey also indicated that we need to be service orientated (number 2) as we
reach out and bring the “lost sheep” back home. We also recognize that this is an
area that we as a parish need to work on. The future holds a lot for us if we
continue to grow in our understanding of Jesus and share those insights by the way
we act in our daily lives.
Our fourth purpose is baptizing. This is the result of making disciples, baptism.
This symbolizes one of the purposes of church fellowship, that is identification
with the body of Christ. As Christians, we are called to belong, not just to believe.
We are not meant to live as lone-rangers but to belong to Christ’s family and be
members of his Body.
Our survey recognized that one of our greatest needs to continue to grow and thus
to increase enrollment. One of the ways that we achieve this is by “bringing
people” into our church. The door way is the Sacrament of Baptism. It is exciting
for us here to have our baptisms celebrated during liturgy. It is a reminder that our
willingness to reach out, to be welcoming and to invite is indeed working. We also
recognize that more and more of us need to be willing to do this. Our future is in
our hands. We grow because we reflect the enthusiasm that comes with being a
disciple of Jesus Christ. Indeed, we are on the right road.
Our fifth purpose is to edify, educate. Here again we are called to know, love and
serve Jesus. He then becomes our foundation for all of our attitudes which in turn
impact on all of our thoughts, words and actions. This is a process that begins with
our birth, our birth in the Church, baptism, and continues throughout our life. We
exist to encourage, exalt and evangelize.
Again, in our survey we recognize this great need to grow in our faith daily. We
see the need to touch our congregation with a deeper sense of community, to grow
by engaging people, especially the young and new members as well as inactive
Catholics by being more and more the expressed words, thought and actions of
Our survey indicated that we see our mission. It also recognizes that we are on a
journey and this journey involves all of us working with discipleship in our mind
and in our hearts. Our 100 years plus are a testament to our commitment to be
church and to continue to evolve in our faith-live- journey.