PARISH CLUSTER UPDATE

September 8, 2023

How is our transition going?

Hello Saint Thomas friends,

Thank you so much for your generous welcome here at St. Thomas the Apostle. I’ve been very grateful for the opportunity to meet so many of you. Now that Labor Day has passed, I can feel the energy, busyness and excitement growing. The school and many of our parish programs are back in action. I’m looking forward to “riding the wave” with you.

Some of you have asked about how our transition is going – being two clustered parishes with one shared pastor. My quick and sincere response has been, “So far, so good.” A longer response would be that we are all exploring and discovering our new relationships together. In a merger, two distinct parishes become one. In a clustered relationship, each parish retains its own identity but enters into greater collaboration. There is no “road map” or preconceived expectations for our cluster. We get to explore this together.

In his announcement of the new cluster relationship with the Church of Christ the King, Fr. Michael indicated that the parishes would work together to set a new schedule for weekend masses. The liturgy staff here at Saint Thomas and at Christ the King have already been researching options and ideas and our STA Liturgy Team will also be weighing in. The full staff both here at Saint Thomas and at Christ the King, as well as the respective pastoral councils, will vet the final proposals. We expect to be able to offer similar mass times to our current schedule. Some masses will be at STA and some at CTK. We plan to let you know more about our new schedule sometime in late October or early November.

We might feel as though we are losing something. There is some truth to that. But being in a cluster also offers us important new opportunities – not only for certain kinds of efficiencies, but also for a greater sharing of gifts and talents and hearts and minds. As one politician put it, “We’re better together!”

If you have any questions or concerns, I would be happy to chat.

Again, thank you for sharing your gift of hospitality with me and with our Christ the King friends. I am looking forward to journeying with you.

In Christ,

 Fr. Erich Rutten