Beacons of Light

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Letter from Fr. Chris Worland

The Paschal Mystery is at the heart of who we are as Christians. 
The passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ defines us. Holy week teaches us very clearly that some things have to die in order for new life to emerge. 
That reality is a constant in our lives.    

Often times our flowering trees must be pruned in order to be healthy and produce new growth.   Before entering the priesthood, I had been an engineer for 10 years.  I enjoyed dating. 
I even considered getting married at one time.  When I decided to be a priest, those options were pruned away so that new life could emerge.  When a person decides to marry a particular person, they prune away other potential spouses.  But new life (and potentially a new family) emerges. This is true in big and in small matters as well.

As we celebrate the bicentennial of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, we are reminded that the Archdiocese has lived this “dying and rising” many times over in its 200-year history. 
The Archdiocese was the 8th diocese established in the United States.  Originally, The Archdiocese encompassed all of Ohio and Michigan and parts of Wisconsin.  

As the area became more populated, more Catholics moved in and others were converted.  In the process, the Archdiocese split several times.  Each time, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati had to make decisions to reinvent the Archdiocese. Some things were pruned so that new life could emerge.     

This year we enter the Beacons of Light process. As demographics change and as the number of available
pastors decline, once again, the Archdiocese will be making decisions to reinvent our parish structures. 
At this point, I do not know what this means specifically for St. Albert the Great.

I fully expect St. Albert to remain open.  However, I will most likely be asked to pastor a family of parishes.  This will mean changes for everyone.  There will be pruning so that new life could emerge.   However, the Beacons of Light process is also an opportunity for new growth. 
We are trying to learn new ways of evangelizing and sharing our faith in Jesus Christ:  with those in the pews every
Sunday, with those who come twice a year, and with those who do not know Christ at all yet.

As the dean of the South Dayton deanery, I should be well-informed on the Beacons of Light initiative. 
I will share what I can with you as the process continues and I learn more.