Concerns and Hopes Generated from Parish Listening Sessions
About 160 parishioners participated in our six listening sessions regarding the proposed draft of our parish family. This family would include St. Barbara, Black Diamond; Sacred Heart, Enumclaw; and St. Aloysius, Buckley together with St. John the Baptist. The greatest concern seems to be the geographical distance. One of the hopes is having greater diversity. Many of the concerns centered on things we do not yet know. We do not know how many priests will be assigned to this family. There will be at least two, possibly three. There is no one archdiocesan blueprint on how this will work or what it will look like. Each family, on the local level, will make those decisions. The major issues these families will have to discern are:
- how we gather people for the celebration of Mass and the other sacraments;
- how we foster vibrant communities where we accompany one another on this journey of faith;
- how we form disciples and educate our children in the faith while continuing our adult formation as well;
- how do we reach out to those in need and bring others the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The founding members of our parish did this some 33 years ago. I believe there is excitement, and there is energy in forming something new. This will be a long process of discernment for us, taking up to three years. But I hope there will be some of that excitement and energy that gave birth to this faith community.
All of the concerns, hopes, and other comments have been sent to the Archdiocese. The Oversight Committee guiding this process, together with the Presbyteral Council, will consider all the feedback. Archbishop Etienne will announce the final configuration of these parish families in early 2024. They take effect on July 1, 2024.
Let us hold all in prayer during this time.