Seeking your insights

05-19-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

“What is next for our School Building and Property”

I have received requests to repeat last week’s information about the school building and land, and Parish Open Meetings:

In the Lent 2019 Weave Parish newsletter, I discussed at significant length and with great detail our process for our Parish’s future and its use of the School Building and Land. We now know for sure that the school building and land will return fully to us on this June 30, 2019. We must now prayerfully and thoughtfully begin to plan our future with this property of almost 5 acres and an aged school building. At the same time we must operate the building for our 1200 to 1400 Religious Education (CCD) students with building costs at approximately $75,000 per year (insurance, heat, light, grounds, snow plowing and shoveling, maintenance and repairs, etc.). The building is 60 years old and has aged to a great degree and also the use by the Charter School has worn it down considerably. The great question before all of us is: “How does this building and land (i.e. the Patrimony of Saint Mary’s) support the long term Mission of Saint Mary’s Parish?” What is the best and highest use of this land and building to help us worship our God and support the spiritual life of our Parishioners? We need to seek the insights, advice and opinions of all committed and engaged Parishioners to devise the many possible uses of the property in alignment with our Mission. Our Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) will be providing leadership in being listeners and communicators with Parishioners. As a result of these listening sessions and on-going deliberations of the PPC, the PPC will formulate the highest and best use of our Parish Patrimony. They will have as a professional advisor Dr. Bernard Swain Ph.D., a skilled, experienced and accomplished Church leader with an expertise in parish life and process. He will help all of us create the vision or visions of our future use of the property. The Parish Finance Council (PFC) will have the role of taking the wisdom, insights, visions and recommendations which the PPC has prepared and attempt to make the best possible use of the property. The PFC will be the ones who take what is hoped for and help to create what is possible and make those recommendations to me. They will have Matt Kelly, Franklin MA as a Real Estate Advisor. The PPC and PFC have a great responsibility to all of us as they will be the people who help develop the strategy to make sure that we have the highest and best use of the property to help us support the holy work and Mission of Saint Mary’s Parish.

This whole process will take a good length of time and will start publicly with 3 open parish meetings. You are invited to come to one of them and express your opinion. Everyone is welcome. This is “the forum” for expressing your opinion. If you do not speak at one of these public meetings, the Parish Council will not be able to hear you properly. We all need to own our insights, recommendations and opinions publicly in our Parish community. The PPC and PFC have met multiple times and are prepared and ready to listen to everyone.

You are invited to attend one of the meetings. The Open Parish Meetings will be Saturday, June 1st, 2019 after the 4 PM Mass in the main church. This is to make it as convenient as possible. There will be additional meetings Monday, June 3 and Tuesday, June 4 from 7 PM until 8 PM on the lower level of the church building in Sacred Heart Hall.

This whole process will be multi-year. In the early Fall, there will be a report for everyone on what took place at these meetings and the recommendations from it. Electronic communications or survey(s) will be used. The PPC and PFC need time at each stage to reflect on what is heard and gather feedback and also inform us of what is happening.

Please plan to attend and share your thoughtful insights and opinions.

Please read the Weave article: