Thank you for visiting our new parish website. A lot of time and effort has gone into designing and building this online extension of our parish.
As I thought about what I wanted to say about our parish, I struggled with a basic question: what is a parish? Is a parish a family? A community? There are certainly elements of a parish that are familial and communal. But “family” and “community” are broad and fluid concepts that can be hard to pin down. It was only when I read Andy Crouch’s book The Life We are Looking For: Reclaiming Relationship in a Technological World that I stumbled upon a word that, to my imagination, captured the essence of what a parish is meant to be: household.
This is some of what Crouch writes about the idea of a household:
This old, slightly musty word is the best option we have in English for something that was central to life in the ancient world and is still central to life in many cultures today. A household is both place and people—or maybe better, it is a particular people with a particular place. A household is a community of persons who may well take shelter under one roof but also and more fundamentally take shelter under one another’s care and concern. They provide for one another, and they depend on one another. They mingle their assets and their liabilities, their gifts and their vulnerabilities, in such a way that it is hard to tell where one member’s end and another member’s begin. (pp. 127-128).
When I read that, I immediately thought of what the people of Saint Maria Goretti have striven to be for each other since the parish was established in 1977. It seems to me that Crouch’s understanding of what a household is also describes what we, as a parish, are called to be for each other now and in the years ahead.
In fact, the experience of being part of a household has been a defining characteristic of being a disciple of Jesus since the earliest days of the Church. As disciples of the Lord Jesus, we are called to be a particular kind of household—a household of faith. It is our faith in God that forms us in “a particular people with a particular place.” It is under God’s care and concern that we take shelter together.
We experience being a household of faith by coming together to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other sacraments, through which the Lord forms and guides us. We also experience God’s care and concern through the engaging and enriching faith formation activities that help us grow as disciples throughout our lives. The care and concern with which God shelters our household of faith leads us to extend and share that care and concern with our neighbors and those we welcome to our parish.
If you are already a member of our household of faith, I hope that visiting our website will give you a fuller and deeper sense of how it is that we strive to live, grow, and serve together in our parish. If you are new to Saint Maria Goretti or just wanting some information about us, I hope that you will know that there is a place for you in our vibrant and growing household of faith.