11-11-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

Change. Some people love it. I think that most people don't, especially when it comes to things like church. I would generally count myself among that group. As a matter of fact, one of the perfections of God that appeals to me most is the immutability of God -- the fact that God does not change!After all, what would God change into?!

All that being said, however, in this world and on this side of eternity, change is the name of the game. Bl. John Henry Newman says that "to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often." I am saying this because we are going to continue to have some changes around here. I want to be open about these changes. Among the changes I need to make is to reconstruct some of the consultative bodies that help with things like this in a parish: for example, a pastoral council and a finance council. So look for those changes!

The most notable changes will be ones about the liturgy and even some minor changes to the church building. Beginning on the First Sunday of Advent, which is the liturgical new year, we will have some changes in Mass. We had a training with altar servers last weekend. Training sessions with lectors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are coming up. I have been meeting with the deacons and Fr. Joe, with the musicians, etc. to see that these changes are implemented smoothly.

I hope that you all know me well enough by this point to know that when it comes to the liturgy, I want to do faithfully what the Church asks me to do, in Her own documents. I intend to do what the Church tells me to do. That's it. Sometimes the Church Herself changes, as with the new translations of theMass that came out a few years ago. Sometimes the Church's instructions have not been followed and changes need to be made in order to follow these.Sometimes there are legitimate options that the Church allows us to choose among.

I sympathize with those who may be upset by changes. I am not doing any of these things to please myself. It would be much easier to leave everything as is and never make changes. But then I would not be being faithful. I will be as generous as I can be with you, and I ask your generosity of spirit as we experience some changes in the coming months.

Fr. Baker