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(click here to go directly to the new schedule documents)

This weekend at all of the Catholic communities of the Olympic Peninsula, our new Mass & confession schedules were announced. The fruit of consultation across three months with the current priests, our deacons, PAAs, principal, pastoral & finance councils (all eight!), our future priests, and parishioners, this represents perhaps the most tangible step towards becoming a parish family. As we transition from being an individual parish or a cluster of parishes, the purpose of our new parish family is that we begin to realize the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane: “that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you.”1

In my public speaking and private reflection, I have been trying to adopt the language of ‘sacrifice’ and ‘investment’. The project of Partners in the Gospel only works if we come together in the sacrifice of Christ, investing ourselves in Him and each other. As in the Garden of Gethsemane (and beyond), we will likely find that there is sorrow to be shared as well. When it comes to the Mass schedule changes, I know that this is especially true for those who will mourn the loss of Mass times that they hold dear. How important it will be that in this – and all things – we suffer together, seeking to console and support each other.

But we are a people not only of the cross, but of the resurrection – and there is new life, new opportunities, to be anticipated here. The rest of Jesus’ prayer in the garden lays out our common purpose: “that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.”2 And that is our mission: the proclamation of the Gospel to all those who have yet to believe.

And what a gospel that is – that our Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally, desiring that we join with Him here & in heaven! The coming months and years of Partners in the Gospel will be fruitful inasmuch as unite ourselves in the love of the Father. Christ, too, made this prayer while in the garden – “not as I will, but as you will”3 The Father’s will, though often challenging, is always to our good and the good of the world.

In the gospel of this weekend, Jesus speaks not only to the Apostles, but to us: “let us cross to the other side”4. Though we may like them have rough waters to navigate, we know that He will be with us along the way. May we look to the adventures ahead with peace – and perhaps even a bit of excitement! – with confidence that He Whom even the wind and sea obey will guide us safely along our way.

Let us look to the future with hope, anticipating that the Lord will bring new life with and for us. As always, rest assured of my prayers for you. May the Lord bless us as we prepare for life together as a parish family.


Mass & confession schedule documents

Click here for an explanation of these two documents

If you’re looking for the short form of the new schedule – in both English & Spanish – the announcement is the way to go. But I would like to encourage every parishioner to take some time to read the overview document, particularly the last section, titled “Consultative process feedback summaries, with Q&As”.

There you will find summaries of each consultative phase, but the part you may find most interesting are the questions raised in each phase of consultation and my efforts to offer answers. Though there are many – and undoubtedly many more to be asked & answered – you may find these to be especially helpful in addressing particular concerns and prompting future considerations & planning.

  1. John 17:21 ↩︎
  2. Ibid ↩︎
  3. Matthew 26:39 ↩︎
  4. Readings for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time ↩︎