Christ our Hope....continuing to build a stronger Parish and Diocese

posted Oct 19, 2010, 8:14 AM by STA Woodhaven   [ updated Mar 4, 2011, 3:18 PM by STAWoodhaven Webmaster ]
As I’m sure we are all aware, the Diocese of Brooklyn (which includes Queens County) is currently in the midst of a complex process (known as Christ our Hope) to determine the vibrancy and viability of the 197 parishes of the Diocese.  This process of assessment of each parish, recommendations and then ultimately closing/merging of some parishes will not be easy.  Please join me in praying for all those involved in this process and for all the parish communities that will be affected in one way or another.  Ultimately, with the present level of involvement in some parishes, there are just too many parishes (and expenses) for the funds that are available to support them.  It is hoped that although difficult and filled with emotion, this process will help to make our Diocese and its Parishes stronger.  
Saint Thomas the Apostle is a strong parish in many ways.  For many reasons, our Parish can look forward to the future with great hope.  Our past history and strength, as well as the approval from Bishop DiMarzio for us to conduct the upcoming Capital Campaign in our 100th Anniversary Year are great signs of both our vibrancy and viability.  This does not mean however that Saint Thomas does not have work to do with regard to further developing our strength as a parish community.
The expenses of our parish include not only utilities and the costs of maintaining 6 buildings, but also the programs that mark our parish as one that is active.  Currently we are able to meet our monthly expenses.  Unfortunately, major repairs and improvements on our aging buildings are enormous which has resulted in the necessity of a Capital Campaign.  Using our limited funds for month-to-month prevention of greater repairs has meant that developing more programs to assist our parish community have been limited.  Once again, parishes are not only buildings, but the programs and people that make these buildings living signs of God’s presence among us.  The vibrancy and viability of a parish also considers the strength of participation of every member.  Ultimately, we are ALL responsible for the future of our parish.
Supporting our parish financially is only part of our responsibility.  Participation at Mass, at various parish activities and fundraisers, and in RUNNING various events are all part of building up the Kingdom of God here in Woodhaven while creating a parish that is vibrant and vital. 
Please join me in asking our Patron, Saint Thomas to remove our doubts as we look to a future filled with great promise. 
If each of us does our part, great things will be revealed.