Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
November 8, 2009
A Message From the Pastor
There is no way to sugar-coat my comments this weekend. I have news that is stark and involves both of the parishes where I am pastor. It involves the future of St. Paul Parish, Candia. I would like to give you a brief overview for your reflection.
St. Joseph Parish in Epping joined St. Paul in Candia and St. Peter in Auburn in cluster meetings over 4 years ago. The Cluster was to make recommendations to Bishop McCormack for the year 2012. One of the recommendations was “to assess vital signs such as population growth, Mass attendance, financial health, participation in ministries, the efficacy and array of programs offered, and the burden placed on priests”.
Lorette Nault, Pastoral Associate at St. Paul and I have made many observations since the twinning of St. Paul and St. Peter Parishes in February of 2006. These observations have been communicated to Bishop McCormack and he agrees that we should look into the unification of our two parishes.
“Unification” means that two parishes are merged into one: St. Paul would be closed and formally become part of St. Peter Parish. Last Monday I met with the Pastoral and Finance Councils of St. Paul Parish. On Tuesday, November 17, I will do the same with the two Councils at St. Peter Parish. I have also scheduled a general meeting for parishioners of both parishes to occur on Sunday, November 22, at 1 PM at St. Paul Church in Candia. Mr. Patrick McGee, Director of Planning for the diocese, will be present at each of these meetings, just as he was last Monday evening.
Many of you will say that you saw the handwriting on the wall some time ago. Yet, it still is sad when the passage of time forces ideas into reality. This will not be a quick process, nor an extremely slow one, but a very thorough one. Bishop McCormack requires a great deal of consultation. He wants parishioners to have an opportunity to learn, and to ask questions.
The pastor of St. Joseph in Epping, Lorette and I have made concerted efforts to maintain the viability of St. Paul Parish. So this change is going to be difficult for us too. I will devote my homily time at both parishes this weekend to present the reasons that have led us to begin this process. I welcome your thoughts and comments. Once again I would ask that you identify yourself if you wish to make a comment or ask a question. Please use the regular mail or the e-mail address printed on the front of the bulletin. By working together, praying together, supporting each other and listening to one another we will continue.
Father Peter Dumont