St. Jeanne Jugan Parish

May 13, 2017

Here are excerpts from the letter sent by Archbishop Leonard P. Blair regarding the results of pastoral planning and their outcome on Holy Family Parish. This entire letter was read at all weekend Masses May 6-7.

He writes: I am writing about the results of the pastoral planning process that has been the focus of much attention in recent months. …

After a lengthy and prayerful period of consultation and research involving both clergy and lay leadership, a determination has been made that as of this June 29, Holy Family Parish in Enfield and St. Bernard Parish in Enfield will merge. Each church building will retain the name with which it was dedicated, but together these two parish communities will form a new parish to be called St. Jeanne Jugan Parish. The canonical document of these changes is posted at the church entrances for all to see. (Editor’s Note: It is also on our parish Facebook page.) The archdiocese will be providing personnel and guidance to make their merger successful.

Pastoral planning also involves the overall placement of clergy in the most effective way possible. As a result, effective June 29, I have appointed Father John S. Golas to be the pastor of St. Jeanne Jugan Parish. Much has been said about the shortage of priests. This is certainly a significant factor, but by no means the only one in pastoral planning. I encourage you to work and pray that more men whom God is calling to the priesthood will step forward and heed the call. Remember what Jesus said even during his earthly ministry: “The harvest is great, the laborers few. Pray the harvest master to send laborers into his harvest."

It seems to me that today’s announcements are not so much an end, but only the first step in preparing ourselves to face the future with courage, faith and hope. … “If we look closely at the long history of the Church, including the history of our own archdiocese, we will find many outstanding individuals and communities who were unafraid to face the difficult challenges of their day. Please join me in praying that you and I will also be remembered as people of faith, courage and vision at the beginning of the 21st century.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ Leonard P. Blair Archbishop of Hartford

FACTORS GUIDING THIS DECISION

• From 2010-15, Mass attendance decreased 43.3 percent at Holy Family and 4.5 percent at St. Bernard, and the combined parishes saw a 20.6 percent decline in sacramental activities.

• From 2010-15, there was a 17.7 percent decrease in registered households at Holy Family and only a 1.1 percent increase at St. Bernard, for a total decrease of 12.2 percent for the combined parishes.

• If the two parishes combine their religious-education program (child and adult), a shared staff a central office and communication apparatus, and events and programs, they could function more effectively.

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