An Important Message from Father Tony
A number of weeks ago, I had the occasion to write a rather lengthy two-page article in the bulletin comparing the present day Church with the parish of twenty-five years ago. As I had mentioned in that article, the significant decline in the number of newly ordained priests over years as well as the large number of priests who are now eligible for retirement has brought about a reduction in the number of priests who are available to serve as associate pastors in a parish. Over the years, almost all of the parishes in our diocese have had to respond to this downsizing trend in creative ways so that the spiritual needs of the people of God could still be reasonably met. And so, here we are at Saint Brigid’s, needing to respond to those same challenges at this present time in our history.
At the end of June, Father Rony Fabien will be taking on his new assignment as pastor of Saint Martha’s Church in Uniondale. We will not be in a position to receive an associate pastor to replace him. We will, however, be able to offer hospitality to Father Eric Kasongo, a priest-chaplain for Stony Brook University Hospital who is also pursuing studies in a Masters Program at Saint John’s University. Between these two responsibilities, Father Eric will be able to find the time to help us with weekend Masses here at the parish. Father Eric will be taking up residence here at the end of this month.
As I look ahead into the fall and winter months of 2019-2020, adjustments will need to be made to the weekday schedule of services offered here in the parish. Beginning September, the sacrament of reconciliation will be offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday immediately following the 12:10pm Mass (eliminating the confession-time that is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays). In addition, because of the number of funerals we celebrate here at the parish, we will no longer be able to offer a weekday Mass at 9:00am. Since our neighboring parishes do offer a 9am Mass (notably Our Lady of Hope and Holy Family), I am hoping that this change in our own Mass schedule will not place an undue burden on those who would attend Mass at that time. This change in the weekday Mass schedule will take place beginning in January of 2020. I will speak more about these changes as the time approaches when they will become effective.
I am very grateful for the presence of Father Romulo and Father Nesly, each of whom serve so well the needs of the Hispanic and Haitian communities respectively. I am equally grateful for the assistance of Father Martin who, over these past five years, has so generously been present to the needs of the English speaking members of our parish family. Along with the help of our deacons, Jim, Manuel, Frank and Darrell, who assist so well in meeting the sacramental needs of our parish, I have been truly blessed! But most importantly, I feel blessed by the outpouring of the generous gift of time and talent offered by the members of our pastoral team along with the many volunteers of this parish. In the midst of all that changes in our Church, the resources offered by the members of this faith community will allow us to grow and thrive in the years to come.
I truly want you to know that I feel a genuine sense of peace regarding the future of our parish community. I know that the spiritual needs of our parish will be met, and I am excited about the possibilities of a deepening engagement of those involved in lay ministries so that the mission of our parish will be able to meet the challenges that lie ahead. As we approach the great celebration of Pentecost, let us pray together for the outpouring of God’s Spirit that will empower us all to accomplish the work of God here in Westbury.
For those interested - Here is a link to the article Father Tony mentions above. A Look Towards the Past...A Look Into the Future - by Father Tony