Merging of St. Sabina and Our Lady of Grace Parishes
Jan 13, 2017
by Fr. Raymond Bucon, "The Catholic Voice" January 1, 2017
One of the more important meetings of the year will occur on January 15. This is when Our Lady of Grace and St. Sabina parishioners will have their Town Hall Meeting. Before merging, parishes are now required to come together so all the facts can be shared, all the questions can be asked, all the feelings laid bare.
After five years of talking about our two parishes merging, it’s going to happen in 2017. Letters of request have been sent to the Archbishop but he asks that we come together in a Town Hall forum before he grants permission.
I would like every parish member of Our Lady of Grace to know that you are loved and respected by parishioners at St. Sabina. It was your parish that released us to become a new partner in faith and now it is our turn to repay that debt. Sixty years ago it was your parish that inspired our faith and now it is our turn to welcome you, honor you, and assist you as you once assisted us.
We need you and we want you to be a part of us in Christ. We look at all you have accomplished over the 70+ years of parish life and find it to be very good. As we become a part of one another and we get reacquainted, may our faith be firmer and fuller because of our ongoing life in Christ.
We look forward to the future with you at our side. We are sad with you that Our Lady of Grace Parish is closing. But we are excited that you will be adding your prayers to ours at St. Sabina every week. We are happy that you will bring with you a history of faith and friendship. And we look forward to sharing parish life with you once again.
So many of you have already been involved in our shared picnics, talent shows, Christmas parties, adoration chapel visits, and shared masses. We have shared news of what’s going on at each parish with a common bulletin. We want to get to know you better and now we will share our destinies of faith and outreach.
As requested by the Our Lady of Grace Parish Council, St. Sabina will be changing their Saturday evening Mass time to 4:00 pm. As requested by the St. Sabina Parish Council some of the artifacts of your church will be traveling over with you. For example, you have a beautiful tabernacle and that will become a central part of our sanctuary when we merge.
As for a new parish name, we are waiting to see what our Archbishop says to the request of both of our Parish Councils to keep the name the same. We will be a stronger parish when we are together. We will be able to have a deeper impact on our neighborhood when we are joined. And we look forward to the day you truly feel at home when we are together, one in Christ Our Lord.
I was recently reminded that many of our ancestors came together from other countries and formed new parishes and new lives. Although we are not traveling across an ocean, we are forming a new parish and being given an opportunity to have new dreams and expand in new directions. May God bless our new endeavors as we sail together into the future.