I am horrible at waiting. I am pretty sure I was absent on the day that God was doling out the virtue of patience. And I’m particularly bad at waiting when it comes to things that I am excited about. For this reason, I tend to not do my Christmas shopping early because I’m very likely to give people their presents before the big day.
Thinking back on my days in parish ministry, I know my temptation, especially as the Families of Parishes announcements have been going out, would be to jump the gun and start making plans for the future of my ministry! There is a time for that — the Missionary Strategic Planning department has great plans for accompanying pastors, lay ecclesial ministers, and the whole people of God through an intentional process of becoming a healthy family. And as hard as it would be for my impatient self to believe, it’s good enough to wait for!
But for those who cannot wait, and I understand, I have a suggestion! Do something NEW. Don’t worry about how to keep doing all the things you’ve always done — there will be time to figure that out. Do something new together that you’ve never done before. Use this time as an opportunity to build some relationships with your ministry peers, to get familiar with each other’s ministries, and to Unleash the Gospel in a new way.
I also have a suggestion for where to start: the Walking With Moms in Need Year of Service .
This USCCB initiative helps parishes become beacons of hope and support to mothers in need. This process involves forming a ministry Core Team, completing a resource inventory, partnering with community organizations, communicating help and support to mothers in need, and engaging the parish in service to moms in need. Further, the Archdiocese of Detroit, through the Pro-Life , Marriage , and Christian Service Offices is partnering with Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan to accompany parishes through each step of the process to provide resources and support.
We will have an introductory webinar to outline the process on Tuesday, January 19th at 10:00am . All pastors, Christian Service Coordinators, Pro-Life Ministers and others who are interested are encouraged to attend. At the webinar, we will also provide ideas as to how you might approach this as a new “family” by selecting Core Team members for the initiative from the parishes in your area. Before Families of Parishes were even announced the USCCB envisioned that neighboring parishes would be partnering together on this initiative, so why not start now?
Some of you won’t even be able to wait for the webinar on January 19th — I know, I know! You can check out more information on the Walking with Moms in Need website . You are also welcome to contact me, Chris Leach , or Kathleen Wilson , our Pro-Life Ministry Coordinator, and we will be happy to answer questions and get you started.
And for those who really can’t wait, you can start saying this prayer from the Walking with Moms in Need Initiative right now! Go ahead, I won’t hold you back any longer:
O Blessed Mother, you received the good news of the incarnation of Christ, your Son, with faith and trust. Grant your protection to all pregnant mothers facing difficulties.
Guide us as we strive to make our parish communities places of welcome and assistance for mothers in need. Help us become instruments of God’s love and compassion.
Mary, Mother of the Church, graciously help us build a culture of life and a civilization of love, together with all people of good will, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life. Amen.