April 29, 2016
Dear Friends and Families of St. Joseph Parish:
As the new pastor of St. Joseph Parish (as of Sept. 1, 2015), I would like to take this opportunity to promote your awareness of the wonderful qualities and merits of our faith community. As you receive this letter I hope you are able to take time to reflect upon the precious gift of faith in your life and the importance of growing and sharing our faith together in a faith community.
St. Joseph Parish is a very warm, welcoming community that consistently reaches out in extending hospitality to all. It is my observation that people really love coming to our liturgies, participating in excellent religious education programs and enjoying many spirit filled community and social events. In all of our activities and celebrations there is a sincere effort to make all who attend feel valued by the community. We can only continue to grow in faith by witnessing to the presence of Christ in one another. As a vibrant and loving faith community we strive to not only hear the Word of God, but to help one another live the Word of God.
Whether you are currently active, semi-active or not active, I would encourage you to consider the treasure of sharing your faith with us at St. Joseph’s. I invite you to contact me if you would like to converse about how our faith community can assist you in growing in your relationship with God and others as we together participate in the building of the Kingdom of God.
I am enclosing a brief survey created by the Parish Council that may be of value as you reflect upon your calling to be a disciple of Christ through involvement in our dynamic faith community at St. Joseph Parish. Your input to us can help us to better serve you. I encourage you also to visit our parish website. It is so very well composed and informative.
May you be filled with the peace, joy and blessings of our Risen Lord!
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Edward Stafford
St. Joseph’s Parish Pastoral Council conducted a survey of parishioners in the Spring of 2016 to gather ideas on how we can become an even more vibrant faith community. Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these four quick questions. Your responses will guide the Parish Pastoral Council in developing action plans to ensure that the needs of our parish are continually met as well as making St. Joseph Church as vibrant as we can. In order to do this, we need your help.
This survey draws on the new Pastoral Plan for the Diocese of Youngstown, Trusting in Christ: A Call to Discipleship. Within the Pastoral Plan there are seven themes:
Christian Service - Assisting parishioners in developing a deeper understanding of the gospel as it applies to those most in need.
Evangelization – The creation of a spirit of discipleship, attracting new disciples, engaging current parishioners and reaching out to less-active parishioners.
Family Life – Recognizing the complexity and diversity of families, provide opportunities for members of God’s family to develop and grow spiritually in the faith.
Worship and Prayer – Liturgies will be unifying, reverent and environmentally attractive, characterized by care and enthusiasm, with full, conscious, active participation of the faithful as the source and summit of Christian life.
Discipleship – Faith Formation / Catechesis – Recognizing and affirming the strong tradition and value of Catholic education as central to the mission of the church, the Diocese and parishes will continue to seek ways to provide quality lifelong formation in Catholic schools, religious education, youth ministry and adult formation opportunities.
Finances – Promote a shared vision of stewardship and accountability regarding how parishes manage their resources.
Administration – Recognizing the important role of the priest in parish life and responding to the declining number of priests, alternative forms of parish leadership and team staffing will be developed as necessary in accord with Canon Law 517.
We believe that these themes capture the areas which are important to all of us as we responsibly plan for our future. You may find the entire DOY Pastoral Plan by clicking here.