Jaymie Stuart Wolfe
I never really wanted a parish job. But now that my work at St. Maria Goretti has come to a close, I’m so glad I spent six years in ministry at the parish level. There are many good memories and friendships I’ll take with me -- and just as many lessons learned. I’m grateful to have been part of a parish pastoral team because doing so has convinced me that there are things about ministry that can be learned only in a parish. Here are just a few of the operating principles I’ve been privileged to observe at St. Maria’s.
First, one spirituality does not fit all. Souls come in all shapes, sizes, and dispositions. While there may be only one Good Shepherd, there are as many leading graces as there are sheep to be led. That’s why it is important to offer a broad variety of opportunities for spiritual growth. No matter how good a program or idea is, not everyone will be served by an hour of adoration, or a Christmas concert, a Lenten mission, or family stations of the cross.
Second, increased activity is not the same as an increase in sanctity. Filling the parish calendar with all kinds of events doesn’t actually indicate that the people of the parish have a more active faith. On the contrary, it may be a sign that the staff lacks cohesive vision. Following Jesus, after all, isn’t just another extracurricular.
Third, there is no substitute for good liturgy. No religious education, service, or faith formation program can replace good worship in calling people into the presence of God...
Read the rest of Jaymie's column at The Boston Pilot.