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|Official Web Site||SomersAllSaints.org|
|Hours||7:30 AM - 3:30 PM|
|Parish Secretary||Nancy Charbonneau|
|Music Director||Judy Bray|
|Altar Servers||Jacque Courville|
The Reverend Roland C. Cloutier Welcomes You to All Saints Catholic Church
All Saints Parish in Somersville, Connecticut is committed as a faith-filled community to meet the spiritual and temporal needs of those we encounter in all ministries of our faith. Through prayer, sacramental life and works of charity, in love and obedience to God, the Lord of all life. All Saints stands ready to proclaim the Good News in word, sacrament, and service to all.
All Saints Church is yoked with St. Edward Church in Stafford Springs, CT. Click here to link to the Saint Edward website.
As a new Mass schedule is considered for our yoked parishes, please provide your input by taking the following short Mass schedule survey.
If you know of anyone who is hospitalized or homebound and would like to receive the Eucharist, please contact the rectory office.
SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
As we continue through the season of Lent, the readings for today remind us that we are all put to the test in our daily lives. Just as Abraham and Jesus, with many others, climbed the mountains in Scripture, each of us is climbing our own mountain. Only union with a loving God is worth the climb. God not only directs each of us but also constantly gives us the strength to move ahead. God speaks in the scriptures proclaimed at Mass; God speaks as the homilist breaks open that word; God speaks in the lyrics of our hymns; and, God speaks through our companions who are also climbing their mountain. We are at the beginning of Lent. This season is a liturgical mountain leading us up to the peak of our Christian belief! The Resurrection!
AN EVER CHANGING CHURCH
In recent days the Hartford Courant, in two separate articles, has given us a look at the state of religion in our state and in the Archdiocese of Hartford. In the article on the Archdiocese the focus was on the restructuring that the new Archbishop, Bishop Blair, is facing as he begins his time as the Archbishop of Hartford.
At times, when I have mentioned that the yoking of parishes has become necessary in our Diocese, I have heard some question why we’re the ‘only ones’ doing that when other dioceses are not. Well, the truth is, all dioceses are doing it or will have to do it in the very near future if their parishes are going to survive.
We hear the horrendous news from the Archdiocese of Boston where fifty or more parishes have simply been closed because their physical plants were neglected for too long or because the people they used to serve have moved out to the suburbs. Since Bishop Cote has come to our Diocese eleven years ago only two small parishes have closed and that came about because the parishioners of those two parishes came to realize that they would be better off financially and in many other ways if they merged with a third parish.
Before the merger the Town of Killingly had four parishes and a mission serving the Catholic population. The small parish of St. Ignatius in Rogers, CT and St. Ann Parish in Ballouville, CT, both in the Town of Killingly, voluntarily merged with St. Joseph in Dayville, CT, also a section of Killingly. The new parish probably has about 400 families registered. Bishop Cote has no intention of closing parishes but, as we have said many times before, the number of priests we have to pastor our parishes is fewer than the number of parishes. There are only two solutions: Close some or yoke some.
I know from speaking to my brothers in the ministry that some are quietly saying that some parishes need to be closed. To date our Bishop has been able to reject that approach because he is well aware that the closing of a parish is a traumatic event in the lives of those who have attended that parish.
The Archdiocese is now on a search for the best way forward for them when it comes to making the choice between yoking or closing. I am sure the Archbishop was not surprised to read the other article in the Courant concerning Mass attendance in the United States and, more specifically, in Connecticut.
According to the article the Gallup poll found that only 25% of the residents of Connecticut attend services weekly and the percentage can climb to around 40% if you add those who attend nearly weekly/monthly. When we look around both All Saints Church and St. Edward Church on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning and see that with just three Masses both churches are still less than half full it is easy to accept the result of the Gallup poll as being accurate.
A paragraph in the article says: “The numbers in the Gallup poll also could be wildly inflated, experts said. Some estimate that only half of the people who say they go to church every week actually do.” Is that depressing or what?
I’m told that the Town of Somers has approximately 8,000 people. If 40% are Catholic we should be seeing about 3,200 people each weekend. I’m told that Stafford has approximately 12,000 people. Therefore, we should be seeing about 5,000 people a weekend. When you do the math it means that even when there were four or five Masses each weekend, and they were all full, a lot of Catholics still stayed home.
As all of you know by now we have been discussing a new Mass schedule for both our worship sites. I have discussed this with members of both Parish Councils and Liturgy Ministry members. We have all agonized over what is the best way to go. There is no easy answer and I know that I will probably please few people with the decision I will ultimately have to make.
Therefore, there will be Parish meetings in both Parishes on this issue: St. Edward Parish will meet after the 4:00 p.m. Mass in the Parish Center on March 14. All Saints Parish will meet after the 10:00 a.m. Mass in the Parish Hall on March 15.
~ Fr. Roland ~
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