... a response to the working hypothesis of the diocesan commission with regards to the Terrebonne zone and more specifically with Holy Cross Parish. According to the hypothesis brought forward for the Terrebonne zone,proposed are : 2 french speaking parishes, 1 english speaking parish; 4 places of worship including St Frances Cabrini church for the english parish. There would also be 1 of 4 sites for teaching and gathering for the english speaking parishioners....1 head office as well as 1 mission team. In order to explore the feasibility of such a proposal for one english speaking parish for the diocese, we were called to a meeting on November 25 where both Holy Family parish and Holy Cross parish were to address the special commission.
To briefly summarize the conclusion of this meeting, we could say that the merging of the 2 parishes was not a viable solution. Both being “regional parishes”...one serving people from Oka to St Eustache and us serving people from Boisbriand to Terrebonne and including Ste Therese and Blainville, travelling would be a serious cause for losing parishioners. In addition to this dilemma, to consider assuming the cost of operation and maintenance of this beautiful church with just our parishioners was not a financial reality. As far as Holy Cross was concerned, our only hope of survival would be in continuing a very healthy arrangement with our friends from St Luc’s parish.
After much deliberation and discussion, we present to you the following scenario. We submit the following reflection Following 2 meetings with wardens and parish council from Holy Cross and St Luc, and considering the concern of parishioners and their affiliations both on the French side and the English side.....along with the great concern of modifications to the financial benefits of Frances Cabrini’ s basement operation we spontaneously concluded that maybe we should all become a bilingual parish under one fabrique with this new aspect of a bilingual parish.
Consequently we would:
-give up our fabrique and simply become a Mission church under the authority of the new bilingual Parish
-the bilingual parish gives us a possibility to share all the facilities that exist at St Luc’s including the affectation of both the rectory and church building of St Frances Cabrini ..gone would be “arrangements” for our place of worship. Of course the continued liturgies in French and the basement operation would be an important part of our bilingual parish.
-All our operations, teaching site and gathering place would be centralized.
-Representation at the warden’s table and a full sharing of our newly renovated parish center would add to both parties.
-Maintaining an English speaking pastoral committee with the guidance of our new parish priest would meet the needs of our 2 cultures.
-At least for the first 3 years of this bilingual parish, we would need the services of an agent de liaison to maintain our operation.
The present situation allows us a parish manager (18 hrs) who is our permanent human resource. Her responsibilities include co-ordinating: baptisms, funerals,marriages, first Communion,Confirmation, adult baptism and Confirmation . She is also a facilitator with the parish guild, youth group, faith education for our youth and adults plus all the scheduling of liturgical personnel....as well as producing our weekly English parish bulletin. Yes we would be closing a fabrique but we would be part of a new one. A bilingual parish would more or less be a status quo for all parties and be unique in the diocese of St Jerome. Just for the records, we would enter this venture bringing a newly renovated parish center with no mortgage and a yellow, stable rating according to the grid from October’s situation 2016-Terrebonne zone, published by the diocesan Committee.
The advantages of this bilingual parish of St Luc would give the Mission of Holy Cross a chance to look forward to long range goals of a missionary shift that can be acquired by our new stability.
Our mission statement would remain
-to be welcoming
-to be open
-to be compassionate
-to be understanding
-to be inclusive of all ages and languages
So that our Faith in the Love of God can bring Hope to others.
We will continue to be a strong community busy with dialogue and outreach in order to welcome young families especially through social events and sacramental preparation.
Hopefully this proposal is a viable one to the commission....as it is to both St Luc’s parish and Holy Cross parish.
Leo Venditti, on behalf of Holy Cross Parish