PARISH STRUCTURE FOR SAINT ANDRE BESSETTE PARISH
Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth
Fall River - Enfield - Middle Musquodoboit
“An Incense-Free Parish”
Named after St. Brother André of Montreal, who was canonized in 2010, our parish strives to follow the way of Jesus Christ, with an emphasis on the virtues present in the life of our parish patronal saint: hospitality, care of the sick and prayer.
Our parish has three churches where we strive to fulfill this vision.
Holy Cross Church, Middle Musquodoboit
St. Bernard Church, Enfield
St. Rose of Lima Church, Fall River
The Pastor has a team of parishioners with diverse gifts to assist in the day to day operation of the parish. The Leadership Team was appointed by the Pastor following prayer/consultation with parishioners and following the direction of the Archbishop. It meets regularly (currently bi-weekly) to discuss and plan temporal and spiritual matters and is accountable to the Pastor. The present Leadership Team is, in addition to the pastor: Shannon McDonald, Phil Francis, Elaine Morrow and Deacon Dan Bowden. The Leadership Team may establish committees responsible for matters that affect the mission of the whole parish (e.g. Care and Companionship Ministry, Communication, etc.)
PARISH FINANCE COUNCIL
The Parish Finance Council assists the pastor with financial matters in the parish. At present it is composed of three members (one from each church) plus a Chairperson. Members are:
Mr. Pat McCarvill, Chairperson.
Howard MacDonald (St. Bernard),
Maxine Thibault (Holy Cross)
Paul Miller (St. Rose)
This committee follows the universal church law (Canon Law) and particular law (Archdiocesan policy) for financial matters in the parish.
PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
The Parish Pastoral Council is a group selected from parishioners to assist the pastor in visioning the life of the parish. It assists the pastor in implementing the pastoral priorities of the Archbishop Brian Dunn, who has asked for the following four areas to receive attention going forward:
1. Evangelization: “What programs do we have in place? What should we work towards? Who are we trying to reach? “
2. Homelessness: “Are we close to the poor and the marginalized in our communities? Is there an opportunity to coordinate with existing programs?”
3. Strengthen our Parish Identity: “What have we learned so far? What holds us together? How can we provide an opportunity to gather information from and listen to our three church communities?
4. Faith Formation: How are our liturgies being supported? "What opportunities are we providing for learning about our faith?"
The Pastoral Council will begin its work by creating a vision and mission statement for our new parish, keeping in mind the priorities of our Archbishop. The Pastoral Council does not address administrative matters but focuses on the areas our parish needs to give attention in order to fulfill her mission. The implementation of the work of the Pastoral Council lies with the Leadership Team and Church Councils, in cooperation with the Finance Council. The Pastoral Council is composed of a minimum of seven members and meets four times per year. Parish Pastoral Council members will be published on the parish website when they are finalized.
Given our large parish territory (almost an hour’s drive from St. Rose to Holy Cross) it makes sense for our parish to have a group of people in each church to attend to local matters. This structure is needed for us to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ entrusted to us. We call these groups “Church Councils”. They have five areas of local responsibility: Catechetics (children and adult - our goal is to work with families), Spirituality and Liturgy, Property Maintenance, Hospitality, Cemetery (for St. Bernard and Holy Cross) and Social Justice/Charity. Other committees may be structured as needed and required. The Church Councils meet on a quarterly basis. The Church Councils are accountable to the Pastor and Leadership Team. The Pastor is a member of all the Church Councils. Membership on the Church Councils will be published on the parish website once it is finalized.
Our parish has the following employed staff persons who serve the needs of the parish in accordance with their gifts and talents in the ministries entrusted to them.
Rev. Fr. Michael J. Walsh, J.C.L., Pastor
Rev. Mr. Daniel G. Bowden, Deacon (attention to the care of the sick and dying)
Claire Guyette, Secretary/Finance, St. Bernard Office
Linda Ferguson, Interim Secretary, St. Rose Office
(Kathleen Powell is on Maternity leave until late summer in 2021)
Susan Burke, Parish Bookkeeper
It is our hope to have a salaried person in some capacity for catechetics later this year.
This is a brief synopsis of the structures we have in our new parish of Saint André Bessette. All the groups mentioned in this letter strive to work together to build the kingdom of God in this portion of the Lord’s vineyard. We will have at least one gathering per year of all groups in order to build relationships to help us work together better. Pray for us that we may be faithful to what God asks of us as his beloved children in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ in our new Parish under the patronage of St. André Bessette.
I look forward to continuing as your pastor in this new parish. May God who has begun this good work in us bring it to fulfillment.
Fr. Michael J. Walsh, JCL, Pastor