Archive for the ‘anniversary’ Tag

Our Parish’s Third Anniversary

I began Sunday’s parish anniversary in a Pittsburgh hospital where I was recovering from surgery, and ended the day at home using a flashlight to get to bed since our power was out due to high winds.

This past Sunday, September 14, 2008, was the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross, and marked the third anniversary of the official founding of Triumph of the Cross Parish. Parishioners would be the members of six Catholic parishes in the city of Steubenville which would be closed primarily because of the shortage of diocesan priests and growing costs of maintaining the several old churches. These were not easy decisions.

As noted in earlier blog posts here, until June, 2008, Triumph of the Cross was a parish with a Pastor but no parishioners. The plan was to design and build a new church for the parish and then close the six individual parishes to form a new Catholic parish community worshiping and experiencing the many activities of parish life in our new church. As soon as the parish was founded, a building committee and finance council with members from all six of the closing parishes met almost every week to pray, plan and design the new church, trying to reflect the practices and “personality” of each parish. But by late 2007 it was clear than not enough money had been raised to begin construction of Triumph of the Cross church and the building project was put on hold.

It had been clear for some time, though, that the individual parishes would have to be closed even though a new church building wasn’t ready. The shortage of priests and the increasing costs of maintaining the separate parishes and churches hadn’t changed. And so we all came together as members of Triumph of the Cross Parish this past June, and welcomed our new pastor, Fr. Nau, July 1.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I began Sunday’s parish anniversary in a Pittsburgh hospital where I was recovering from surgery I’d had two days before, and ended the day at home using a flashlight to get to bed since our power was out due to high winds. In some ways it seems like our parish is having a day like that. It’s been tough to lose our old parish and we haven’t had much chance yet to develop and experience new ways to come together and build relationships as members of one parish.

Weatherwise, the days since Sunday have been sunny, the temperatures perfect. Some areas are still without power and cleanup from storm damage continues. We need to move ahead as a parish, move into the sunshine. Our parish, our city, our region have serious economic challenges we have to face and solve. We can’t do it on our own. But by putting our faith in Christ and working together in His name, each of us can help make Triumph of the Cross Parish a bright spot in Steubenville, Ohio – a witness to God’s love for each person. Whatever we do for our parish and for one another, no matter how small or large, will make a difference.

Let Christ be our Hope as we walk into the sunshine.

Jim Coyle
E-mail web@totc.info