October 4, 2019
PASTOR'S PEN  Fr. Gary Wright, SJ

Over recent months our Parish Council has been gathering parishioner input for an update of our strategic plan.  Before the plan could be finished, we recently received important communications from both the Archdiocese of Detroit (AOD) and the Midwest Jesuit Province.  The Archdiocese is requiring every parish to develop a “Missionary Strategic Plan” to embody the vision of Synod 2016’s “Unleash the Gospel.”  The Jesuit Province is also asking all its parishes to conduct an Ignatian “Examen” to review our ministries and develop a plan for improvement.  After discussions with AOD and Jesuit officials, it seemed best to integrate both of their planning requests with our own process already underway, so that we end up with one comprehensive plan that meets the criteria of the AOD, the Jesuits, and our own parish.  This approach seemed far better than the prospect of going through three separate planning exercises over the next year or two!  

Even though these unexpected planning demands from outside our parish will extend our process, that need not prevent us from moving forward long before a formal plan is completed.  For example, it became clear that we need to prepare for a children’s ministry, so we already have four parishioners training as teachers in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  The parishioner surveys have evidenced a desire to promote diversity in the parish.  To that end, I will personally conduct a focus group listening session for people of color in our parish on Sunday, November 10 (time TBD).  If you identify as a person of color, please contact our office to register or inquire: office@ssppjesuit.org, 313-961-8077x219.  

In this column I have previously acknowledged senior parishioners who received awards recognizing their achievements and public service.  I’m happy now to highlight two of our younger members.  On October 6, Christina Pauken will receive the 2019 Rising Star Award from Detroit Mercy’s College of Business Administration, recognizing “individuals who demonstrate outstanding contributions to society, and embodiment of Jesuit & Mercy values.”  Christina is a Senior Analyst at DTE Energy, and serves on our parish Finance Council; she completed our CLA young adult Ignatian leadership program in 2018.  Earlier this past summer Matt Guinta was one of three winners of the AIA Michigan Young Architect Award. He is currently in our CLA program and is a project architect at HKS.  Congratulations to both!  Let’s give thanks to God for their gifts and their commitment to use them to serve others.

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