We Are One Parish
The is no such thing as a separation between the parish and the school. To say there is would be to say that there is a separation in a body between the head and the arms. This would only be possible in a dysfunctional body (a dead body, actually). The parish includes everything on the property; every building, group, team, employee, and resource is a part of the parish. The school building and the church are both buildings that are a part of the parish. The Parish Center, though oddly named “Cloverdale Catholic Parish Center”, is not just the school gym, it is the Parish Center. Like all of the Parish’s facilities is a shared resource meant to further the mission of the Parish.
So what is the mission of the Parish? Put simply, it is to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)” Our job is to evangelize. Our job isn’t to create pleasant groups for friends to visit or have the very best Math scores. These are good things to do, which may lead to opportunities for evangelization, but they are not the mission itself.
Every decision we make as a parish must been seen through the lens of our mission. Our priorities must align with our mission. Where we put our money must align with our mission. What parts of our parish are leading to conversion and baptism? Those are the ones contributing to the mission.
My experience has taught me the amazing opportunity for evangelization that exists in a Catholic school. Not only are students exposed to amazing Gospel witnesses, service opportunities, prayer, and sacraments; but their parents are connected as well. Through the children, parents are often brought back to their faith. I am so grateful for all the conversions and baptisms that I have seen as a part of this school community and I am glad to serve Precious Blood Parish in this way.