Monday, February 17, 2014

Our Lady of Sorrows News

Hello Sodalitiers,

I have some news for that will affect our group. During this mornings Masses at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, the Provincial of the California Province of Jesuits, Father Michael Weiler, S.J., concelebrated with our Pastor, Father Mario Prietto, S.J. After communion, the provincial made an important, historical announcement. After 106 years, the Jesuits of this province will be withdrawing from Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Santa Barbara. The provincial said that he would no longer be able to guarantee staffing for the parish, as the number of Jesuits of the California Province has become quite low. When he entered the society, there were eight or nine hundred Jesuits, and now around three to four hundred. He said that if anything were to happen to the pastor or associate, he would have no one to replace them with. And while the parish is still strong, the decision was made that the parish should be turned over to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to become a diocesan parish. This was absolutely earth-shattering news to my ears. The Jesuits have been in the heart of Santa Barbara for a very long time, and their historic and heavenly church has touched the lives of everyone through these many years. In July of this year, the Archdiocese will take over, and Father Andrew and Father Mario will both be leaving. Father Augusto Berrio, S.J., the senior priest, will stay for at least a year to aid with the transition. The provincial himself shared what sad news this is, as he himself made his first vows in Our Lady of Sorrows Church. He also reminded us that the parish is not closing and will continue. There are eight deacons, and a number of lay staff who will continue to be with the parish. He read a statement from Msgr. Michael Jennett, the Episcopal Vicar for the region, which said that the church would be receiving pastoral care. Father Weiler said that he didn't have too many answers because it was in the hands of the Archdiocese now. Archbishop Gomez will be the one who decides who will be coming in to our church to lead us from July onward. 

Let us please pray for our church of OLS during this transition time, for the new shepherds who will be coming to serve us, for stability, that the church will flourish and grow, for her protection, and for the wonderful Jesuits who have served us in the past and those who are currently serving and for their future mission, Amen. Bishop Garcia Diego, pray for us. Blessed Junipero Serra, pray for us. St. Barbara, pray for us. St. Therese, pray for us, St. Joseph, pray for us. St. Rita, pray for us. St. Anthony, pray for us. St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us. St. Francis Xavier, pray for us. St. Patrick, pray for us. St. Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us. St. Jude, pray for us. St. Anne, pray for us. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. Our Lady of Grace, pray for us, Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us. (In case you didn't pick up on it, I am asking all of the statues in OLS, except for the first 3 names which there aren't statues of but could be up on the stained glass windows.)

I know our group will continue, and that we will find another great priest to be our chaplain.

God Bless & hope to see you all Friday,


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