August 1, 2020
Dear Beloved Parishioner,
Recognizing the pressures placed on parishes by the shortage of priests, lower mass attendance and reduced income, the Archdiocese of Boston, in 2013 began Disciples in Mission. A major component of Disciples in Mission was formation of collaboratives to share needed resources between parishes. St. Anne and St. Catherine joined forces in the second phase of Disciples in Mission, in June 2014.
Since that time the staff of St. Anne and St. Catherine have worked tirelessly and sensitively to assist parishioners with the adjustments involved. We were especially sensitive to the unfortunate fears of some that St. Anne would be closed or swallowed up by St. Catherine. Fr. Joe and I, by maintaining an open, honest and humble dialogue with parishioners, believe that parishioners have developed a deep sense of trust in us and the collaborative staff and councils, enabling their former fears to be diminished.
Building on that essential relationship of trust and furthering our shared goal of the viability of our faith community, we are now contemplating merging St. Anne and St. Catherine into one parish. The parish staff, Collaborative Pastoral Council, Finance Councils, Stewardship Council, Fr. Joe and I have been discussing the possibility of a merger for the last three years. We sincerely believe that this is the direction the Lord is calling us to follow. In doing so, we will build up the faith community and ensure the long life of both St. Anne and St. Catherine churches.
The rationale and implications of asking the Cardinal to allow us to merge are included in the provided documents: A Proposal for Becoming One Parish and Frequently Asked Questions About Parish Mergers (FAQs). Please take ample time to study the provided documents so that you fully understand what a merger entails. The clearer your understanding of what it actually means to become one parish, the more, we believe, you will be at peace moving in this direction. A narrated, color version of the PowerPoint Proposal, the presentation slides, and the FAQs is also available to the right on this screen.
Please share your thoughts and comments with us before September 1st. Email messages may be sent to Feedback at LWCatholic.org* * replace the word at with the @ symbol, or letters may be mailed to either church.
St Anne Church
75 King Street
Littleton, MA 01460
St Catherine Church
2 West Street
Westford, MA 01886
It continues to be a joy for Fr. Joe and me to serve you as the Lord’s priests and servants.
Fr Peter and Fr Joe