We Are Failing and It’s Not Good.

As pastor, it is incumbent upon me from time to time to light a fire. Sometimes it is at the Great Easter Vigil with the Lighting of the Mew Fire. Sometimes at our annual parish picnic, where we see our faces glow with a community of hope.  And, sometimes it under our proverbial butts when we are failing to honor all that we are. Today is such a day.

There is both good news and bad news about our parish community. That is the long and the short of it.  

The good news is we are growing and we enjoy a place like no other where everyone is welcome regardless of who they are, the color of their skin, where they came from, who they love or who loves them; their gender status or marital status, no matter if they are addicted or in recovery or an ex-offender, too; where immigration status is of no concern to us. From the very beginning of our founding some 13 years ago now, we have promised a parish that kept its eye on the ball. That ball for us has always been and will always be, Jesus. How He welcomes. How He forgives. How He loves. Period.

The bad news is we are taking all we created for granted.

It’s not good. 

  • 65% of parishioners don’t attend Mass on a given Sunday. 
  • 66% of today’s young people leave the church when they go to college and less than 62% are enrolled in Children Faith Formation (CFF).
  • Only 12% of church members are actively  engaged in our parish.
  • Many who attend our parish still post negative social media posts that are less than forgiving and mean-spirited and often times overly political and few engage or ‘like or share’ our posts to help us grow.
  • Less than 28% attend events or support our social and community building like the annual concert coming up or past Fall Pumpkin Festival and fewer find seasons like Advent inspirational. Instead, Sundays are about leisure and sporting events. 
  • Less than 5% enrolled their own children in our very own school; the region’s ONLY Franciscan S.T.E.A.M.M. School with great reviews and deep discounts for parishioners. 
  • Less than 40% give financially on a regular basis and less than 15% truly tithe. Most simply ‘tip’ God from loose change and few give from their abundance, but rather only from whatever is left over.

Not good, right?  In a sentence: We are failing. We are failing God, we are failing one another, and the Church, and our world. 

I realize that in our world today it’s not just us. Overall people just aren’t going to church anymore, and when they do, they just sit in the pews and don’t actively participate, but we are supposed to be different, right? This wonderful place we built on the back of so many who gave their all IS to be DIFFERENT

And personally it is hard, too. I remember only years ago, a priest was one of the most respected professions in town. Today, it can be tough for people to take you seriously. The influence of the local church and the influence of a local church pastor is on the decline. In our world today statistics show we are on track to become just another Roman Church where:

  • 75% of people don’t attend church on a given Sunday and less than 19% go weekly!
  • 66% of today’s young people leave the church when they go to college or make their Confirmation.
  • Only 21% of church members are actively engaged in their congregation in any real and meaningful ways

Sadly, just like many of us and it better change.

If you are offended by words, good. You should be. If you aren’t giving, like so many of you didn’t give last weekend, than you should be offended, but not at me, at yourselves. I gave; I always do. I was present at all Masses and into the evening, as I often am. Even when things are tight at home, I still give. I never fail to show up for events or to lead or to grow or to change myself. I work to become a better person every week. A better priest. A better Catholic Christian. And a better parishioner.

Maybe you should now, too?

To help, here are some links that every parishioner should know and engage regularly:


Give today or sign up for your weekly or monthly recurring donation here


Give and End of Year Gift here


Enroll your child in CFF here


Enroll your child in Saint Miriam School for January here


Join a Small Group here

Support our Outreach here


View our Mass schedules and get to church here


Keep up on current events here


Download our weekly newsletter here


Buy your tickets for the Annual Concert and Silent Auction here 


We have one of the most beautiful, inclusive, progressive and yet liturgically centered parishes on the planet earth. We are there for you always and we support you when you need pastoral care and advice. Our priests answer their phones, go where needed, and return your calls. We are responsive and energetic, and we listen to your needs. We have events and community building activities like no other parish in the region. And, sadly, many take all of that for granted.

The choice is now yours.  I have always been honest; sometime brutally honest and so let me be clear here today: If you support us, engage us, and give, really give generously and from the heart and not just ‘tip God’ from whatever change is in your pocket, then your life will be blessed like mine, and we will grow together and become stronger and even more vibrant. But, if you continue down this path, we won’t do well at all, and we WILL fail and one day the doors will simply close and all we have will be lost. 

It is that sad, and truthfully, that urgent.
Monsignor +Jim, Pastor




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