I've revised my letter of welcome for those who register here. I hope I capture what we are as a Catholic parish.
Dear Friends in Christ,
I am so very pleased that you have moved to St. Joseph parish and desire to register here. Church law has set geographical boundaries for what constitutes a parish and the pastor who has the care of souls in that particular geographical area. It is important for me to make clear that if you join our parish and do not live within our parish boundaries, that I must inform you where your parish Church is located and the proper pastor of this “geographical” site called a parish. Once you know this, but nonetheless desire to register here for what are considered serious reasons, we are happy to welcome you.
Please know that our primary mission is to “teach, govern and sanctify” God’s people so that we may come to know, love and serve Jesus Christ in this life and to be happy with Him forever in heaven. Everything we do, from Holy Mass and the other sacraments, especially Penance, to Christian service, and to catechesis is directed toward the love of God and the salvation of souls. We strive as a Catholic parish to live the Faith and Morals of our holy religion and to be a people of faith and good works, inspired by hope and love. We also respect canon law (Church Law) which brings order to our Catholic community.
We are a part of the Diocese of Savannah and I represent to you our chief shepherd, Bishop J. Kevin Boland. He, of course, is appointed by and shares in the work of our Pope and the other bishops in union with him. The priests and staff of St. Joseph Church are here to serve you, not as workers at Wal-Mart might do, but as companions on the pilgrimage that leads to salvation. Together we strive to use our God-given gifts to be obedient to Jesus Christ, Holy Mother, Church and to our high calling to bring Christ to the world in the particular vocation Christ has for us and in our specific “avocation.” Thank you for joining us to help us to perpetually pick up the Holy Cross and walk in the footsteps of our Savior, through His “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!” God bless you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Allan J. McDonald