Friday, October 22, 2021
Catholic Church of St. Mary of the Assumption
PARK CITY – Someone attending church services at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church for the first time might be surprised by the many ministries, groups and events in the parish. The parish has 11 active ministries ranging from a bereavement ministry to taking Communion at home to serving in the food bank. The host ministry started this summer.
Two more – a high school ministry and a young family ministry – will have their first activities this month. On October 31, the ministry of the young family will organize a celebration of All Saints’ Day where young people can disguise themselves as saints; there will be several activities to teach them about the saints and the day of obligation.
“The desire is always to be able to welcome people to where they are and to find ways in which people can exercise their talents in the community,” said Father Christopher Gray, pastor of St. Mary’s. “It’s a way of amplifying the effects of being a community and of having the opportunity to look at other options, other ways of seeing things. … My idea of what a Catholic Church should be is a place where everyone is invited to explore their Catholic spirituality in different ways – whatever suits them – and without being limited. “
The parish also has eight groups focused on Bible study, worship, and community. Parishioners interested in forming other groups are encouraged to contact Anthony Jewett, the new ward evangelism director, to see how this can be facilitated.
A recent addition to parish activities have been monthly summits where men, women or the entire ward come together to listen to a speaker and explore their faith; Bro. Gray said that these summits were very well received.
This construction of the community “fulfills not only the Pastoral Plan, but the spirit of the Pastoral Plan and the basis on which the Pastoral Plan is built”, Fr. says Gray.
The Diocesan Pastoral Plan, introduced by Bishop Oscar A. Solis in 2018, calls on parishes to work for the construction of the Kingdom of God in Utah.
“The parish is a platform, a place where people can do things for this thing that we call Catholicism, a place where people can meet and grow,” said Fr Gray. “It’s Catholic, it’s the Church, but it’s not just a place that provides a service called a church. It is a place where people can get rich in various ways. A church should be a platform for being Catholic in a coherent and holistic way.
Jewett, who organized the summits and some of the new groups, said his function is to help parishioners fully express their Catholic faith beyond receiving the sacraments. The organization of these groups and ministries “was a means by which the pastoral plan can be implemented in a real and substantial way for our parishioners,” he said. “The goal was to make it something that we could allow it to grow in.”
The summits and groups have drawn more Catholics into activity in the parish and have enabled those new to the parish to find a community where they can belong, Jewett said. Now parish leaders encourage parishioners to “bring the Church and their faith into their homes and into smaller, more individual communities within the parish… who can rely on one another in a more direct and individual way”, did he declare. .
Through these activities, “we are trying to make the life of a Catholic more holy and more God-oriented,” he said.
As the pandemic continues, church groups are practicing social distancing and encouraging unvaccinated people to wear masks when attending events.