It has been a month and a half since the passing of Fr. Norbert. The Archdiocese of Detroit immediately clustered St. Colman with St. Fabian, a parish which is less than 3 miles away. Fr. Jeffrey Day, the pastor at St. Fabian, was named the Administrator at St. Colman. Fr. Craig Giera was named Associate Pastor at both St. Fabian and St. Colman to help with the workload. Also supporting Fr. Jeff and Fr. Craig is Deacon Jene Baughman.
Seeing someone preside at Mass other than Fr. Norbert isn't unusual, as we frequently had other priests to give Fr. Norbert a little break now and then. However, there is something different seeing Fr. Craig and Fr. Jeff presiding, knowing Fr. Norbert is not coming back. That isn't to say the difference is bad, quite the contrary. There have been many positives in my humble opinion. It is to say that St. Colman isn't quite the same.
There is an air of concern among parishioners as to the future of St. Colman. One would have to have their head buried in the sand not to, at the very least, ponder for a moment that the AoD might close our parish. Yet, to a large degree, the future is in (and isn't) in our hands. Ultimately, it is God's will as to what happens, but it may be God's will that the parishioners of St. Colman put forth an effort to demonstrate the viability of our parish. In seeking out the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, maybe the parishioners and the Parish Pastoral Council devise and implement a plan that makes the cluster arrangement with St. Fabian viable on a long-term basis.
While the passage focuses on food and clothing, I find the lesson from Matthew 6, verses 25 through 33 reassuring. In it Jesus tells us,
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear... ...Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?... ...If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?... ...Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself."
But to highlight our part in all this, Jesus also tells us in Matthew 7, 7-8, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
I am confident that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the St. Colman parishioners, the Parish Pastoral Council, along with Fr. Jeff and Fr. Craig will seek, ask, and knock, rather than worry.