Over the past year, our Parish Pastoral Council decided that the time had come to review and revamp our Parish Mission Statement. After discernment and consideration the following will now officially be the Mission Statement of St. Mary’s Visitation Parish:
We are a community of believers who strive to be faithful and to teach the truth of the Roman Catholic Church. We see beauty in the sacramental life of the Church, especially in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in adoration of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. We promote goodness in this world, following the example of our Blessed Mother, our Lady of the Visitation, by serving the needs of others.
There are a few things to point out regarding this new Parish Mission Statement. First, we see three direct statements regarding our mission – each statement directly tied into one of the attributes of God – truth, beauty and goodness. The first part of the Mission Statement acknowledges the truth which has been passed on to us through the Catholic Church. As a community we are called to come to a deeper understanding of what the Church teaches us and from that understanding to assent to it with a spirit of intellectual obedience and then to pass this truth on to the next generation under the guidance of the Magisterium of the Church. For us to be truly a parish we must embrace, with deep faith, the fullness of Divine Revelation as has been given to us through the Church.
The second statement is focused in on the beauty of God and the reflection of that beauty through the sacramental life of the parish, most especially the celebration of the Mass and by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in our Perpetual Adoration Chapel. Beauty is reflected in the way in which we pray with reverence and piety so that we may encounter God through the beauty of divine worship. It also is a reminder that even the physical grounds of the parish should be an invitation to see the beauty of God reflected in them.
The final statement is centered on the goodness of God which we are called to reflect in our day to day lives – whether at home or at work or in the community. God is very good and we, He is people, should strive for virtue and perfection, to abandon sin and to be sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit. In a particular way we, as a parish, look to Our Lady, most especially as she shows us in her Visitation to Elizabeth, to show us how to live this life of goodness through a spirit of sacrifice and a generosity in serving the needs of the parish and the wider community, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
Mission Statements are important to help make clear the mission of the parish both to those who may be new, as well as those who are already present. May the Holy Spirit grant us the gift of His grace to faithfully live it out!