A VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM OUR PASTOR
As you all know, the Archdiocese of Hartford has been in a comprehensive process of pastoral planning going back for more than five years. As part of the first phase of that pastoral planning process, in June of 2017 St. Joseph Church was merged with St. Mary Church to create the present St. Mary Parish. The archdiocese is presently engaging in phase two of the pastoral planning process, which will merge multiple parishes in New Haven into a single municipal parish, centered on St. Mary Church. After discussions over the summer, the archdiocese has recently informed our Dominican Province that when this second phase is implemented, the pastoral care of this municipal parish will be entrusted entirely to the care of priests of the Archdiocese of Hartford—and thus a continuing presence of the Dominican friars in the pastoral ministry of St. Mary Parish or in residence at St. Mary Priory will no longer be possible. It is thus with great sadness I share with you that in January 2022, the pastoral care of St. Mary Parish will be turned over to the priest(s) named by the archbishop, and the Dominican friars will depart from St. Mary Priory. The Archdiocese has asked the Dominican Province to consider three new ministries in the Archdiocese as an alternative to St. Mary's. As each of these would entail a radically new configuration of the Dominican life and mission in the Archdiocese, the Dominican Province has decided to evaluate these new offers at our next provincial chapter, which will take place in June of 2022. In the light of the above, our Dominican provincial, the Very Rev. Kenneth Letoile, O.P., will be preaching at all Masses this coming weekend. He will also be present at two parish meetings the following week (dates & times TBA) when there will be an opportunity for listening, questions and drawing on our faith to find a way forward in this difficult time. It has been a profound joy and a blessing for us to serve the people of St. Mary’s for 135 years. During the time between now and the transfer of pastoral leadership, we will work with the incoming priest(s) to effect as smooth a transition as possible. Please know that the prayers of the friars are with all of you as we face this upcoming transition together.
Fr. John Paul Walker, O.P.