This weekend Bishop Fabbro makes a special pastoral visit to the Chatham Catholic Family of Parishes. His visit includes a special Mass at Blessed Sacrament Church marking the 100th anniversary of it’s official opening on February 4, 1923. Following the Mass the bishop will join nearly 200 others at a pasta dinner in the Blessed Sacrament hall. We are truly blessed to have rich histories of faith from each of our five churches in our family. Marking significant milestones is a way for us to honour the past while also looking towards the future.

On Saturday morning Bishop Fabbro is spending time with the family staff answering their questions/concerns (which have been forwarded in advance) and getting a better understanding of the joys and challenges of serving, working and ministering in a family of parishes. The Chatham Catholic Family of Parishes is one of two pioneer families that have been in existence the longest—this gives the bishop a better understanding of how things have progressed through the years and to seek pieces of wisdom that will help him and diocesan leadership support all the families.

This will also be a chance for Bishop Fabbro to offer support and his perspective on how things will move forward as we work together following God’s path to become missionary disciples seeking to transform the world.

Bishop Fabbro is also meeting with the Family Pastoral Council and Finance Committee in a joint session to discuss our IGNITE THE MISSION discernment journey. Both the Pastoral Council and Finance Committee have questions (which they forwarded in advance) for the bishop seeking clarifications and a better understanding of how our family and all the families of parishes should move forward.

The dialogue and conversation will include elements of the FEEDBACK FORMS GENERAL SUMMARY (which I personally delivered to Bishop Fabbro), IGNITE THE MISSION: APOSTLES FOR A NEW ERA, 2021 & 2022 FINANCIAL REVIEW reports, and the PASTORAL PLAN “GAME PLAN” developed by staff and the Pastoral Council in the last couple of years.

In addition to listening and discussing our circumstances as a family of parishes, the Pastoral Council and Finance Committee will be able to understand better Bishop Fabbro’s vision and expectations for families as they seek to adapt and change to meet the needs of the world today. We are not the only family of parishes facing financial hardships and the need for closures in order to support ministries, programs and outreach that are relevant for society today.

There are certain elements of our transformation that are dependent on Bishop Fabbro’s support and direction. We need to remember that we are not alone in this change as other families in the diocese are going through similar circumstances. This means that there are certain policies that are being developed so that there can be consistency and appropriate support throughout the diocese.


I had the opportunity about a week and a half ago to meet with Bishop Fabbro personally for a substantial time sharing the joys, challenges, frustrations and fears of change for our family of parishes. The bishop expressed his support of our IGNITE THE MISSION discernment journey and is very happy to see a very clear pastoral plan for the future—developing faithful disciples who reach out to all. (our “GAME PLAN”)

Bishop Fabbro was very interested in hearing the responses of the faithful through our sharing sessions and feedback forms. He knows that as we move forward, we will all need to work together embracing our mission to proclaim the Gospel, which is very different today than it was even twenty years ago. The bishop understands the challenges we all face in the world today, the economic difficulties in our personal lives and the struggles we face in our parishes. Consultation with the bishop is another major piece in the puzzle to discern God’s will for us.


Our journey forward will only succeed through prayer. Stay tuned for information about our IGNITE THE MISSION PRAYER RELAY that will take place this summer in our five churches praying for God’s will and open hearts to embrace the journey ahead.