“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12: 4-5)
For two millennia, Christians have worshipped together in memory of Christ’s promise, “where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20) These gatherings became parishes, which exist today to serve as centers of evangelization for the entire community. As some of us begin to return to Mass following health guidelines to keep us and our families safe, we do so as members of the body of Christ – a community of joyful missionary disciples who come together to encounter Christ, to grow as his disciples and to witness his love and mercy to all those around us.
This is the foundational truth of our transition in the Archdiocese of Detroit to Families of Parishes. Just as the faithful have for generations come together to pray and worship, our parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit are uniting in pursuit of our shared mission to unleash the Gospel. And just as the first disciples were sent forth two-by-two as brothers, our parishes are going forth together, not isolated but accompanied.
You may have recently heard – or will hear soon – the list of parish groupings that we will utilize to transform our diocese into a community of parish families. It is my prayer that each of these families – and the faithful within – will see in themselves a reflection of Christ’s first disciples, who came together, sharing their gifts and talents to spread their faith to the ends of the Earth.
Our walk in faith was never meant to be a solitary journey. As our diocese continues to follow in the footsteps of the first disciples, we offer this issue of Unleash the Gospel in celebration of our belonging to the eternal community, the body of Christ. Like the earliest Christians, we are recipients of God’s abundant grace and have been sent forth together to proclaim Christ’s message of salvation. Thanks be to God!