Our Journey - Decision Letter
November 26, 2019
My Dear Friends in Christ:
On July 1, 2012 the merger between St. Clement and St. Teresa of Avila parishes was completed. This was done in conjunction with the Together in Faith II plan for our parish and the approval of our debt reduction plan with the additional understanding that the St. Leonard site be closed. We were also informed at that time that a further parish closure could take place if the need arose.
Since then we have labored diligently to repay our outstanding debt however it has become apparent that it is no longer feasible to continue operating two worship sites and meet all of our fiscal responsibilities. This brings us back to the Together in Faith II plan where we are now confronted with the closure of another site.
It is with this in mind and with the guidance of the Archdiocese of Detroit that a transition team was formed to begin the process of discerning which site to close. The membership of this team is composed of parishioners from both worship sites in an effort to have fair representation.
In April of this year the transition team began meeting on a regular basis. An intercessory prayer team was formed and we developed the “Our Journey Prayer” card which we have offered at every daily and weekend Mass.
People were given the opportunity to express concerns through e-mails and our question and answer boxes at each worship site. We also made the process the subject of bulletin articles and homilies during Mass. We invited the Most Reverend Robert Fisher our regional Bishop to come and celebrate Mass. We made every effort possible to make the process transparent to all.
In making a decision we considered finances, marketability, visibility, site assessments, and maintenance as well as which site would offer the most potential for a strong and vibrant future as we work to implement “Unleashing the Gospel”.
This process has been difficult because it is so emotionally charged. The founding families at each site never envisioned the day when one of these sites would close. We realize that any decision made would be welcomed by some and rejected by others. The very fact that the process has taken so long should be an indication of the amount of consideration that was put forth.
Pending the approval of the Archbishop with prayerful consideration we have recommended the closure of the St. Dorothy site. We realize the pain this decision may cause but as a family of faith it is time once more for us to come together to support one another and to celebrate what has been in terms of our history and also to look forward to what will be in our future.
We face some challenging days ahead as we prepare to move our parish offices and the day to day operation to the St. Clement site. This will also require the need to upgrade buildings and other necessities to make the move possible. We will inform you of these upgrades and the progress being made on a regular basis.
The date for the final Liturgy and the official closing of the St. Dorothy site will take place on June 28, 2020. We will be sharing with you further information regarding the details of this celebration. In the mean time we will continue with our normal office hours as well as our usual Liturgical schedule. We will continue to take your questions and comments from the boxes at each site as well as from your e-mails.
I do want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your patience and your prayers throughout this process and in particular I wish to thank our transition team as well as our intercessory prayer team for all of their support. Let us now move forward together and with God’s help we will continue to build the future in faith.
Fr. Robert A. Bauer, Pastor