The Parish Discipline

Dear Members and Friends of Saint Gregory the Great Church,

In our life as a parish community I want, as your shepherd and priest to lay before you some of my hopes and expectations for our life together, highlighting the duties and obligations of membership in our community.

In all parishes I have had the privilege of leading I have always emphasized membership as Covenantal; that is to say, membership is exercised through a set of vows and promises: a commitment and obligation taken upon oneself. It is, first and foremost, a Covenant with God in Jesus Christ, detailed and sealed in our Baptism and reaffirmed through our Confirmation. It is, secondly, a Covenant with the Universal Church; and what a new and deeper sense of this Reality we now have as Catholics. Finally, it is a Covenant with one’s local church, the particular incarnation of Christ’s Body in a community of priest and people, and here gathered as Saint Gregory the Great.

The Seven Promises of a Member of Saint Gregory the Great Church

  1. Mass: I promise to attend Mass faithfully. Our life begins and ends in the Eucharist. A Catholic Christian is obligated to attend Mass every Sunday and on all Holy Days of Obligation.
  2. Penance: I promise to receive the Sacrament of Penance regularly. A Catholic Christian is expected to go to Sacramental Confession on a regular basis. Although once a year is the mandated minimum, I heartily encourage you to a much more frequent discipline of receiving this wonderful, healing Grace (I see my confessor monthly). I will be most willing to assist you in finding a regular confessor.
  3. Prayer: I promise to pray daily. A Catholic Christian spends time in prayer every day, drawing from the enormous storehouse of Catholic spirituality (e.g., the Liturgy of the Hours; the daily Office; the Rosary; Daily Mass; Lectio Divina, et c.). Here again I am most willing to assist in developing a prayer discipline that suits you.
  4. Fasting: I promise to fast weekly. A Catholic Christian will partake of some form of Fasting and Abstinence on Fridays and on other days and seasons appointed by the Church (e.g., Ash Wednesday; Lent). We have also as a community agreed to engage in some form of prayer and fasting on Wednesdays with special intention for our parish and the individual needs of our members.
  5. Ministry: I promise to serve dutifully as a minister. Each of us will minister in some capacity in the life of our church community. We will seek to discern our Spiritual Gifts and exercise them at the direction of the parish clergy for the edification of the whole Church.
  6. Stewardship: I promise to exercise a spirit of generosity in my financial giving. Tithing of first fruits as a minimum Biblical standard of giving — although not required — is heartily encouraged and will be faithfully taught.
  7. Governance: I promise to share in the responsibility of guiding and governing the life, ministry, and mission of  Saint Gregory the Great.

Our community seeks to embody and live our lives under the Biblical and Catholic social principles of mutual submission; unity; and subsidiarity.  May God continue to bless us, and incline our hearts to keep these laws!

Yours in Christ,
Father Jürgen Liias
Founding Pastor, Saint Gregory the Great Church