Pastor's Letter To Parishioners About Upcoming Changes

St. John of the Woods Catholic Church
9903 24th Ave E Tacoma, WA 98445
253-537-8551 | sjowtacoma@trparishes.org | www. trparishes.org | facebook@sjowtacoma

+ November 21, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As Catholics we are part of the universal church, which means we are not only connected to our Holy Father and Catholics around the world – we are connected to Catholics across our whole archdiocese. In essence, we are one family and as one family we have been asked to work together to achieve the Mission of the Church, which is to proclaim Christ.

As you read in Archbishop Etienne’s letter, our community is part of the strategic planning process in Pierce Deanery. Strategic Planning is a process that examines the needs of Catholics as well as our parish’s structure to carry out the mission of the Church. Across the archdiocese and here in the Tacoma region we face realities that we cannot ignore. Our communities have changed over the past few decades and as expected, we should change too.

St. Rita, St. Ann, Holy Rosary, and Visitation parishes will work together to create one new Catholic community parish here in Tacoma, and we have been asked to partner with themI know this news may be surprising, even shocking to you. Yet, it is my true belief that we will grow stronger as a faithful Catholic community if we examine the needs of Catholics in this region and work together to develop a plan that best meets those needs and achieves the mission of the Church.

This planning effort means that our parish community will inevitably change. We will work with the other parishes to support new parish community with a renewed focus of sharing Christ and His Gospel with others. Together with St. Rita, St. Ann, Holy Rosary, and Visitation parishes we will

  • Enhances the vibrancy of parish life and Increases evangelization efforts 
  • Strengthens participation and engagement with the Mass and the Sacraments 
  • Ensures strong faith formation and strengthens service and outreach opportunities 
  • Supports efforts to reach younger Catholics and promotes vocations 
  • Further expands our baptismal call to shared relationship as disciples, as well as invites others to discipleship.

While this work will certainly not be easy, it is so important for the future of our Catholic community. And we all have the unique opportunity to be part of the creation of the new community. On Wenesday December 16th, we will be hosting the first parish-wide educational sessions.  This first session we will learn more about strategic planning, review trends in the archdiocese and here at our parish.  I encourage you all to attend this online meeting to learn more and actively participate in this planning process.  A meeting invitation will be sent to all parishioners with instructions for how to attend via your computer or device.

As we take transition into whatever the future may be, please know that we will always keep each other in prayers and do our best to carry out the mission of the Church. We are united by our faith in the Lord and together we will become true disciples of Christ.

Blessings and peace of God to each of you,
Fr. Tuan Nguyen, D. Min, Pastor