Here’s another story of a healthy transition happening for a closing parish. Our Lady Help of Christians in Concord is merging with St. Bernard’s in the same town to form a new parish, Holy Family. One of the ways they’re helping people cope is by taking the cross that hangs over the altar, remounting the corpus on a new cross and then cutting the old one into splinters, placing them in pouches along with a photo of the original cross in place, and giving it to parishioners. They’re also moving a couple of stained glass windows from the church to put into the St. Bernard’s church, which will become the site of Holy Family. Finally, they’re donating the tabernacle, monstrance, and a cope to the local state prison for use by the chaplain there, keeping alive the connection the parish has had with the prisoners, who many parishioners have served in a volunteer capacity over the years.
The people are sad, I’m sure, but this kind of action gives them a positive way of dealing with their grief and something to look forward to as they move on.