Dear Friends:

For those of you who knew Fr. Chacko at St. Mary’s, some news is in order. Fr. Chacko, after a time of vacation, has been appointed as Parochial Vicar (the new term for Assistant Pastor) at the now- linked parishes of St. Francis Xavier and Our Lady of the Lakes, both located in New Milford. Fr. Chacko assumes his new assignment on July 17. Until now, these two parishes were separate communities of faith with St. Francis Xavier staffed for many years by the Franciscan Friars and Our Lady of the Lakes under the pastoral care of a priest of the Archdiocese. Until June 29, Fr. Fred Langlois, remembered by many at St. Mary’s for his years as Parochial Vicar under Father Cronin, served as pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes. Fr. Fred is now retired and, as of July 17, both parishes will be served by Father Gerard Dziedzic as pastor. Fr. Dziedzic for a number of years served as chaplain here in Milford at Lauralton Hall. In a future bulletin, we will supply an address where you may write to Fr. Chacko, once we determine where he will actually live.

A reminder of the Open Forum concerning the merger of St. Agnes and St. Mary into the new Parish of the Precious Blood which will be held this coming Tuesday, July 18, beginning at 7:00 PM in the hall at St. Agnes Church on Merwin Avenue. I will be there, as will Deacon John Hoffman and April Bryant, our Communications Director, to answer any and all questions and concerns which you, the people of the parish, may have. Coffee and refreshments will be served. All interested parishioners are urged to attend.

We are now undertaking a careful count of the attendance at weekend Masses both at St. Agnes as well as St. Mary’s to determine which Masses best serve the needs of the new parish. This count will be taken each weekend through the end of October and the results then studied. Several possible new Mass schedules will be developed and put to the parish for a vote. The new schedule, which will consist of no more than eight weekend Masses between the two churches, will be put into effect beginning January 1, 2019. It is fair to say that changes are afoot at both churches in this regard and that adjustments will be required of us all, clergy and parishioners alike. I know that I can count on the cooperation of everyone.

In the near future, I will be appointing members from both St. Agnes and St. Mary’s in equal proportion to serve on the new Parish Council and the new Finance Council. While a Finance Council is required under Church law, a Parish Council is highly recommended. Both bodies serve in an advisory capacity to the Pastor as he seeks to fulfill his responsibility for the oversight and good management of the parish. I look forward to the formation of both councils and to working with them to insure that our new parish is strong and vital.