'Coffee with the Clergy' promotes fellowship

Friday, Dec. 07, 2018
'Coffee with the Clergy' promotes fellowship + Enlarge
St. Mary of the Assumption Parish offers a chance for parents to chat with clergy while children attend religious education classes.
By Laura Vallejo
Intermountain Catholic

PARK CITY — A new program at Saint Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Park City allows parents to meet informally with the parish’s clergy.

Every week  while their children are attending the religious education classes, parents now have the opportunity to get some face time with the priests and deacons of St. Mary’s during ‘Coffee with the Clergy.’

“We offer religious education classes on Monday evenings and we wanted to offer something to the parents of the children attending class,” said Fr. Christopher Gray, the parish pastor. “Lauri Hawkins, our parish DRE, suggested it [Coffee with the Clergy], and I thought it would be a great program to add to our parish offerings and open the invitation to the whole parish, a healthy point of contact between parishioners and our clergy.”

The goal of the program is to build a stronger relationship and to “offer more formation opportunities, in an informal way, to whoever wants to come,” Fr. Gray said.

The gathering takes place in the parish’s social hall. Participants can discuss various current topics and practices within the Catholic Church, as well as practical ways to bring the faith into daily life.

The attendees to the program have talked about “anything at all,” Fr. Gray said. “It’s been a great opportunity to have sincere discussions about things in general, from the rationale behind religious education and other parish programs, to the Diocesan Pastoral Plan, to frank discussions about the complicated issues facing the Church today.”

The priests and deacons of the parish, Fr. Gray, Fr. Ariel Durian, Deacon Tom Tosti and Deacon Bob Hardy, as well as retired diocesan priests Msgr. Robert Bussen and Fr. Patrick Carley, have been participating in the program.

The response of the community to the program is building, and Fr. Gray would like to invite any and all who are interested in “an important opportunity and one that I think has been a great help.”

The program helps develop and keep “warm, sincere relationships with everyone,” said Fr. Gray, adding that “the easiest tool for a New Evangelization is merely being accessible and inviting. Weekend liturgies are great, and so are pastoral councils and other groups that require a lot of commitment from their members, but it’s also important to gather informally, socially, like normal people, and have meaningful discussions.”

WHAT: ‘Coffee with the Clergy’

WHEN: Mondays at 4:p.m.

WHERE: Saint Mary of the Assumption Parish, 1505 White Pine Canyon Road, Park City

Everyone is invited to participate.


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