Back in the fall I met with the representatives of our many churches in order to become familiar with the needs of our parish community. As a new pastor I was informed that the greatest difficulty was the timing of the weekend Masses which changed when the number of priests serving in Owen Sound was reduced to two. Ever since the Mass times changed there was a noticeable reduction in Mass attendance in a number of our mission churches. Bishop Crosby was invited to meet with us in order to listen to our concerns and help us find a possible solution. Bishop Crosby was able to meet with the representatives of our parish community this past Friday at the parish center in Owen Sound. I was happy to see that we had a good number of representatives at the meeting from all the churches presently served by St. Mary’s and the Missions Parish, namely: Tobermory, Lions Head, Cape Croker, Wiarton, Hepworth, Sauble Beach, Chatsworth, Meaford, and Owen Sound. Everyone was given an opportunity to speak and address Bishop Crosby about the unique needs of the community they were representing. Bishop Crosby listened for close to an hour. At the end His Excellency shared with all present how happy he was to be with us, and how impressed he was with the faith of our community. He assured us that we are an important part of the Diocese of Hamilton, and that given our size (we make up one-third of the Diocese of Hamilton) he would be happy to send us a third priest to minister here on a permanent basis. The only request he had was to make sure that we can financially support the added cost of a third priest’s salary. Having a third priest would allow us to return to the weekend Mass schedule that would be more comfortable for our communities. I am grateful to Bishop Crosby for his time, effort, and generosity offered to our parish. The third priest should be arriving at the end of June, at which point we should be able to adjust our Mass schedule (just in time for the influx of summer visitors). We will find out who our new priest will be once priests’ moves are announced in a few weeks. Thank you to all who came to meet with Bishop Crosby. I am proud to be a part of this wonderful faith community.