January Newsletter from St. Thomas More, Scranton, PA

Father Eric Bergman writes:

Dear Members & Friends,

Last week I received confirmation from Msgr. Dale Rupert, Pastor of the Cathedral of St. Peter in downtown Scranton, that he will accompany the delegation from our parish that will attend Bishop-elect Steven Lopes’ ordination on February 2. I invited him personally to come because of the great help he has been and continues to be to our ministries, the same reason we presented him with his own copy of Divine Worship: the Missal. Since he has so advanced the work of the Ordinariate, it seems only fitting that he should be present at the ordination of the Ordinariate’s first bishop.

Please pray for all of us who will depart for Houston and be reunited with friends new and old in order that we may celebrate together this important step in the life of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

Mr. Campbell and I will also be out west. After our Scranton contingent has a photograph taken with our new bishop, the two of us will board a plane for Salt Lake City. We are pressing ahead with the work to found our school, visiting institutions that can teach us something about how to get off the ground and running.*

We are undeterred by the fact that our plans for the coffee shop and gift store, which were to fund our school enterprise, have gone off track for the moment. Unfortunately, unforeseen delays in the completion of the Guild building renovation mean we can’t move in and open up shop, so our planned funding mechanism lies dormant.

Therefore, until we can generate some income from our unopened stores, we have to
come up with another way to accumulate some seed money for the school. Please keep in mind as you read this that our parish has not lost a dime of the money you’ve contributed in our effort to start these businesses. While our benefactor, the new owner of the Guild building, has unjustly taken a hit, this setback has not compromised your gifts to us. That’s because the corporation our parish has established (with Ordinariate approval every step of the way) was all along supposed to lease the property. With no floor space to lease yet, we don’t even have a rental agreement. Having lost nothing, we have only to gain.

Earning the money for the school will be fine, and I’m sure once the shops are open we’ll do well. But I believe the Lord now wants us to ask for the money. Reflecting upon our past experiences of God’s generosity I remembered how we began this ministry with nothing but God’s grace and our conviction that it was the right thing to do. And, also, when we hired Paul Campbell to fulfill his vocation here, and when we bought the church and restored it, we began with insufficient funds. We should have learned by now that when we step out in faith the Lord will provide the means to fulfill His intentions, since this has been proven to us again and again.

So right now we know we have to hire a headmaster to get our school going, and we also know we don’t have any money to employ such a person. No money, however, hasn’t historically kept us from moving forward. We moved forward, and then God, using our friends and benefactors as His instruments of grace, has provided the money we needed.

We anticipate a similar outcome in this instance, and we pray that the Lord will send to us someone of faith for whom financial security is a secondary consideration because he knows as we do that trust is continually renewed by God’s providence.

… Looking forward to watching this adventure unfold before us, and solicitous of your prayers, I am,

Your Servant in Christ,
The Rev. Eric L. Bergman

*Elsewhere in the newsletter a short article notes:

School Observations

Adding a stop to their travels westward to the ordination of Bishop-elect Lopes in
Houston on February 2, Fr. Bergman and Mr. Campbell will then travel to Salt Lake City,
Utah, where they will spend a full day observing classes and rehearsals, conversing with leadership, and gleaning the curriculum of The Madeleine Choir School at the Catholic Cathedral there.

Also planned (date TBD) is a visit to St. Paul’s Choir School, Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

However, school observations are not solely focused on music-related schools; the
Boston trip will also include a visit to St. Benedict Elementary , Natick, Massachusetts;
and a visit to the St. Jerome Academy, Hyattsville, MD, may well be added to the
upcoming trip to the D.C. metro area for the March for Life.

The School Committee is at work distilling a succinct vision for the school we intend to found here at St. Thomas More, which will then be published in a brochure. The brochure, in turn, will be used to engage prospective parents and donors, securing commitments both in enrollment and contributions to get our school up and running.

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2 Responses to January Newsletter from St. Thomas More, Scranton, PA

  1. Jeff says:

    Fantastic to see! This is really creating a viable future for the Ordinariate! If only we could start one here in Australia

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