The Archdiocese of Baltimore has outlined the plan for pastorates, which every parish will participate in as we begin the process of missionary discipleship. Saint John and Saint Bartholomew have been asked to become a pastorate, which will become a reality in the years 2020-2022. As you might remember, a pastorate is “one or more parishes with a single pastor and leadership team.” At the core of this realignment is the goal of evangelization and helping to energize faith communities to proclaim the gospel with joy, no longer in isolation, but working together in solidarity as brothers and sisters in Christ. We welcome this opportunity to work with our brothers and sisters in Manchester and to equip ourselves for ministry in such a way that the gospel will be proclaimed in and through our lives in Carroll County and beyond. There truly is strength in numbers and as the flock continues to grow we will share the responsibility of living out the dignity of our baptism as two parishes united in faith shaped by a common vision and mission to call people to lifelong discipleship. Instead of giving in to our greatest fears, which sometimes happens when we are asked to meet the challenges and opportunities of our own time and season, I am resolved that together we will embrace our greatest hopes and dreams for the Church in Carroll County. I invite you to please read the updated pastoral plan, “Be Missionary Disciples,” and let us pray for Saint John and Saint Bartholomew that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we might become, “one body, one spirit in Christ.”