Pastors’ Perspective on Parishes

By: Caitlin Forst

As we’ve travelled throughout the diocese to film parish profiles, we’ve certainly discovered what makes parishes distinctive. Pastors lend a unique perspective to what defines parish communities. They say it is more than just a random group of people who gather each week on Sundays; instead, parishes are a core part of the universal Church:

  • Fr. Wilhelm Ettner, pastor of St. John Bosco Parish in Woodstock, tells us: “The parish should be a Eucharistic center, it always should be that way. The call to holiness — I think that’s very important.”
  • Fr. Mark Moretti, pastor of St. Thomas a Becket Parish in Reston, says that a parish is first of all a “joyful environment to worship God” and also talks about the importance of ecumenism.
  • Fr. Richard Martin, pastor of Church of the Nativity in Burke, talks about the charity that exists in a parish and how we are called to take that to the world, saying, “We are very much concerned with the Church outside of the Church building. I believe we’re a Church that receives the Eucharist as our fuel and we leave the Church to go out and make a difference in our community. Our motto is helping those across the street and around the world.”
  • Fr. Lee Roos, pastor of St. Agnes in Arlington, says that “The people are really what is key to a parish. And I think that is the defining characteristic: the community that is built by all of us working together and the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Find out what more of our pastors have to say about parish life in some of our other parish profile videos:

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