No matter your background, personal history, age, ethnicity, culture, marital status, self-image, esteem, past or present religious affiliation; We believe in a warm, friendly and diverse congregation, offering outreach and a variety of ministry services to our growing community. You are invited, welcomed, accepted, loved and respected at The Basilica of The Sacred Heart of Jesus.
My dear parishioners,
As you may have heard already, effective July 1, Fr. Jaime Rivera, our assistant pastor will be assuming his new parish assignment at St. Jude’s, Sandy Springs. The Archbishop has decided that due to the clergy shortage, we will not be receiving a replacement assistant pastor after Father Rivera’s transfer. Deacon Wayne Smith and his wife Pat will also be retiring to Florida. A reception is planned for Father Rivera and Deacon Smith on Sunday June 22 after the 10AM Mass. Another update: Father Richard Wise, who had been assisting this past year with some weekday and Sunday Masses has returned home after completing his long hospitalization at Emory, but he will be unable to resume offering Mass at the Basilica. Some additional personal news. For well over ten years, I have been receiving extensive physical therapy and periodic pain injections for the deterioration of my knee, but the therapeutic benefits have decreased especially in the last year. With the permission of the Archbishop and the recommendation of my surgeon, I will be having long overdue total knee replacement surgery this summer.
Working with the Archbishop’s office, we have attempted to cover the over 50 Sunday and 99 Weekday Masses during the time of my surgery and convalescence. I am deeply appreciative of Msgr. Steve Churchwell who comes to the parish weekly to assist with the celebration of daily and Sunday Masses and will be assisting with the celebration of some of the Masses during my absence. Because of the number of Masses, and the loss of a full time assistant pastor, it will be difficult to maintain our current schedule. With the permission of the Archbishop and after extensive discussion with former pastors, staff and the lay leadership of the parish Finance and Pastoral Councils, I have decided that some changes are necessary for the short and long term pastoral care of Sacred Heart parishioners. As a matter of perspective, in 1976 we had six weekend Masses and were served by five resident priests but now we have seven Masses but only two, soon to be only one, resident priest.
Beginning on the weekend of July 6, the 7:00 AM and 8:30 AM Sunday Masses will be merged permanently into a new 8:00 AM Sunday Mass. Please note that no other Sunday Mass or the Saturday Vigil Mass will be changed. Our daily Mass schedule will also experience some change. During my absence, we will continue to offer Mass whenever a priest is available, especially for the noon Masses on Thursday and Friday. When the assistance of a priest is not possible, we will be offering communion services instead. No scheduled daily services will be cancelled and upon my return, I will resume celebrating Mass twice daily on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
My dear people, I realize that change is difficult when we become accustomed to a routine and I regret the necessity of these changes. Please pray for the success of my surgery and recovery. I thank you for your understanding and patience as we transition to a single priest parish. God Bless You!