The Oswego parishes of (clockwise from top left) St. Mary, St. Paul, St. Joseph, and St. Stephen. (Sun photos | Katherine Long)

By Katherine Long | Editor

Christ the Good Shepherd has been chosen as the patron of the Oswego Catholic Community.

The Oswego parishes of St. Joseph, St. Stephen, St. Mary, and St. Paul July 1 began a yearlong process to form one faith community that will worship on one church campus.

As a first endeavor together, the faith community set out to select a patron.

The community’s steering committee, composed of each parish’s lay trustees and its pastoral leader, and the joint leadership task force, composed of each parish’s pastoral council members and finance committee members, brainstormed a list of possible patrons.

The group used two criteria to guide their brainstorming, explained Deacon Nick Alvaro of St. Joseph and St. Stephen the King: the new patron had to be one that was unique in the Diocese of Syracuse and one that would be uniting.

From that initial brainstorming list, four possibilities were offered to parishioners in a straw poll: Christ the Good Shepherd, the Holy Apostles, the Holy Spirit, and St. Marianne Cope. Christ the Good Shepherd and the Holy Spirit finished in a dead heat following two rounds of polling.

Members of the steering committee then prayed and discerned Christ the Good Shepherd as the final choice, which was presented to and approved by Bishop Robert J. Cunningham.

Each of the four parishes will now be known as “The Catholic Community of Christ the Good Shepherd at [Name of Parish Church].” The future church campus of the faith community — yet to be determined — will also bear the patron’s name.

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