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As a parish within the Roman Catholic Church, our primary mission is to support the spiritual needs of our parishioners, and help them get to heaven. To do so, we offer a Faith formation program as well as liturgical and sacramental services, and many other parish activities. Outreach to the needy is an important aspect of our faith and mission. And through evangelization, we share the good news of the gospel with our neighbors.
The geographic bounds of St. Irene parish encompass the Town of Carlisle and the section of Billerica which is west of Route 3. However, many registered parishioners come from the surrounding towns of Acton, Bedford, Chelmsford, Concord, Littleton, and Westford. The number of registered parishioners has grown substantially over the last few years to approximately 850 families.
The spirit at St. Irene parish is definitely unique. Parishioners are friendly, are concerned about one another, and are concerned about others in need. We are a fairly low-key group, a factor which contributes to the high level of volunteerism in the parish. Parishioners are encouraged to notice needs, make suggestions, and jump right in to solve problems.
It is evident that the parishioners of St. Irene parish are here because they are seeking spiritual growth. This partially accounts for the large numbers of parishioners who come from outside the geographic bounds. However, it is also apparent from the reinforcement and validation we get from one another, and from our priests, of our spiritual values. (Listen sometime after a mass—people actually remember and discuss what was said during the sermon.)
Finally, a unique attribute of St. Irene parish (especially unique to a Catholic community) is that we sing! Through the encouragement of our music ministry and our pastor, we sing—not always beautifully, but always prayerfully and wholeheartedly!