Two weeks ago, a group of 45 parishioners comprised of Pastoral Council Members, staff and interested parishioners gathered for our Joint Parish Pastoral Council meeting. A brilliant, upbeat, and positive atmosphere pervaded this meeting as we continued to lay the foundation for the merging of our parishes as 1 parish, 3 churches, and 1 faith community. I wanted to share some of the outcomes of this meeting as we were working with real statistics and real facts about our parishes and how we can build a brighter and secure future together.
Religious Education: we are seeing a vibrant Spirit stirring in this area of our parish. We have 137 students in our CCD program (the most ever.) 8 are post communion children whose parents want them fully initiated in the church; 4 adults have entered the Christian Initiation process (3 are unbaptized); the Men’s Spiritual Focus group continues to grow and attract younger men to this experience.
New Weekend Mass Schedule: By a vote of 44 to 1, the meeting attendees approved a proposal for a new weekend Mass schedule. The reasons for this change are: 1) for a weekend Mass to be scheduled, the church must be half full. The 8:30 am, 10:00 am and 11:30 am have not been half full for over a year. 2) Our mission as a parish is two-fold which is to provide the opportunity for weekend Mass as well as give our children quality religious education. With the present schedule this is not happening. Many parents drop their children off at CCD, go to 10:00 am Mass and pick their children up after CCD and leave. This means the children are not going to Mass during the year. Weekend Mass is a vital part of the religious education of the children. The new schedule will provide the opportunity for families to go to Mass together, as well as get to CCD. 3) The combined number of people who belong to our parishes is 2452. Of that number only 700 attend Mass regularly or about 30%, so we don’t need 4 Masses, just 3. The new proposed schedule is as follows while using all three buildings: Schedule During the School Year: Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec /Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr – Sat. 5:00 pm (Holy Name), Sun. 9:00 am (St. Joseph), Sun. 11:30 am (Holy Name.) Schedule During the Summer: (In the air conditioned churches) – May/June/ July/ Aug – Sat. 5:00 pm (Holy Name), 8:30 am (St. Hedwig), 10:00 am (Holy Name)
- All Churches will be open for Christmas, Easter and funerals, weddings, baptisms. Anyone with a reaction to this proposed schedule is invited to send a signed, written response to me by Nov. 4.
Part time Facilities Manager: Over the past several months, I have become aware of the great amount of time I am spending with contractors, insurance adjusters, dealing with issues in our aging buildings. All of our staff who do maintenance and upkeep are doing a fantastic job. Visitors are so complimentary on how clean and well kept our buildings are. But it is time to have someone oversee larger projects; computerize and inventory equipment/purchase dates/regulate maintenance of equipment/seasonal upkeep projects. Originally, I thought, we could do it with both parishes (8 buildings, 3 cemeteries) but with the mold issue at St. Joseph, I would continue to oversee that project and the manager would be part of the consultation process. I have met with the CLW finance council and since we are under budget, the new facilities manager will be brought on part time and receive a small stipend. This is an exciting time for all of us. We will concretize this job description as we move along. The person that I have asked to take on this position is Ray Judy.
While other parishes around us continue to close and tear down buildings, it is exciting for us to continue to be able to not only survive but thrive. Thanks to everyone who does something to make this happen!