First of all, I have some very good news: We hired as our new business manager Dianne Jones, currently District Manager – Vice President at the State Bank and Trust Company here in Paulding. Dianne brings with her many years of experience from various facets of banking administration. She and her husband, Dave, have been parishioners here for many years, so Dianne’s knowledge of the parish will be another great strength. Dianne applied for the position when she saw it advertised, very much because she felt the Lord leading her to take on this new direction in her life. I am glad He has so led her!
We had our Divine Mercy teachers’ in-service on Monday, August 18th. I had my first good look around the school; and I was privileged to meet the teachers and talk with them for a couple of hours. My first impressions were great! There is an order and clear plan to the classrooms, which makes me confident there is a great plan for the lessons in those rooms. I had my first visit to individual classes after our opening school Mass last Friday. Overall, I think it’s going to be a fine year at Divine Mercy School!
Thanks to all of the Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers who attended the devotional talk and instruction on Sunday the 17th. I enjoyed the time, and the questions were helpful. Hopefully we’re all on the same page now regarding some small changes in the procedures for Eucharistic Ministers at Mass. Many thanks also to Mary Nieto for preparing the lunch for that gathering, and to everybody else who helped set up or clean up afterwards. We are in need of some more Eucharistic Ministers and lectors, especially some who can serve in Paulding on Saturday evenings. Please call the office if you are interested.
Finally (This letter is clearly a nuts-n-bolts collection of items!) I thought I’d say another word about my thinking behind a committee to consider our current weekend and holiday Mass schedule. First of all, let me say that I am not sure there will be an eventual change in the Mass times at all; but there might be, if I were to decide – with the help of the pastoral council and the research of the committee – that a change is warranted. What I do know is that the topic came up enough on the parish survey that I think I have to address it somehow. Usually the topic came up as a complaint that Payne no longer has a Sunday Mass. On the other hand, positively, there were some comments that the Mass times work, that the variety of times is helpful. Some people also commented that what the parishioners “voted for” as Mass times didn’t get implemented. So I want to consider the issue, with the help of a committee comprised of some parishioners who are regulars at each campus. At our next pastoral council meeting in September, we will define the actual task that we are entrusting to the committee, and then we will let the committee come up with a suggestion for how to get the parishioners’ opinion on whether a change needs to be made or not. If a change in schedule should be made, then we will have to come up with some options and somehow let the parishioners consider those options and give some feedback. Again, I am not sure that all of this consideration/research will lead to an actual change in Mass times. I just know that I should look at the issue, since the parish survey revealed the need.
I also know that the number of Masses cannot be increased, e.g. to five per weekend. That would be beyond what I am allowed to celebrate, and our numbers don’t warrant the increase. So, for example, to gain a Mass at Payne on Sunday morning, we would probably lose the Saturday evening Mass at Payne, which seems to be pretty well-attended. We will see where all of the consideration of Mass times leads us. Might we end up in the end deciding that we did the best we could with Mass times six years ago, given all of the difficult circumstances, and leave things as they are? I am not sure.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,