Bullet Letter — 10/22/17

Dear Parishioners,                                                                                                                                  +JMJ

Last week I wrote about the need for parishioners who would be willing to help with the various aspects of funeral luncheon setup and takedown, as well as making desserts. This week I have to address another aspect of “burying the dead” – one of the Church’s corporal works of mercy. That is the funeral choir.

Sometimes it has been hard to find people to sing in the funeral choir, because many people are committed to their normal work hours. But there is still the need for a choir. A choir helps so much to carry the congregation. Imagine how stunned a family can be in their state of mourning, and they themselves might not be very able to sing at the funeral. Yet our choir lifts them up, and they can listen and allow the choir to help them enter in the worship of the Mass for their beloved deceased.

The funeral Masses tend to have music that we have all sung for five decades now. So you don’t have to worry about practice or not knowing the music. You just show up and sing. If you are willing to be put on the call list for funeral choir, and you don’t think you are yet on that list, please call the parish office so that we can give your name to the funeral choir coordinators. Thanks so much for considering this! It’s a very easy – albeit unplannable – service for our Lord and the families of our beloved deceased.

On another note, is there anybody out there who feels called to head up a vocations committee for us? This idea came up at our last Vocations Endowment meeting. Is there a small group of people who could suggest and organize simple (usually!) activities to help promote vocations in our parish. You remember that a year ago we invested $100,000 – a gift from Doris Phlipot – into an endowment to promote vocations… just for our parish! I am hoping our Lord intends to make that fruitful. I think the first thing I would have the committee chairpersons do is visit St. Vincent’s Parish in Fort Wayne. This is because I keep hearing about all the vocations from their parish. This past week a member of that parish told me that they now have ten men studying for the priesthood! Ten men! How is that?! Now, they are a parish of 3,000 families – at least four times bigger than we are. But still, ten men for one parish is pretty amazing.

This St. Vincent’s parishioner told me that the pastor often talks about priesthood from the pulpit. And then they have a very active youth program (which I would claim we have with our YDisciple youth and families, and our junior high youth group, and our wonderful PSR program). Combine that with solid Sunday liturgies and a solid faith life at home, and you have the foolproof formula for openness to vocations in young hearts. Then St. Vincent’s has  a program to send crucifixes to homes where families promise to pray for a week for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. It is these type of endeavors I have in mind. A vocations committee could research ideas and suggest them to the pastor and pastoral council and pastoral leadership team. We have some awesome families, doing their best to live the faith for real at home; and this by definition should lead to some vocations… because I know the Lord is calling enough vocations for us. We have to learn to hear the call. And we learn to hear in families that are praying together and that are encouraging vocations.

Have a blessed week!

In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,

Fr. Poggemeyer