With this weekend marking our last weekend in the Antwerp church, we of course experience deep sadness as we make the first step of our transition forward as a parish. In a time like this, we need to help each other through the grieving process and do what we can to help foster healing in those who are hurting. The more we are able to come together as a parish family, the more we will be able to do for each other, and for the overall growth and wellbeing of our parish community. But this requires all of us to work together and keep our eyes on what is most important: the sacraments and the salvation of souls. Only by maintaining our focus on these can we move forward in our mission as a parish.
As we do move forward, I would like to touch on some of the practical realities of this part of our transition. Firstly, the Antwerp Center will remain open for the remainder of the school year for PSR, Y-Disciple, funeral lunches, rentals, etc. The last day for rentals will be May 31, 2022.
As I mentioned last weekend at the end of Mass, no one is permitted to remove items from the Antwerp church. These items are parish property and we will therefore keep whatever items we are able. The remaining items will be catalogued and stored by a Catholic company, and will only be consigned to other Catholic churches or dioceses. This cataloguing company will send Divine Mercy Parish a letter whenever one of our items is consigned, with the exact location of the church to which the items are consigned. With this information, our parishioners will be able to visit those churches and see our items being put to good use. Although we do not enjoy the thought of losing some of the things we have been so accustomed to seeing every Sunday, we take some consolation in the fact that these items will be preserved by other Catholic parishes and will therefore help others in their prayer and liturgical worship.
I also mentioned last weekend that some have stepped forward to offer rides to those who will need them to get to Mass in Paulding. Special thanks to those who have offered! In general, if you are willing to pick up a friend/family member and drive them to Mass, that will be a much needed and much appreciated help to them. Further, if you are willing to open your car to other riders, that would be a tremendous help to those who would like to attend Mass, but otherwise won’t be able to make it. If you are willing to drive others to Mass in Paulding (or the 4:00 Mass in Payne), and do not know who needs a ride, please contact the parish office and we will try to put you in touch with some that would like a ride. Likewise, if you would like a ride and do not know if anyone is available to drive, let us know at the parish office and we will do what we can to connect you with someone. As I said last week, this is purely a “good Samaritan” volunteer service, done simply because it is a good thing to do. This means that the parish is not liable for any accidents.
Lastly, if you would like to take part in any of the ministries needed at any of our Masses, but have not yet notified us, please let us know as soon as possible. This also pertains to those who already participate in our ministries but would like to switch the Masses at which they are scheduled. We will have an “open house” of sorts in the Paulding church after the 7:00 P.M. Mass tomorrow, Oct. 31 for the vigil of All Saints Day, and after the weekend Masses next weekend. We will have a few people who are already ushers, cleaners, etc. stay after Mass to show anyone signing up for these ministries the practical details of where things are kept and answer any questions.