Bulletin Letter – 4/5/20

Dear Parishioners,

I hope that you are all exercising prudence, as we approach the peak of the coronavirus spread in our country. I am watching updates from the president and the governor each day in this regard. Also, I am very appreciative of all of the direction we have gotten from Bishop Thomas – direction regarding liturgies, finances and employment in this difficult time.

This past week we had an extraordinary finance council meeting, since we were not able to review the financial reports at the last meeting. So, we met through the internet, using Zoom. We reviewed the financial statements in order to establish our financial situation, in light of reduced collections during the pandemic. Given that we are holding off on any maintenance projects for which contracts have not already been signed… And given that there are some employees who will not receive a paycheck during the pandemic, we are estimating about a $13,000 deficit of expenses over income for each month of the pandemic. Some good news, however, is that overall we were some $32,000 year-to-date over budget with our net income when the pandemic began. Generous donations, and a mild winter both helped – among other factors – to put us in a pretty good position at the start of the pandemic.

In addition to reviewing the basic financial reports, we also talked briefly about the proposal brought to us from Paulding Exempted Village Schools to use some of our classrooms for a special program, beginning next year. We finished the first draft of a potential contract, and sent it to legal counsel of the Diocese for review. With the Diocese focussed so much on handling all the exceptional circumstances around the coronavirus, I’m not sure how quickly we will get the contract back with recommendations. We will exercise patience!

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working frantically to become more adept at the social media postings. Until Sunday night, the night before public Masses were cancelled two weeks ago, I had not even once uploaded anything to YouTube or Facebook. My journey to becoming a YouTube sensation now (sigh!) has been filled with trial and error. There are so many moving parts, when you consider recording a half hour Mass that will go online. Uploading is a pretty slow process, so that’s one variable. Then there is the amount of space on one’s smart phone. I have never erased anything from my smart phone, since the time I purchased it. Sure enough, in the middle of two of my Masses, recording stopped because there was not enough space left on the phone. (I didn’t know that videos  you throw away are still taking space in the trash.) Then I had to learn that I have to put the telephone on “do not disturb”, in order to avoid incoming calls that interrupt the video. I thought airplane mode was enough, but I learned it wasn’t – and I learned the hard way. Two rosaries were interrupted by telephone calls. (But I am sure Our Lady appreciated that I had to say extra decades as a result!) Then there are the occasions when you learn that the device onto which you are airdropping the video might have various storage or other problems.

Then there’s a whole learning curve with the remote shutter control. The night before Masses were canceled, I ran out and purchased a tripod for my iPhone, and it happened to have a remote shutter control, so I wouldn’t have to reach up to turn the video on and off. Well, the battery only lasts so long in those remotes… And I learned this in the middle of another Mass. And then, that first remote I purchased was actually super cheaply made, and it simply wore out after a week of using it, and again, the video quit recording well into the Mass.

Bottom line: When you see that I have become a YouTube sensation (116 subscribers as of the writing of this letter!!), you can rest assured that I earned my stripes 🙂

Have a blessed and safe week!

In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,

Father Poggemeyer