Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
Congratulations to all of our children who received First Communion last weekend! What a big day for you and your families! And for the parish! If you think about the fact that the Eucharist floods our being with amazing grace each time we receive worthily, this can only mean an abundance of blessings for the individual receiving, for the families of those who receive, and for the parish as a whole. Now we have 28 more souls being filled with fire from the Eucharist at each Mass! Wow!
On another note, we had a pastoral council meeting this last week. First on the agenda was talking about how best to reach out to families that are on the fringes of our parish. How do we call them back to Holy Mass? We took considerable time looking at resources available on this website:https://www.catholicscomehome.org/invite-others-home/. And, we noticed another parish that links materials from this website to its own homepage. “Catholics Come Home” was a national initiative some years ago, focused especially on a number of commercials that were aired on national television, to get people to reconsider their Catholic faith. Perhaps as you reach out to people who are falling away from the Faith, something on this website might be of service. I think the most famous commercial this effort produced was one that featured Lou Holtz, former head coach of Notre Dame. He calls people to “get back on the team” regarding the Faith. You can look at all of their commercials at this site.
Next on the agenda was speaking about the results of the Disciple Maker Index. We went over the same slides that were used in the presentation to parish staff, to help us understand the design and usefulness of the DMI. I gave a quick overview of results in my last bulletin letter, so I won’t go into more detail here. We will continue to delve into the data for many months to come, and I can imagine bringing some of the results back to pastoral council to theorize about why they were what they were.
Finally on the agenda was a review of attendance at the special Divine Mercy Mass we had in the afternoon of Divine Mercy Sunday. The attendance just was not very good. It seems we had about 25 guests, and then perhaps about 60 parishioners. Although I canceled the 10:30 AM Mass my first year here, when we began this afternoon Divine Mercy Mass, I am not prone to do that again, because we lost parishioners for the weekend. They went to other parishes to find a morning Mass. I think the Mass was advertised very well. We even sent flyers to all of the surrounding parishes in our Diocese, and in Fort Wayne. Right now, my suggestion is that we make our 10:30 Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday our special feastday Mass. We can still chant the Divine Mercy Chaplet. We can still try to get a couple priests to hear confessions from 8:30-10:15 AM on that day. We can still have a potluck luncheon afterwards. Of course, we will not be observing the 3 PM hour of mercy in the morning. People can still do this, however, with a special service (not a Mass) at 3 PM. The Church’s Vespers could be prayed, along with the Divine Mercy Chaplet. The afternoon Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday is my fifth for the weekend; and if it happens to fall on a first Saturday (remember Latin Mass), or if I have a funeral or a wedding on Saturday, then it becomes my sixth Mass of the weekend… yet the church is barely one-third full. That has happened before. We are open to input and ideas for what to do. Again, thanks to everybody who put so much effort into this Mass! It was a beautiful Mass!
So, there are the highlights from our pastoral council meeting. Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,