When I announced a few months ago that I was going to form a committee of parishioners to make recommendations regarding a long-term plan for the future of our parish, I mentioned that we will be having some “town hall” style meetings in order to gather input from all parishioners. The committee has met a couple times and we are still in the process of gathering and processing data, and a very important data set is the feedback that our parish community is willing to provide. We have the dates for these town hall style meetings and they are:
- Sunday, September 12 at 12:00 in Paulding. We will gather in the Paulding church basement after the 10:30 Mass. Lunch will be provided and once everyone has had a chance to eat, will begin the meeting.
- Tuesday, September 21 at 7:00PM in the Antwerp church center.
- Wednesday, September 22 at 7:00PM in the hall at Payne.
Of course, as I announced at that time, the long-term planning committee was formed in light of the capital maintenance expenses that we are looking to undertake in the next five or six years. However, I would like to clarify a few items before we actually arrive at the town hall meetings. Firstly, at the three town hall meetings listed above, we will be covering the same material. The committee agreed that we wanted to give parishioners different options so that most people should be able to attend. All parishioners are certainly welcome to attend any or all of these three meetings.
Secondly, although the purpose of the committee is to eventually make recommendations regarding what will be best for our parish, the committee has not at this time made any definitive recommendations, nor have any official plans been made to change our current operations. This long-term planning process will take a long time and I assure you that I enter into it without any foregone conclusions. I am sincere in asking for your feedback, as this process is not at all meant to be an imposition from the pastor, but more so a process of our entire parish coming together to have an honest discussion about how to ensure the vitality of our community of faith. Please come to these meetings with an open mind and a willingness to share your thoughts, but to listen to others as well. My intention for the town hall style meetings is to listen to all of your thoughts and to answer whatever questions I am able at this early stage of the entire process.
Lastly, I also want to mention that the long-term planning committee is an advisory council. Although the approval of committee is essential for recommendations to move forward, the committee does not function as an executive board.
With the dates mentioned above, I would also like to mention that our Melchizedek Project group will not be meeting on Sunday, September 12 as was originally scheduled. Because my Sunday schedule is full through September, Melchizedek Project will not meet again until October 10 at noon in the Paulding church.
Additionally, with Pope Francis’ recent Motu Proprio document on the Latin Mass, our first Saturday Latin Masses are temporarily suspended until we hear from Bishop Thomas regarding how he would like the diocese to proceed. I will be sure to provide an update as I receive information.
Have a blessed week!