First of all I would like to thank all of the parishioners who put so much work into our Holy Week liturgies: those who helped in any way with Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday Mass of the Pre-sanctified, Good Friday evening’s ecumenical Association prayer service in Payne, Holy Saturday and finally Easter Sunday. So much had to be done by decorators, musicians, cantors, lectors, extraordinary Eucharistic distributors, church cleaners, altar servers, etc., etc. Beautiful worship of the Lord is worth all of the effort, and it is in fact due to Him; nevertheless, we can be so grateful that so many people in our parish step forward to give their best, when it comes to the Lord! I thought all of the ceremonies were quite beautiful. I realize that for a few years here, given that we are now rotating the holiday schedule among campuses, we will have to some extent “reinvent the wheel” at each campus, figuring out how best to celebrate each specific holiday liturgy at a given campus. Eventually, we will all know what to expect.
Along those lines, it has become quite clear to me that everybody involved in preparation for liturgies would be well served, were I to come up with a weekly liturgy plan online. I envision, in the not-too-distant future, having a website page to which everybody can go, in order to see the specific readings, specific decorating needs, number of altar servers, special items used during the Mass (incense, holy water, etc.), particular music such as a sequence, sprinkling rite song, etc., etc. You can watch our website page for this, and I will certainly make sure we announce it clearly when it is up and running.
[Speaking of altar servers, given a couple of recent conversations I have had with parishioners, it seems perhaps I did not publish the invitation for any new servers at the beginning of this current semester. My intention is to publish this invitation at the beginning of every semester, treating the long summer break as a semester also. The policy is that any boy can begin serving at the start of the semester in which he is going to turn nine years old. Of course any boys who are older and have never served are always welcome to join. Servers truly add to the majesty of the celebration of the Mass, and they help us all to pray better when they carry out their role with great attention and devotion. Please contact your campus’ server trainer, or call the office if you are interested in becoming an altar server.]
Secondly I would like to express my joy at bringing thirteen catechumens and candidates for full communion into the Church last week! I am very grateful for all that the RCIA team did to provide training for our newest members. These new members can inspire us by their bold willingness to seek, know and serve God more fully in the Church. They can also be a reminder of the need for us to reach out to people around us who would be willing to consider drawing closer to God in the Church, were we simply to invite them. As the end of summer approaches, we once again will be publishing the RCIA invitation, and sending out letters to specific individuals on our list of invitees.
These new members can also inspire us to continue learning about our Faith. Please do not forget everything that is available for you online with our FORMED.org subscription. There is quite a number of catechetical series available for your viewing. If you have any questions about what is available, or how to sign on for viewing, please contact the parish office.
Lastly is a very practical item. Within the last couple of months, the speaker system in the basement of our Paulding campus has been repaired. That means that during our Masses, anybody downstairs is able to hear the entire Mass happening upstairs. Since we do not have a cry room, per se, please feel free to use the downstairs space. I am not writing this in the slightest because somehow I think we are not taking children out of the Mass soon enough when they are crying. It seems to me parents are using great discretion, and only very, very rarely have I experienced at any of our campuses a little distraction from a “busy” child. In one way, I am pretty happy to hear babies crying. It is a sign of life. I only write this because some parishioners recently told me they did not think anybody knows the Paulding basement is sound-wired as an option. We fixed the sound downstairs, because some parishioners suggested it to me, so that when they do have to take a child out of Mass, they will still have a way of following the Mass, rather than missing everything.
That’s all for now. We had a finance council meeting back on March 17, so I realize I am a couple weeks overdue with a summary for you. I think I will be up to write that summary as next week’s bulletin letter.
Have a blessed Divine Mercy weekend, and a blessed rest of the Easter season!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,