Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
Another letter here with various bits and pieces for our life together:
-I wish the very best of God’s blessings for our college students as they leave for another academic year. I hope you know you can call back to the parish office to request prayers from our prayer chain warriors, if ever you run into a situation where that would be helpful. Otherwise, we will continue to keep you in prayer in general while you are away. We would love to send a bulletin to our collegians, so please leave name and college address with the office. Collegians, we miss you when you are away! If you need any support or materials–especially from a Faith perspective–please don’t hesitate to contact us.
-For the most part, we have finished the YDisciple training of group leaders. (As of my writing, there are still a couple sessions for those leaders who were not able to make some of the summer training meetings.) We have two leaders per small-group. It looks like we already have enough high school youth signed up from each campus to have a men’s group and a women’s group on each campus. Although the YDisciple kick-off evening was originally announced for Wednesday, August 26, I moved it to Wednesday, September 2… simply because I knew I needed at least another week of preparation. This kickoff evening will be for everybody involved in YDisciple: high school men and women, parents, group leaders. We will meet at the Paulding Ed Center at 7 PM. This will be an opportunity for a general introduction to our overall high school youth program. Then the small-group leaders will have breakout sessions with their group members and parents to figure out practically when and where the meetings will happen. Ideally, parents of small-group members will host meetings in their homes on a rotating basis, providing snacks and a place for fellowship, before the group moves into its more content-based portion of the meeting. If you have not yet signed up for YDisciple, please contact the office to do so. I believe postcards were sent to every home with high school students, so hopefully nobody is uninformed at this point. I have thoroughly enjoyed the training sessions with the group leaders. The DVD and written content that the students will be exposed to is absolutely awesome! (E.g., The leader of the diocesan youth office called me this past week, because he wants to provide some YDisciple material for his core youth council. He said one of his leaders, watching the sample videos online, called him to say she was in tears at times, because the stuff was so powerful.)
-This past Wednesday, we had our high school core team of parents and students, aimed at setting up the yearly calendar of once-a-month all-parish high school events. I invited a handful of parents and students to be part of this team. If you have a passion for high school youth formation, and you would like to help somehow with our monthly events, please contact me for conversation. Although I am writing this letter before the meeting has happened, I expect that once the meeting has happened, we will be able to put together a schedule and description of the events that we can put on the website and mail to homes.
-The Antwerp moisture repair project continues to move forward. We signed the agreement for the next phase with the Martin-Riley Company out of Fort Wayne. They will start finding individual contractors for the various aspects of the repair. The big challenge now is to raise the money for the project. Although we might be able to use a little bit of our maintenance fund money (which is primarily for normal operating maintenance costs), I know the Diocese would not allow us to empty out that account for an extraordinary project. I think the repair is absolutely necessary. Anybody attending Mass at Antwerp can see how active the water flow is: as we had so much rainfall over the past few months, the stairwell under the bell tower was continually re-rubbled with fallen plaster. Of course, the plaster is not the only thing being damaged. You have to imagine the erosion of brick-and-mortar –even if slowly– by the flow of moisture. I do not think this is a repair we can avoid making. I believe we now have a well researched plan that, hopefully, will finally put an end to the continued water damage. So please pray about how you might support the project financially. If you think there is something else I could be doing to raise money for the project, please let me know. I put the actual detailed project description from Martin-Riley onto our website, along with pictures of damage, interior and exterior. This description is on the home page under “News”. If you know of anybody who might be willing to give to this project, but is not receiving the bulletin, or is not aware of our website, you could use the website materials yourself to show them the project. We have already received a couple of very generous donations from individuals. At the time of writing this letter, I believe we’ve collected about $2,000 towards the project. Only $60,000 more to go!
-Many, many thanks to all those who helped with the reception for Sr. Mary Knuckles! It is so appropriate for us to treasure and celebrate the gift Sr. Mary made to the Lord and His Church as a daughter of our parish. I was so happy that the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity wanted the vows to happen at our parish, in addition to their own mother house in Cleveland.
-The Diocesan Mysterium Christi catechists’ training day that I offered Friday, July 24 went pretty well. I think we had about 15 people in attendance. That was the third in a series of five required days for catechists and Catholic school teachers in the Diocese. We offered one in the fall, one in the winter, and then one in the summer. Not bad! I would like to offer another in the fall, and then finally a last one in the spring. Then perhaps we could keep that cycle happening, so that any catechists, Catholic school teachers at this end of the Diocese will have that resource available. These catechetical days will always be open to anybody from the parish, serving as another source of adult education in the Faith.
-The office staff met to go over the calendar for the coming year. We think we have everything on the website calendar, for anybody who wants to look ahead for upcoming events. (This should be very helpful for musicians who have to plan for the holidays.) You can see, for example, where the various liturgies will be for the major holidays. We will continue, however, to publish a monthly calendar in the bulletin.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,