On November 20th, we had another pastoral council meeting. The following is a summary:
-Most of the time was spent considering the Mass times survey that was put together by the Mass times committee. We are so grateful for their work. Both the Mass times committee and the pastoral council were unanimous in thinking that I should implement a rotation of Christmas and Easter Triduum Masses each year among all three campuses, without need for further input from a survey. I am going to do that.
Regarding Masses on Holy days of obligation, especially considering the need to provide a Mass for the school, and the desire to have something accessible for workers during lunch hour, we’re going to stick with a 7 PM vigil Mass (Antwerp), a 9 AM school Mass (Payne) and a noon Mass (Paulding).
The longest discussion had to do with the ordinary weekend Mass schedule. With only a couple of very tiny adjustments, we are going to use the survey that the committee put together, in order to get the opinion of parishioners regarding three options: 1) keep the Mass times as they are [although moving 5:30 PM Saturday to 6 PM]; 2) using the current Mass times, but alternating Saturday 4 PM and Sunday 8:30 AM between Antwerp and Payne on a monthly basis; 3) have one Saturday evening Mass 5 PM (Paulding) and three Sunday morning Masses at 7 AM, 9 AM, 11 AM, with Antwerp and Payne alternating the two early Masses on a monthly basis.
Soon we will send surveys to homes, and we will see what the numbers show us about parish opinion regarding these options. The surveys will be numbered. Anyone needing an extra survey, because others of driving age in the home have different preferences, will easily be able to obtain one from the office.
-Regarding second collections on months with a fifth weekend, I contacted the Vocations Office to confirm that we can continue our current practice of singling out specific seminarians for support with this money. I would like to support the two seminarians who lived with me the summer before they left for the North American College in Rome: Austin Amminniti and David Kidd. Their pictures are on the Toledo seminarian posters in our vestibules. Both Austin and David are on pastoral year this year. They will be returning to Rome next fall. If the collections are so large that it seems we need another name or two, I have worked with a couple of the other current seminarians as well, and we could add their names to the list.
-Somebody informed me that the parish annually has held a weekend of Masses which include the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. Because we are already into some pretty cold weather, when some elderly won’t come out, I’m going to wait until Spring to plan such a weekend. A regular anointing Mass is a great practice to keep in place.
-I took a letter to the Diocese, requesting permission for the air-conditioning project at Paulding. I hope to get word back soon.
-We discussed what a great social event the bazaar-luncheon at Paulding was. People from all three campuses volunteered time and effort; and all three campuses attended. I expect that the same will be said about the craft show-luncheon at Antwerp in the Spring (It falls on Holy Saturday morning this year.). We discussed whether we would ever get something of the sort at Payne again, even if it isn’t a total revival of the “festirama”. I am open to ideas.
-Various occasions, such as the “Culture Project” group which offered a December 3rd evening presentation on chastity for youth, continue to remind me of my desire somehow to make teaching of Theology of the Body (the amazing instruction on the theology of human love, given to us by Pope St. John Paul II) very available in our parish, for youths and adults alike. I am wondering if I can put together a small team of couples whose mission (with training) it would be somehow to keep Theology of the Body accessible in our parish each year. It is so important in our day that youths and adults alike be able to articulate in a holy and wholesome way the meaning of the human body, sexuality, the marital embrace, etc.
So there is a content summary of our most recent pastoral council meeting.
On another note, for quite some time I’ve been thinking about providing a very short meditation each day by means of Twitter. I meditate on the Scriptures every day, so wouldn’t it be possible to provide a very pithy one-line homily that helps my parishioners raise their mind to higher things by means of the readings from Mass each day? I was particularly thinking that it could be a way that our youth could feel more attached to the parish. So, mustering up great courage, I sought out somebody to help me set up a Twitter account. (I am pretty afraid of social media, because I’ve seen it abused so much.) I think the official address to lookup is “@FrDivineMercy”. My first “tweet” was on Black Friday. To my surprise, I only get 140 characters to work with. So I do not have the space to recap the Scripture passage I am commenting upon. In some cases, you might have to look at the reading from the Bible or your daily missal in order fully to understand my mini-meditation. Also, to save space, my references to books of the Bible will be abbreviated. Here are some examples:
Gn = Genesis; Ex = Exodus; Lv = Leviticus; Nu = Numbers; Dt = Deuteronomy; Is = Isaiah; Jr = Jeremiah; Ps = Psalms; Mt = Matthew; Mk = Mark; Lk = Luke; Jn = John; Rm = Romans; 1Co = 1 Corinthians; etc.
If you have a daily devotional or missal, you will see the readings, and it will be obvious to which reading of the Mass I am referring. You can also go to “usccb.org” to get the readings from the day. Just click there on the correct day of the calendar, and the day’s Mass readings pop up. Also, there are many electronic Bibles that can be downloaded onto your computer, your tablet or your iPhone or android. I assume that every young person in our parish already has the Bible downloaded onto his/her phone. So it will be very easy to look at the Scripture of the day. I personally prefer the electronic app “iMissal” to get the Mass readings of the day, Catholic news, and prayers. There is also an app for the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible that I have on my phone. I hope the Twitter mini-meditations will be useful.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,