On February 21st, we had another pastoral council meeting. Here is a summary of the items that were discussed:
-We were contacted to consider hosting English Language Classes by Four County for the Hispanic farm workers who are now our parishioners. Eventually we agreed to a 12-week course, Monday and Wednesday evenings, 6-9pm. The course started Monday, February 20th. No parish funds will be used towards the course, since the employing farms are covering everything, including refreshments. Providing the space in the basement of our Paulding church is a generous outreach by the parish. As of the writing of this letter, the first couple sessions of the course have been a success. Already from the first night I met a number of new Spanish speakers who knew nothing of our Spanish Mass.
-I was asked by some members of the Hispanic community if we could consider a small statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe where now there is picture of her (just above the stairs up into the sanctuary at Paulding, on the far right side behind the priest’s chair). The funds would be raised by those who are most committed to having the statue. This is a very reasonable request. A statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe is pretty much a necessity wherever Hispanic outreach is happening. The picture there now is in poor shape, and it is not really restorable.
-The Knights of Columbus will be hosting a booklet ministry, beginning in Lent. They will place booklet displays in each vestibule and narthex, so that parishioners can borrow the booklets. If you have never visited the Catholic Information Service website (of the Knights of Columbus), you should do so. It is packed with great, profound, solid Catholic materials. The overall theme of the booklets for this series is “Building the Domestic Church”. There are fifteen titles:
Lord, Teach Us To Pray – Prayer Time: A Collection of Catholic Prayers – Letter to Families – The Good Life God’s Way – The Family In The Modern World – A Scriptural Rosary For Peace And For The Family – Becoming A Real Man Of God – Mary, Mother Of God – Saint Benedict For Busy Parents – Saint Joseph: Our Father In Faith – God’s Plan For Love And Marriage: John Paul II’s Theology Of The Body – Into The Breach – Questions And Answers About The Catholic Faith – The Family Fully Alive – The Gift Of Fatherhood: What Every Man Should Know
So, there are the titles. Everybody is encouraged to read them. They are also available for download on the Knights of Columbus website: http://www.kofc.org/en/cis/booklets.html#/domestic-church/1/20.
Thanks to the Knights for bringing this opportunity to our parish!
Along the lines of the domestic church – a name for each Catholic home – I wonder if there is more we should be doing to help families live the Faith at home. The world is too agressively anti-Christian these days for us not to be intentional about having a Catholic family culture. Is there more that we could be doing to provide materials and ideas to help families live the Faith as a family unit?
-Thanks to initiative from the Totus Tuus Prayer Group, we are now set to keep the parish involved in the observance of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal. The Pope has a declared an indulgence to be gained on the 13th of each month, May-October, in 2017. The Knights once again have an awesome little booklet that teaches about the whole Fatima apparition. So they are providing that for us to hand out on the weekend of May 13th. Then we will have prayer cards to hand out on these days, to be prayed before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. We have a statue at our Payne campus; and we will move that statue for the day to whichever campus has Mass on the 13th in those months.
-The council members got an advance peek at the new parish pictorial directory. We have a pre-pub proof that we are checking for errors. Hopefully within a few weeks, everybody will have the new directories in hand. The proof looks great. I am thankful for the directory committee members who put in so many hours of work organizing and implementing each stage of this project. You will like the results!
-I asked the council members if they think people will understand our need to put some money into the Paulding rectory this coming summer? There is water coming into the basement when we have big rains. You can see easily that in the past there has been very signficant water damage, but it is only in the last couple of months that I have seen water actively dripping down the walls. My concern is that since only the priest really sees the rectory, people might not appreciate the need to handle any damages and normal upkeep. The opinion was that people do realize that old houses need this type of repair. The plan is to dig around the foundation, to put in a drainage tile, and then a water barrier of some sort on the outside brick. This will also include tearing off the front porch in order to dig under it. At the same time we will replace the porch flooring and straighten up the stone pillars of the porch which are now sagging. I do not have a dollar amount on all of this yet.
-One other item mentioned was the possibility of a visit by the “Treasures of the Church” display, an evening with a talk on saints, followed by the display of a couple thousand relics. There is a priest from the Companions of the Cross in Ottawa, Canada who is traveling with the display. We were contacted about this about a month ago, but I have not received any follow-up phone call. I told the inquirers that we are interested.
That’s all for the pastoral council recap. Have a Blessed Lent!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,