Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
On Friday, May 1st, Fr. Stites texted me to wish me a happy feast day, because it was the memorial of St. Joseph the Worker. I texted him back to say I’m tempted to feel a little guilty celebrating the feast day, since I’m sure there are still some Catholics in our parishes who believe priests really do no work outside of Sunday. With that in mind–and planning to write a bit about our new means of social communication in the parish–I wanted to point out that the electronic calendar on our website is far from the full schedule of events happening at the parish.
Especially, it should be noted that it does not include anything that I would deem a personal appointment, or a personal task that need not be published for the whole parish community to know. So my individual meetings by telephone, at the office, etc. are not on the website’s public calendar. Also, meetings with contractors for maintenance projects will probably not show up on the calendar. In a case such as that two weeks ago when there was the Martin-Riley company out of Fort Wayne Indiana in the parking lot of our Antwerp campus with a man-lift, I thought it made sense to put it on the public calendar, because then people would know what’s going on when they saw the equipment. But in general, meetings with contractors for maintenance work will not be on the calendar. Trust me when I said that there is normally at least as much non-public material on the parish office’s internal calendar as there is the public material. [I guess I really want to get across the idea that we are trying to work at the office as hard as we can serving you, knowing that you are out on the front lines in your various activities working very hard to transform the world for Jesus in every sphere of responsibility.]
We will put onto the public calendar events such as baptisms, first communions and weddings. These are really community events, even if not everybody attends. There will probably be some times when a convalidation (the “blessing” of a marriage which was done outside of the church) will not be published on the electronic calendar. Sometimes people feel better if that is not publicized.
Over the past few weeks we have gotten some pretty good feedback on the website and the app. We really hope it serves to make people feel all the more connected to their parish. Several times now I’ve heard from people that they were reminded about an event by means of a message on the app. From the app you can view messages on our Facebook page, as well as the parish calendar.
I learned of one eighth grader who is using the app for daily prayer. That is very exciting, because I certainly hope that the app can enhance people’s spiritual life as well as helping them practically stay connected to the parish with information. There is a very nice selection of basic prayers on the app, as well as the daily readings of the Catholic Mass, as well as my daily tweets–commenting very, very briefly on something from one of the readings. Reading over the gospel, or one of the other Scripture readings from the Mass of the day, is a great way to grow over time in your appreciation for the beauty of Jesus Christ and God’s ways. What a luxury to have all of this spiritual stuff in one place, rather than having to surf to different websites to find it.
On another note, I thought the First Communions at each campus a few weeks ago went very well. I want to continue to handle First Communions that way. Also, it was very nice having the First Communicants help with the May Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary statue at each campus.
On still another note, I learned that finally I will actually be installed officially as pastor at our 10:30 Mass at the Paulding campus on May 24. The Bishop officially named me, as I wrote earlier, some months ago, but there is also a rite to be presided over by the local dean in order officially to install a pastor. Fr. Todd Dominique of St. John’s Defiance will be here for that ceremony.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,