One of the most impressive aspects of this parish is its volunteerism. I don’t believe I’ve seen volunteerism permeate the life of a parish so thoroughly before. I just ended my first month here, and it seems I am always learning about some task, some responsibility a different parishioner has taken on very practically to support the life of the parish. Divine Mercy parishioners setup and takedown for Masses; they prepare and lead music (vocally and instrumentally); they clean the inside and external grounds of our buildings; they decorate for Masses throughout the year; they prepare and serve funeral luncheons with very little notice; they provide food for other parish gatherings; they visit the sick and take Holy Communion to them; they prepare and teach PSR classes; they donate professional expertise regarding parish finances and building projects; they provide guidance by means of the parish council and finance council; they organize and support youth ministry and various adult formation opportunities. I know that this long list is not exhaustive, but it provides a snapshot of the many, many ways Divine Mercy parishioners take ownership of their parish. In my short time here, I can say that I am very impressed, and I’m very appreciative.
Because I believe so strongly that we post-Vatican II Catholics could all benefit from a renewal in our understanding of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I will continue somewhat regularly to preach on various aspects of the Mass, even various specific parts of the Mass, in order to help us all know and love our Lord in the Mass more fully. In the Mass He truly wants to be the Source and Summit of our life. Are you there spiritually? Along these lines, here again for your meditation is central paragraph I quoted two weeks ago in my homily from Raymond Cardinal Burke and Pope Benedict XVI:
“The relationship of faith and worship is seen, in a particular way, in the beauty which is characteristic of both the Catholic faith and Catholic worship. There can be nothing more beautiful, more splendid, than the encounter with God the Son Incarnate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, for the Holy Eucharist is the fullest expression of God’s love for us. The encounter, as with all things truly beautiful, attracts us and frees us from the enslavements which keep us from following faithfully our vocation of pure and selfless love. The encounter frees us from all that would mar our beauty as true sons and daughters of God in God the Son when we meet our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, we meet ‘beauty and splendor at their source’ (SC 35).”
On a practical note, here are recent practical projects around the parish: The largest two stained glass window sets on our Payne campus are being revitalized; the parking lots at Paulding and Antwerp have been coated and re-striped; a new and beautiful holy water font is being crafted by parishioners for the narthex at Paulding, so the baptismal font can be brought back into the sanctuary; the diocese has one day each week sent an auditor to help us establish our new money handling procedures; we are still awaiting the final audit report from the diocese, but we’ve already begun to comply with some of the the requests we know will be on the report, such as using tamperproof bags to carry the collection from each Mass, and purchasing a couple small safes for the process; security cameras have been installed at the school; internet service on all three campuses has now moved to Metalink, and the phone system is about to be transferred over as well (saving us significant money each month).
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,