Goodness, it’s been a busy week! As things are starting to function again, things here at the Church have been hopping this week. Everyone seems to have figured out that the office is open again and we’re back to work. That’s a good thing. Of course, we are still dealing with sanitizing surfaces, masks, and the like, but it is good to see things begin to pick up again.
I’d ask you to keep in your prayers those families who celebrated funerals this week, the families of Mary Pawlikowski and Josh Stauffer. I’m grateful to Father Ron Osinski, who happens to be pastor of my home parish, and Msgr. Carson for joining us to celebrate the Pawlikowski funeral.
It’s also good to see everyone returning to mass. As we said last week, I know the masks can be a bit bothersome at times, but it’s good to protect our neighbors, and the reality is, receiving Jesus is worth it!
Thank you to everyone who called to volunteer as a Eucharistic Minister this week. I had a few people volunteer and I’ve already trained a couple who are beginning to visit the sick. I couldn’t be happier that our shut-ins are finally able to receive the Eucharist again!
Overall, I want to thank everyone for their patience through this process. Many folks are scared and aren’t quite ready to come back to mass. Others have told me how they appreciate the fact that most of our folks are masked and they feel a bit safer coming to mass. Still others have expressed concerns that it’s hard for them to wear a mask. Please know, as long as almost all of us are wearing masks almost all of the time, if you need to pull it down to breathe a bit, it’s quite OK. We all understand. The key is that we’re doing the best we can to protect each other. As much as we want to get back to normal, none of us want to see members of our parish get sick from this.
Meanwhile, aside from all the COVID-related stuff going on, this week is always a busy week for every Church every year because this week is the end of the Fiscal Year. Mike Klapak and I have been working very hard all year to re-orient our finances in a way that we can present clearly where we are as a parish. So far, at least, I’m absolutely thrilled to say that thanks to your generosity, it doesn’t appear that the virus in particular has hurt us too much financially. As we wrap up the end-of-year bills and finances, I’m looking forward to a day before too long when I can really make an honest financial report of our status as a parish to all of you. My goal is to try to be as transparent as possible, without making the information too confusing.
I’ll be honest, when I arrived, a lot of the way our finances had been structured was very confusing, at least to me. I’m pleased to say that after a lot of work, I hope this year we’ll have a much cleaner presentation. It’s going to take us a while to get all the data ready, but I hope this year to be able to explain a lot about where the money really goes. So much of it, I think can be described as “boring, but necessary.” Yet, as your priest, I want to do what I can to give you an honest assessment of where we really are. It’s my hope that by doing that, we can together set priorities for the future, get the things fixed that need fixed, and make real plans for the long-term future of our Church. I’m hopeful that with a real, honest picture, we’ll be able to use our resources to work toward better fulfilling the mission of our Church, sharing the good news, administering the Sacraments, and leading the people of Northern Cambria to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
God Bless You, -Fr Matt
Father Matthew Baum is the Parish Administrator at Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.