Shortly after I came to Prince of Peace, I looked at our Church bulletin and realized how little information we had in it. One of the things I knew I wanted to make happen was to improve our bulletin. It took almost a year to get budgets in order and to get a handle on things to be able to make it happen, but I’m very excited, our copier arrived last Friday, and now, this weekend, after much work, I’m excited to show you this new bulletin. After running the numbers and working with some local businesses who already advertised in our previous bulletin, what you see here today is actually a little bit less expensive than the bulletin we had previously. I’m excited to have the space now to be able to put the music and readings here in the bulletin each week, to have space for all the local church events going on in our area, and to have space to share information about our faith with you every week. You’ll also notice the photo of Brooke and Corbin Corrente on the back cover. It’s my hope that each week, as we have special events, weddings, baptisms, funerals, first communions, confirmations, as well as our dinners, and other events, etc., we’ll be able to put photos on our back cover sharing the good news of our parish. If you have photos that you’d like to share for our back cover, please email them to Sue at the email address on the front cover!
Now that I have the space, I’d really like to remind everyone about an amazing resource that we were able to pay for through a grant from the Independent Catholic Foundation. FORMED is an amazing resource, and I will let you in on a secret. Most of the stories I tell in my homilies came from some of the various books, talks, and movies available on FORMED. I’d really encourage you to take advantage of these. I put a small suggestion of some of my favorites towards the back of the bulletin. For those with little ones, I cannot recommend enough checking out the kids section, especially Brother Francis, the Jesus Stories, and Catholic Heroes of the Faith. They’re all wonderful well made videos that talk to our kids about our faith. I’d encourage you, no matter the age, dig in. I love to listen to the audiobooks and the Catholic talks on either my 1.5 hour drive to the prison each week or a portion while working out. As we move along, now that we have our new copier, if there are classes you’d like to see in our parish under programs, we can very easily make the packets. A few months ago when we did an online class it was very well received. I hope we can do a few more this fall and return to in-person ones once we’re allowed to gather again.
I’d also like to update everyone on our hiring process. We had a few applicants for both positions. God-willing, we should be moving into interviews soon and will hopefully have both positions filled very soon. Thank you to everyone who applied or encouraged someone to apply.
There is also some good news on our Cemetery Management front! We just completed our final reviews, and our staff was trained on the new Cemetery Management system this Friday. I’m hoping that after we do a few tests with some small sections, we’ll be ready for volunteers to help us walk the cemeteries with printed maps to help us gather names and dates from existing plots as we begin the long process of entering data into the system. Thank you to those of you who have already offered to help, I hope to have a plan of attack very soon.
For Religious Education, although we’re still in the hiring process, we are looking at potential options for the fall. If you haven’t turned one in already, we’ll be putting out our Religious Ed Registrations this week. We’re in the process of evaluating some different programming for the fall, as we realize that we may be under restrictions beyond our control, and it’s likely that our normal classroom schedule may be interrupted. No matter which option we decide, we will be purchasing new textbooks this year, as we'll need something that can work a little more smoothly if and when things are interrupted again. For that reason, it’s very important that we get families registered as soon as possible. Registration will be $30.00 per child in grades 2 and 9-11 and $25 for all others, which will basically cover the cost of the new books. Please grab a form in Church or on our website and drop it off at the parish office. I can’t stress enough that with ordering new books, we need to know how many students we’ll have in each grade so that we aren’t over or under ordering. Similarly, we also need to verify your contact information so that we can survey your opinions on some of the potential directions we could go in the upcoming year.
Overall, It’s hard for me to believe that as of last weekend, July 24th, I’ve been here one full year. It’s been an amazing year with all of you! It’s included things that none of us ever could have imagined, and yet, I’m so thankful to be here with you in this community. I hope that together we can continue to work together to build up the kingdom of God here on earth.
God bless you now and always,
-Fr Matt Baum
Father Matthew Baum is the Parish Administrator at Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.