It was a long time in coming, but it’s so good to see so many things that we’ve been working on for a long time really start to take shape.
Last week, we started religious education again. The students and catechists are started with their new materials, and our first week went very well. I was joking with Sister Karen that we’ve been doing about 6 months worth of planning work over the course of about 3 weeks. Now that we’re started, it’s good to see our kids learning again, and to see the possibilities ahead of us.
This weekend, we celebrate Catechetical Sunday. I want to really thank our team of very dedicated catechists who have really stepped up this year. I can’t say enough how important our catechists are to our parish. Of course if you’d be interested in helping as a Catechist, either as a sub, or as a teacher in the future, please contact Sister. At the 11am and 5pm masses we’ll be having a short prayer and blessing of our Catechists.
For the last few weeks I’ve been mentioning how I’d like to get our Parish Pastoral Council up and running again. I’ve posted a copy of the new by-laws to our website, and I’ll have a few copies in the back of Church for anyone who wants to look over them. Beginning this weekend until October 18th, I’d invite anyone to put a name of someone they’d like to nominate in the box. Please don’t limit this to people who have served in the past, I’d really like to see our new council be a healthy cross-section of our parish. Please think of folks you would like to see in charge of things. It’s easy to say “Someone ought to do something about that.” Please help me find the people who will say instead, “I’d like to do something about that.” Remember, all parish council members must be a registered parishioner and a practicing Catholic in good standing. Due to the nature of COVID, I do have to ask that anyone that serves be at least willing to work with us on the potential for virtual meetings occasionally. I’m very much looking forward to being able to have some open meetings discussing plans for our parish and involving more members of our parish in the decision-making process.
The other major project that’s been pending is our cemetery mapping. We have access to the new system and it feels like we’re finally making some progress. We’ll be having a Cemetery Committee meeting this Wednesday at 7pm in the Hall discussing the mapping project. So far we have the new section of St. Stan’s cemetery pretty much mapped. It was one of the smallest, easiest sections, and we wanted to establish a process before we dove in head first. I hope to be ready to work on the other sections soon. Thank you again to those who have already volunteered to walk the cemeteries helping us to verify maps and collect information off of stones. I hope to have more of a plan together after we meet this Wednesday.
Next, I’d like to remind everyone that we won’t have a normal homily next Weekend. Once a year, I like to set aside one Sunday as a Stewardship Sunday to share with everyone a sort of “state-of-the-parish” talk. I’ll be sharing an overview of our parish finances. Some of the major things we’ve accomplished in the last year or so, as well as some of our concerns and setbacks. Because this is the end of my first year here and there’s a lot of information, particularly financial information, I’ll be giving you the “cliff-notes” version at mass. For those interested in the full, detailed picture via a YouTube video that I’ll post to our parish YouTube/Facebook/Website. I’ll be including an overview of the parish financials in the bulletin, with copies available on the website.
Finally, on a lighter note, please get all of your dogs, cats, birds, turtles, guinea pigs, bunnies, snakes, and ferrets ready on a leash or in a cage. It won’t be long until Sunday October 4th, the feast of St. Francis is upon us. We’ll do the annual blessing of pets at 1pm on Saturday, October 3rd. We’ll gather at the handicapped entrance to the Church. I always look forward to the most unusual pets. So far, my favorite was a few years ago when I had a family pull in with a pickup-truck and trailer so that I could bless their goats. Just so you know, that’s the standard to beat this year!
God Bless You All! Now and always!
Father Matthew Baum is the Parish Administrator at Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.