It must be Turkey Season because our parish is starting to spin into motion getting ready for our big Turkey Dinner on November 8th! It’s hard to believe that back in March, just barely the weekend after our dinner was the great shutdown. Baskets are rapidly coming into the office, we just had our 2nd planning meeting, and the plans for the dinner are really starting to take shape.
It’s going to look a little bit different than previous years. All the food will be take-out, and there will be a drive-through available. If you’d like to take advantage of the drive-through, simply begin on St. Stans Ave between our Church and St. John Byzantine up to the corner, turn left onto St. Elizabeth Street between the Church and the upper parking lot and you’ll see a canopy set up. The Dinners will be available for sale there under the canopy.
For the basket party and walk-through dinners, just enter the Church hall through the doors on the font side of the Church. At last count, we have just about 70 baskets and they’re all wonderful. If you’re a little cautious about the crowds, please take advantage of one of the alternative basket party times.
As we get ready for the dinner, I do have to ask all of you for a little bit of extra help. We’ll post our normal work schedule for kitchen cooking help next weekend, but right now we could really use you help with cleaning. Both of our kitchens have been basically closed up since our last dinner back in March, so they really need a good scrub before we get to the dinner. Typically, in the past we’ve gotten help from the inmates at Cambria County Jail to help scrub the floors. With COVID, we’re not able to get that help this year, so I’m asking all of you for your help. We’ll need both folks able to help scrubbing floors, wiping and cleaning tables, dishes, and kitchen equipment, as well as people able to help move the tables and other kitchen equipment around to clean under and behind. We’ll provide all the cleaning materials, but we really need help making it happen. We’ll gather in the Church hall at around 9AM next Saturday October 24th. Thank you in advance for being willing to help us get the hall ready for the dinner. I know I’m really looking forward to some Turkey Dinner and to start putting my tickets in for all these beautiful baskets!
This week, we also had our Cemetery Committee Meeting. I’m really pleased with how things are coming along with our mapping. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but we can start to see a real pattern coming together. We’re using a drone to rebuild our cemetery maps from aerial photographs. Those completed maps will then be used in conjunction with our new cemetery software to help us get all of our cemetery data organized. I don’t think even I really grasped just how big our cemeteries really are until I realized that just at Holy Cross, each section is at least 25 rows with 50 graves per row, that’s around 1,250 graves, and there’s 3 of those sections just at Holy Cross. Multiply that by 5 cemeteries, and it’s a lot of information to get into order. I really want to thank everyone who has been helping so far. I think we’re starting to get a system down, so if you like puzzles and you’d like to help, either here in the office looking at maps and entering information into a computer, or by walking the rows with a clipboard, please let me know, at this point, I believe we’ve got a plan and we’re ready! I also want to thank the extra parishioners who came by for the cemetery committee meeting just to see what was going on. I know those meeting can get a little dry and boring at times, but remember, it’s easy to be faithful and engaged when things are exciting, but in life things aren’t always exciting. I find it’s exactly when we keep at it through those dry and boring moments that we can see real long-term improvements and progress happen. So thank you to all of you who have shown such interest.
Finally, this will be the last weekend to put names in for our parish council nominations. So far, we had 25 nominations which is wonderful. After this weekend, I’ll start calling people to see who is willing to accept their nomination. If you get a phone call, please be generous with your time and remember, you’re being called because someone thought you would do a good job.
By our new bylaws, we will draw 6 members from the nominations. Normally we’ll draw 2 each year and they’ll serve a 3 year term, but since we are just getting started again, we’ll draw all 6 and then those 6 will then draw for 2 one-year, 2 two-year, and 2 three-year terms. Then, once those 6 are drawn, I’ll appoint 4 additional members along with one youth representative for a total of 11 on the council. I plan to take the appointments from the nominations, making sure that there’s some good representation of the various groups at our parish. If, for example all the names were men, I’d appoint a few women. If they’re all older folks, we’ll appoint some younger folks, etc. I hope to get the phone calls completed in the next week or so. As soon as that’s completed, we’ll have the drawing at a Sunday Mass. I can’t say how much I’m looking forward to having a real representative group of the parish so that we can move forward with a lot of planning at our parish and know that we really are making these important decisions and plans together as a parish.
God Bless You Now and Always,
Father Matthew Baum is the Parish Administrator at Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.