Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
January 7, 2007
A New Year - Looking Within The year 2006 has been both a challenging and encouraging one. We have had to make some serious adjustments in Mass schedules as well as seating capacity and, except for a few exceptions, we have managed to do so rather well. Now that we have weathered those storms, we must look ahead and ask ourselves what we are willing to do to have a vibrant parish. Perhaps we can do this by asking ourselves the following questions.
The first question we must take seriously is: Are we a vibrant parish? Being a vibrant parish certainly begins with weekend liturgies but it does not end there. Parishes, like homes, have a life. Life has many facets. The life of the church includes prayer, social justice, social gatherings, spiritual gatherings such as discussion groups related to family life, Bible discussion groups, activities for the youth etc. Are these areas that we feel the need to focus on? If we do, what are we, as individuals, willing to commit to in order to see any of the above come to life?
A second question we must ask ourselves is: How seriously do we take our own and our children’s Christian Formation? Assuring the passing on of the Faith involves the commitment of all parents and grandparents as well as every member of the parish. Many parishioners must be willing to commit to sharing the responsibility of teaching at any given level. Expecting the same people to teach for 15 and 20 years is not fair. We must be willing to step up to the plate and give our of our time if we are able.
A third question is: Are we willing to participate more fully in the celebration of the Eucharist? This could be something as simple as arriving five minutes before Mass in order to hear the announcements being read. This would also enable the music ministry to teach the congregation a new song on occasion. Other ways of participating more fully are being willing to be a lector, a Eucharistic Minister or an usher. We have had few, if any, new ministers in the past few years and, the present ministers, although they are very willing to serve their parish, are coming up to retirement age and we will not be able to depend on them for many more years. Once the baby boomer generation retires and moves to Florida, will we be able to fill their shoes? The present ministers who are younger are very few in number. Are we willing to commit?
Lastly, we must ask ourselves the following question. Are we willing to be financially responsible? There are many families who are more than generous with their financial
contributions. However, expanding the church, even if we employ professional fund raisers, will demand more from all of us. As you no doubt have noticed, our revenues have decreased over the past year. Will we be able to raise funds and maintain the parish simultaneously? This is a serious consideration we cannot ignore.
Please take the time to reflect on the above questions. Your willingness to commit to your parish is vital if we are to maintain its vibrancy. Let us pray together for the strength and courage to be faithful to the call of God’s Spirit within us.
Father Dumont, Pastor
Lorette Nault, Pastoral Associate