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Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
May 13, 2007
Our Parish is Living With the Help of the Spirit

    As we approach the feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, we, as a parish need to reflect on the work of the Holy Spirit in our parish life.  Perhaps the next two weeks could focus on the life of the parish as it presently stands and how this affects our vision for the future.  Living in the Spirit does not simply happen on Sunday mornings, it also happens on Monday evening and Wednesday morning etc., i.e. at all times.  We simply have to be aware of the Spirit’s work.

    Last Monday evening we had a combined meeting of the Finance and Pastoral Councils.  We chose to do this because the topic was the same - the future of our parish and the possible expansion of the church.  The evening began with a short meeting with the Finance committee where we simply examined and discussed next years operating budget.  With a few adjustments the budget was passed. We then moved on to the combined meeting at 7:00 pm.  It was very evident that the Holy Spirit was present and moving throughout the evening.

    The focus of the evening was that of taking a serious look at the vitality of the parish, its spiritual life as well as its financial standing.  We all realized that taking a major step into
expansion was a serious one and all aspects of our parish life must be considered.  Since the finance committee was present, a considerable amount of time was given to the discussion of finances.  It was noted that our income has been progressively diminishing over the past few years.  Since we lost our mission in Chester two years ago and our 8 a.m. Mass one year ago, our average monthly income has decreased to the point where we no longer meet our operating expenses.  This is a major concern when we want to undertake a project the size of an expansion.  If we cannot meet our monthly expenses, how will we be able to raise 3/4 of a million dollars?  This is a serious concern.  We came to the conclusion that the expansion is not out of the question but it is probably not the wisest step to take at the present time.

    As the evening progressed we came to realize that our income has diminished, not only because we have lost Masses but also because many families do not attend Mass on a regular basis.  Many families choose to attend Mass in Auburn and do not use envelopes.  Consequently the income goes to St. Peter’s in Auburn, not to St. Paul’s in Candia.  The only income that returns to us is that income that comes through the use of envelopes.  Father noted that the income had increased in Auburn since last March.   Perhaps not everyone realizes that even if we put only $5 or $10 dollars in the basket, if several families do this, our income suffers and others prosper

    Another reason for the decrease of income is that families only attend Mass while their children are attending Religious Education classes .  When the children are off, so is the entire family.  Attendance decreases tremendously from mid-May to Mid October.  This has been a fact for a number of years now.  This is a serious Christian Formation concern.  A good amount of time was spent discussing this problem as well.  It was clear that many eyes were opened and much light was being shed .  The Spirit was truly working.    (To be cont.)

                            Lorette P. Nault