From Fr. Paul 10-8-2017

As I mentioned in my homily last weekend, the time I spent with my brother priests and our archbishop was time well spent. It was a great opportunity to discuss the archbishop’s pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel, and hear how other parishes are engaging their parish families and helping them to encounter Christ. Our parish team (staff) is discussing the letter in small amounts at our monthly meetings.

When you next enter our church, you will notice that the baptismal font that is original to the building is now placed in the baptismal area. The former one had to be removed because additional access was needed in the floor below. The plywood platform was not in a condition to be reused. After the floor was poured, I decided that it would be appropriate to bring the original font out of basement storage. The return of the original marble font was in the plan I proposed last December, but I did not anticipate making the change at this time. When we proceed with our renovation of the church sanctuary, we will move the baptismal font to the center aisle near the rear doors of the church to symbolize that baptism is our sacrament of entrance into the Christian life. I hope we will be able to create a lower pool for adult baptisms as well. When the work was completed in the cement floor, water and electrical lines were installed in anticipation of this future project. The original baptismal font is a beautiful piece of St. Mary’s heritage and is in keeping with the architecture of our church building. The marble work on the original font matches the marble columns of the original altar. The copper and brass lid is topped with a figure of St. John the Baptist. It will be used for the first time in many years at our baptisms next weekend.

A relic of St. John Paul II will visit St. Mary on the weekend of the 22nd of October, which is the Saint’s feast day. A relic is remnant of a Saint’s body or something that a Saint used during his or her lifetime. The Christian faithful may venerate or honor the Saint through the practice of praying in the presence of these relics. I will offer individual blessings with the relics at the end of Mass this weekend. St. John Paul II is a great Saint of our time, and it will be a great blessing for us to have his relics present here.

I am proposing to make a change to our daily Mass schedule beginning in November. Currently our daily Mass schedule is the following: Monday and Tuesday at 8:30am, Wednesday at 12:10pm and Friday at 10am (with the school). In order to offer parishioners and those who wish to attend Mass here more consistency and opportunities to worship, I am proposing 7:30am Mass on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday Mass will remain at 12:10pm to offer an option for those who work in the area. The Friday Mass for the school will stay the same. This new schedule provides an option not met by other parishes in the area. It also would mean that we could have a 7:30am Mass on Holy Days of Obligation. This proved to be a very helpful option on August 15, the Assumption of Mary. Many parishioners took advantage of the 7:30am Mass on this day. I am thinking Friday morning would also be an opportunity for an additional confession time from 6:30am-7:15am (before the 7:30am Mass) and possibly Eucharistic Adoration as well if I could secure at least one person to pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament from 6:30am-7:15am on Fridays. If you are interested in committing to one Friday per month, please let me know via email or phone. If we have 4 willing individuals (or someone to commit each Friday) we will begin the first week in November.

Blessings on your week,

Fr. Paul