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Pastor’s Pen, Sept. 8

You did not see me at Sunday Mass today because I am out on my bicycle for the Capital City Century.  I’ll give you a report next weekend.  A week ago Friday the CTK School students took advantage of a non-uniform day if they made a donation to the ride.  The total was $1,256.00  WOW!  Thanks!  At the school Mass last Wednesday they sang The Blessing Song over me.  It’s all amazing! The $5,000 challenge has been met! Thanks to all who have made a donation.

Today you heard from Father Robert McAleer about the work of Unbound.  See the insert for more information.  I hope you will join me by becoming a sponsor. 

Tuesday night was the first school board meeting of the year, welcoming two new members.  Good news was reported about our growing school.  Later this year the board will create a new long-range plan.  The 2015 plan has guided many of our efforts.  The board is made up of parents and grandparents of our students, and another parishioner besides.  Thanks to all for the stewardship of their time and talents for the advancement of CTK School.

Wednesday night was the first meeting with 25 parishioners for the Listening Campaign: That We May Be Healed.  The genesis of the campaign comes from my prayerful concern to understand the noticeable decrease in Sunday Mass attendance.  I shared my concern with the Pastoral Council and my staff.  I am not sure if the issues are with the global church, the diocese, or our parish.  Before we can address the problem or illness, we must first learn what ails people.  That is why we are having the campaign.  It is not about money. I have invited key leaders in our parish to assist my steering committee of Linda Younkin, Theresa Hansen, Madonna Jones, and me.  The vision is that these key leaders will then become the listeners, equipped with the skills and questions, to engage present and absent parishioners.  There will be a training for that September 24. The listener is not the problem solver.  The actual listening part of the campaign will be the month of October.  The vision is to engage 250 households, then collate the responses in early November, with a report to the parish on Christ the King weekend, November 24.  Depending on what we learn, next steps for healing and reinvigorating our parish could begin in Advent, and into 2020.  The Holy Spirit has guided my initial steps with the steering committee.  I ask that you pray for our parish, to be all that God envisions us to be.

Thursday evening was my first meeting with the parents of the eighth graders preparing for Confirmation.  I want to help parents embrace their role as the primary religious educators of their children.  I hope they come to an adult appreciation of the sacrament they received in their youth.  Next semester I will be meeting with parents of the third graders for their Confirmation and First Communion, as we move with the diocese in the Restored Order of the Sacraments of Initiation.  This Wednesday I will lead the baptism session for parents desiring to have their infant baptized.

Have a blessed week!

          Fr. Joe

 

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